Sunday, September 6, 2009

Homemaker Monday: To Live in the Present or To Look to the Future?

This Homemaker Monday post is in progress. Thank you for your patience!~

I’ve recently read various articles about “living in the moment” and “finding joy in the journey”. While I whole-heartedly agree that learning to do this as a homemaker and wife is crucial, I have found that there are just stages of life where I really do have to look forward to the future in order to get through what life is throwing me at that particular moment. Perhaps if I were better at “finding joy in the journey” I wouldn’t have to look forward to the future so often, but that seems to be what works for me.
I’d like to share with you a few times in my life where I have had to look to the future to help me live in the present.

1. When I decided that giving birth naturally was the most healthy thing for me and my baby, as I went through labor (and mine are anywhere from 20 to 51 hours long), some thoughts went through my mind such as A.) Each contraction is getting me closer to meeting my baby, B.) If I can get through this, I won’t have to have an epidural, a catheter, perhaps even pitocin as epidurals often cause labor to slow down, C.) If I can continue through labor, my body will continue to release dopamine and seratonin as a way of fighting against the pain, hormones that are also released into the baby’s bloodstream and which cause a natural high that helps in the bonding process of mother and child, D.) If I do this naturally, I will be able to get up and walk a few minutes after delivering rather than a few hours, as with an epidural, and my healing time will be much faster, E.) I will not be risking any of the side effects of an epidural, such as headaches, which my mother experienced for 3 weeks, temporary or permanent paralysis, or partial feeling, such as only feeling labor pains on one side. For me, going through labor required A LOT of looking to the future! Anyone figured out how to live in the moment for that one? If so, let me know! :)

2. After my first husband committed suicide, I didn’t know how I would get from one day to the next. So, I didn’t get from one day to the next. I got from one hour to the next. I was having trouble reliving the moment I found him over and over and over again in my mind, and as the days went on, I tried to go for one hour without thinking about that. But you know how it is when you try not to think about something. You think about it! During the first five weeks after his death, I don’t think I went for an hour without thinking about how I found him, but I do remember one thought process that gave me hope. I thought, “you know, it’s only been five weeks since his death. I know that in five months, I will feel better than I do now”. How much better I didn’t know, but I knew I would feel better. Then I said, “and in five years, I know I will feel much better. There is a remote chance that I’ll even be remarried to a wonderful man and be living a completely new and different life.” These thoughts helped me get through the excruitiating present I was enduring. As most of you know, at the five month mark I was dating and had fallen in love with my current husband. This November will be 5-year mark since my first husband died, and certainly it is still sad to think back on that dark time, but I have come to terms with what happened and have learned to control my thoughts and appreciate what I have now. I can testify that time does heal wounds. Yes, there are sometimes scars, but we can heal.

3. During the six months when I was exlusively breastfeeding the twins, the process took nearly eight out of the twenty-four hours in a day. Housework went down the tube, dinners were often sandwiches or sometimes even cereal, going ANYWHERE without toting the two babies was unthinkinable, and having time to do a project or something fun for myself was unfathomable. It was during this time that I did a lot of math regarding how long I thought I would live and what percentage of that time would be spent giving the twins what was healthiest for them. I hope to live to be at least 80 years old, so six months out of 80 years turned out to be only a little more than one half % of my life. I could do this! After the six months was over, other people could begin to take over feedings and I would be able to clean out a cupboard if I wanted to, or go to the temple or maybe even watch a movie uninterrupted! I told myself these things over and over again, and before I knew it, the twins were eating solid foods and my life had gotten a tiny bit easier.

Now that he twins are 18 months old, and although I am still crazy busy chasing after them day by day, I can look back on the grueling first year with a good feeling knowing that I did what I thought was best for them and now we are over the hump. I still breastfeed them, but only twice a day, once at nap time and once right before bed. I've gone to the temple, I've watch movies uninterrupted, and soon, very soon, I'm going to start sewing aprons....and giving them away. Yes, I'm going to be cool like Kathlene over at Grosgrain. I'll let you know when I get one finished. I'm even tentatively planning an overnight stay in October away from them, so the future to which I so looked forward is finally here!

OURS: Okay, I can't wait to see what all of you amazing homemakers have for us today. Thanks for spending time with us today and if you'd like to participate in Homemaker Monday but don't have a post ready, please feel free to dig through your archives for your favorite recipe of any other homemaking tip or experience and link up! Thank you!

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Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship said...

This is a beautifully written post, and so much to think about. You are a strong woman, to be sure!!! God be with you. I'm truly enjoying following your blog!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Wow! I had no idea...obviously I need to backtrack and read some earlier posts of yours! ((HUGZ!!))

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi Stacy,
Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. Many people have wanted to know more about what I went through regarding my husband's suicide, so I've included some details about that in the "About Us" tab right under my header. That way, you don't have to search through the archives! Hope that helps. :)

Mrs. D Lightful said...

Thank you so much. Very inspiring. You really are strong as has already been mentioned.

alessandra said...

I feel and think the same about labor and breastfeeding ( but I have only two ;) and I find you have a smart way of thinking.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

How did I miss those past posts, and I thought I had read most of them... :)
And after I was crying, I was laughing because my goal this year was to learn to make aprons too. :)

Keeley said...

What a wonderful post! It's just what I needed to read - thank you so much. =)

Cheryl B. said...

Somehow I missed this one last evening ...? Anyways - Congrats! You have to learned the importance of looking for the positive as well as the blessings in any situation. As you made obvious, life is challenging!!!!!!!!! There are so-o many obstacles and 'downers' along the way. In-fact, the reason I am up right now has to do with those. I am at a point in my challenges with menopause where I often have awake times in the middle of the night. NOT that I'm not tired mind you. NOT that I don't feel sleepy. QUITE THE OPPOSITE. But I am awake none the less. And currently there are some situations going on with a particular son that are just grinding me. And being very hormonal, and tired, and annoyed - well, not a good combination. Finally I told my negativly raging brain, "enough already"! Got up, drank some orange juice, and signed on looking for other topics to think on, smiles to focus on.

At one point in one of your postings where you wrote about your first husband, you said that he had his resons for what he did, __ pages of reasons, but that that was his story. Is there someplace we could find 'his story'?

I too have "done the math" (and I hate math!!!) in comparing doing certain tasks for/with my kids, to the possible length of my life. I've also often done it in comparison to how short a span of time I have to be so interactive and influencial in their young lives. One blog I recently stumbled upon went on about how children are their own individuals and therefore we are not suppose to try and instill our views, thoughts, even values in them. They are suppose to be left free to form their own. I whole heartedly disagree!!!
Keeley mentioned that she too was thinking of making aprons. So am I. As gifts to girlfriends. And as I've blog jumped I've gathered lots of inspiration. Aprons really are the rage!!! Oh my goodness. I have seen such an enormous variety of styles.
May the Lord continue to help you in your quest for inner sanity ;-}

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi Cheryl! No, I have not posted my first husband's story, and I probably won't. It is too personal. Thank you again for all of the wonderful comments you leave!