10 March 2008

The no normal

One of the hardest things about CSPP for me is that things are never normal. Pregnant isn't normal. New baby isn't normal. Maybe there are a few months where it seems like things might be approaching normalish (although there are always the constraints of nursing) . . . and then you're pregnant again. It's constant, gradual change. You can never get used to your life, because every month your life is markedly different. Today I went to the dentist and I was supposed to list my weight on the form. What to write? X, but Y before I started getting pregnant all the time six years ago, and I'll probably be back there in another five months but who knows because I'm not getting any younger and maybe this is the time I'll stay fat. Or I should say I'm guessing it's X but I don't really know because my husband won't let me have a scale. It was XXX last time I weighed myself but I had a baby a week after that. Maybe I should just tell you the range of sizes I've been through in jeans over the past year?

I can never do anything consistently. I'm in choir every other six months. I'm in this and that and the other group, but my attendance record isn't earning me any gold stars. I show up where and when I can, but since my entourage is usually with me I always end up leaving early without having really participated. I want to do all the things a good pastor's wife should (I know, there is no "should"--but in a small parish, there sort of is), but the only way for it to happen is for Dad to take time off from doing the things a good pastor should.

I really hate this for the babies. It's troubling enough to me to have such an unpredictable schedule. Then, just when they get used to oatmeal for breakfast and reading marathon at 10 and naps at 1 and games in the evening, everything gets all screwed up again. Even if we do crack the books at 10, I've been known to fall asleep mid-sentence (something I would never dreamed possible a few short years ago) depending on what kind of nights the baby of the house is inflicting on me.

I know there's no getting around it, but I still find myself waiting for things to get back to normal. Uninterrupted nights of sleep, clothes with no peculiar openings or elastic, a quick run to the store, eating or drinking whatever strikes my fancy, playing tennis with Dad--it's been so long since any of this has happened, but I just can't stop thinking of them as normal, and some finite distance from when we are now.


Gauntlets said...

Oh my dear, dear friend. You will play tennis again. They can't stay little forever.

At least, we didn't. Stay little. Forever. I'm not making any promises about the clothes with the elastic.

Which leads me to that weight question at the dentist's office. Here's what I do, for what it's worth: leave it blank. That's right.

Glenda said...

A view from "normal:"
They dress themselves, feed themselves, go potty themselves, get in and out of the car themselves, help more with the chores (with much cajoling more often than not).

But there is also less cuddle time as they run off to play together, louder yelling, more quarrels and fights between each other that take a little more thought than "Now the toy is mine" - although this is still a significant weapon in the arsenal.

School work isn't done at the same time every day, life throws way too many curves, not to mention my own laziness. Running to music lessons and this and that increase and there are days I wish I was holding a wee little one and life was "simple" again.

Boy that devil is good at making me want what I don't have, because I could've written your post many times and now look at me. I'm wanting it too be that way again. I'm glad God is good and gracious and forgiving.

God bless you and enjoy these days (boy did I hate that when people told me that)and I wish I could come over and take care of your little ones while you could nap and rest.

Rebekah said...

Glenda, you read my mind. I just said to Dad last night, "What's going to happen when the babies have to go places?" For now at least we can do everything without leaving the house. And you're right; I have no shortage of cuddlers on cold days. :)

And hey, I think you're friends with our friends in Melrose Park?

Reb. Mary said...

Normal, sigh. I was just looking longingly at our dusty bikes and tennis rackets in the basement...
And thinking that I'll miss the women's Bible study i've been in since the last baby quit nursing...
And musing that I'd enjoy being a co-coordinator for some of the things going on at church...but such is not to be at the moment.

So Glenda, thanks for the reminder that the grass is always greener--and who it is that's tempting us to look longingly at the other seasons of life, no matter which we're in. Surely there are joys and sorrows enough in each!

Reb. Mary said...

Gauntlets: leaving the weight question blank: Brilliant!!

Glenda said...

And I'm late responding because the last two days are our busies running days. Between piano lessons, library, grocery shopping, swim club, violin lessons, and currently due to Lent, soup suppers and worship, I'm pooped. But at least the last two days have been extremely sunny and bright and I can say "go out and play." And that is one of the joys of this side, I don't have to be out there watching them, that can be a bit of "me" time.

So reb. Mary you're right, there is good and bad and I think the worst is that our society today is so broken apart that we are all going through this somewhat "alone" and don't see the big picture, unlike in other times when extended families were together and the journey of life in various stages was moving forward.

But that's why we have blogs and email, right? :-)

Yes, Rebekah the Melrose Park friends are very dear to us. Their three girls and our three girls are best friends, and I would say that the mom is one of my bestest buddies.

Rebekah said...

I could never express the relief I feel on a day when they can go out and play. Thank God for spring, and for a kitchen with windows facing the play region of the yard!