Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Confessions of a working mom

* This is a wordy one full of run-on sentences and random things capitalized lol Bare with me here. I left the filter out for the sake of being real my friends.

Yesterday was my first day back to work after almost three months being home with our three little girls. I took my maternity leave early due to complications and thus had to go back a tad early as well (just a few days before Jasmine turned 11 weeks). I tend to swing between two extreme pendalums internally- the one that says "You are doing this for your kids so they know that they can do ANYTHING they want when they grow up AND also be a mommy. You have more to give your kids because the time you have with them is quality time and not merely quantity" and then the other part of me says "Quit your job! You know you would be a better mom if you just stayed home. We could live in a cardboard box and be happy. You know if you really had a choice, you would be home all the time. What mom would CHOOSE to go to work."

I'm not sure what I was expecting but part of me half way imagined something like this- the girls all bawling in unison and me prying them off of me to head out the door. Feelings of guilt plaguing me all the way there only to get to the office and find I no longer remembered how to do my job. Will I remember how to collect audiometric data again? Or even know how to use my otoscope? These feelings had been building for the weeks leading up to my return and all I wanted was the gray cloud to part and an angel swoop down and tell me I could just stay home forever. And to be honest with myself...I can. I can stay home. I have a choice. Yes life would look differently but it is a choice nonetheless.

The morning was not the nightmare that I envisioned at all. It was smooth. It was uneventful and the girls and myself were all ready before 7am without a glitch or a meltdown from them or me (way earlier then the past few months). They were gracious and our snuggles were more sentamental but there was no work fairy who appeared like a grim reaper and snatched me from my girls. We said our goodbyes and Nevaeh in the most endearing tone explained to Ruby  "It's OK. When you are a mommy you will have to go to work too. And thats OK because they will be your kids and you will always come back." while we all hugged. A part of me was crushed she was the one doing the explaining not to mention that she was telling our 3 year old that she would "HAVE to work" when she was a mommy. I try to explain that mommy helps people hear better- mommies and daddies and grandmas and grandpas. I tried to remember that explanation of why I do what I do but that morning there was no rational nor reason in my heart or mind. I simply got in the car and drove to work. And it did all come flooding back in an instant. Like riding a bike and not even thinking about where you are riding to. Or being too busy with patients to be able to think what my left or right hand was doing but somehow it came to me as natural as nurturing my newborn child. There were no big fireworks or tears...then.

I came home a little resentful that things had gone so smoothly. I packed up the youngest girls after work, headed home, played, and ate dinner, and then we were off to Nev's basketball game all as a fam. Maybe I half way wished that it was such a rough day that I could have said "SEE! I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!! I'm never supposed to work again!!!!!!!!!!" I may or may not have created drama in my heart. It may or may not have built up until the point that when the kids were in bed I cried to my husband and said some things I didn't mean. I may or may not have hurt his heart because I was hurting with my own internal battle. My go to place when I am dealing with something is I can do it on my own....Without Jesus, without my husband or friends. Just me and my girls in my little bunker. To be a hermet and just shelter and love on them forever because BY MYSELF I'm so much better off. Not my proudest moment but my sinful heart reared it's ugly face showing my need for a Savior. And in our flesh we like to hide our sin. So here I am exposing it for all the world to see.

Today was day #2 and I cried all the way to work. Because deep down in my heart I know I am doing the right thing but IF IT"S THE RIGHT THING WHY DOES IT FEEL SO BAD. And there are so many stay-at-home moms that would tell me that I am doing the wrong thing. That I should be at home. That I am missing out. To you I say- my family will always be my first priority. Always. And thank the Lord each day He promises to provide us with what we need even if it may not be what we want. That His grace is sufficient. I hope that I am brave enough to daily ask the scary question "What do you require of me today?" For today- for this season and for this time frame, this is what I am supposed to be doing. It is not the all or nothing that I make it out to be. It is not work OR be a mother. Right now for me it is doing both and as my six year old put it, it is OK.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The down-low on decals

Decals. They can transform a wall and thus a room instantly and if I had the choice I would plaster them over all of our walls...oh wait..... I ALREADY DO THAT! It started a few years back when we decorated Ruby's nursery. Just try to ignore the creepy naked baby doll in the crib. Better yet, let me give you a tour of the decals around our home:

A cherry blossom branch decal,

 that we moved from Ruby's old red room (which is now becoming the play room) to the girls shared room:
Pink flowers in the girls bathroom
And let's not forget about the tree, bird, and flowers that were in Nevaeh's old pink and green room (can you say Target?) before we painted it blue and the girls started sharing the space:
And then was the turning point!....decals are so expensive and almost a luxury so why not make your own???? So we put up a (YOU GUESSED IT- ANOTHER ONE) huge unicorn!
But this time I made the decal myself out of poster board!You may have read about it previously here. However, I want to show you a more detailed step-by-step on how to do your own beings that it is my second attempt (this time making an anchor and stars). Here is how to make these bad boys out of POSTER BOARD (they range from only $0.79- $1.29. Can you say cheap?) :
 These act more like wallpaper & are long-lasting. Make sure you love where they are at!                                                             

And last but not least (do you hear the drum roll) Here is a sneak peak into the new "playroom" with the nifty new anchor decal:
What would you want to create to transform your space? An owl? A rainbow? A branch? You can really make any decal you want!!!! And now you know how =)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DIY Bookends

Yay for a project completed! This must mean that we are getting into our groove as a family of five!!!! I have to say though it is not quite fair to be slapped with the "I have a newborn" status as even though she is just two months old she has been the easiest baby in the world! Which merely means that it's beautifully chaotic only 99.9 % of the time with a six yr old and a just turned three old instead of 100% ha ha. But seriously, she makes the world go round with her cuteness!
It also means that I start and stop a project a gazillion times before it's actually finished. Why don't mother's have eight arms? Hmmmm Where was I ??? Oh yeah... the project.

I've wanted to make a pair of bookends for Nevaeh's "horse room" for quite sometime. My father in law was awesome enough to cut and create the bookends with two pieces of wood that he put together into an L shape (thanks pops !). Next was jacking two of Nevaeh's toy horses (*gasp) and getting to work spray painting them silver, painting the wood black, and simply gluing each horse on.
Plastic toys + wood + super glue = booya. DIY Bookends!
I used outdoor spray paint which created more of a marble effect up close.
Totally functional and cute for the blue room which is now Nevaeh & Ruby's shared room as of a month ago and I'm LOVING it!
Cheers to mommy projects.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Straight from my journal

Journal post 4/1/13

21 more days off...it's this fine line of being purposeful and just stopping and absorbing the moment for what it is- even if it means pjs and piles of laundry and snuggles and tucking the kids into bed with dirty feet every once in awhile...

John got me this journal as an anniversary present (9 yrs baby!) "I just want you to know I don't just see you as a mommy or as a wife...I see you as Leah. I see you as you." He was reminding me to take a closer look. A DEEPER look. I've always been concerned at my CORE about living a life of SUBSTANCE & teaching my children to do the same. It's been good and also a little scary at admitting exactly where I am in that process. Artistically wise- creatively wise I have been STUCK from moving past the age of 16. But I am 29!!!!! I cannot sing the same song and hang up the same artwork like I have been doing the last 13 years! It's as if I have never progressed artistically passed that point and that realization has been BRUTAL and hard. I actually wept after I posted "that" song on FB and it was this epiphany that I needed to MOVE ON! For myself and for my girls. I have also always feared turning into my dad in regards to being an artist of the past and not the present (love you dad). Jesus has created me to create. It blesses His heart. So why am I so terrified of this ability and inability all at the same time???? I don't want to be 60 and plagued with the same fears and same insecurities. I want to mature in those areas. Or more realistically CONQUER what I deem to be weak or the "incapable" parts of myself. 

Today I started by doing some canvases for Shar & Ken's new home (as a married couple Woot!) thus the creative process starts. The doubting, the loving, the incomplete process, the vulnerable, the questioning what it is that my hand is going to paint and why it seems the art takes on a life of it's own. How it came from me and yet feels like I am just a liaison between the medium and the canvas- a steward. Now I must choose everyday to be a good steward or if I am going to bury my talents.
Maybe that's the point. I have been so busy digging them up for all these years rather then investing in what is given to me today.
Why does that seem so scary?