Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Life is tough, but so are you"--Pregnancy, homeschooling, and making tough decisions.

We're currently house shopping, car shopping, and school shopping. I know, it's a lot to take in, but sometimes change is inevitable and I am learning to just flow with it and accept the answers as they come.

My favorite new quote going up on the wall is,"Life is tough, but so are you." I stole it from Kid President, who I'm sure stole it from someone else. It's one of those free-for-all sayings that applies to everyone. I'm applying it to me right now because there's a lot of tough stuff coming at me, but I am trying to be tougher. 

We are (crossing fingers) getting approved for a home-loan this month and looking to buy a house. I didn't think I wanted to move again until this baby came out in July, but now I know we must move before this baby comes out in July! I'm so grateful we found this basement apartment right after our house fire, but as I learned before and am realizing again, it's just not healthy for me to live underground. I long for bright windows, and sunlight, and a view of the world above. I long for a window overlooking the yard where my kids are playing, and a chance to see their little, happy faces riding bikes up and down the street. Living downstairs is making me a crazy woman, and believe me, I don't need more crazy right now. So, we are hoping to be in something wonderful by April or May, just in time to unpack, do all my nesting, and then have a baby. (Plus save lots of money on rent and invest in our family's future.)

Second, we need a bigger car to hold our new baby. Right now we have a 5-seater, and 5 people in our family. I've tried to think of clever ways to squeeeeeze the the 6th child in, but none of my ideas were going to work. (stick the 5 year old in the cargo bed??)
But no, we have to buy a bigger car. As much as I despise car shopping, and car payments, and buying new insurance plans, this family is expanding! We thought about getting another VW Bus, which holds 7 passengers, but then decided our VW Bus days were officially over. Waaaaaagh, boo-hoo.  There's just too many bumpy, off-road camping trips, and long road trips we want to do that won't work with an old bus. We need something with 4 wheel drive and full-power-steering. Goodbye forever fun, pink bus days.

Lastly, after much prayer and consideration for everyones happiness, we've decided to sign up Odin for Kindergarten and Jonah for pre-school. They'll start next week. I know it might come as a shock to those that know how strongly I feel about homeschooling, but sometimes change is inevitable, and I'm learning to flow with it....

I'm having a very hard pregnancy right now. The emotional roller coasters and daily struggles to feel grounded and optimistic about life have hit a breaking point. I've struggled with depression as a normal human being, but now that I'm pregnant, it's gotten ten times worse. It feels that everything I've done to conquer and overcome my depression in the past has rewound itself and I'm back to square one.
From what I've researched, depression in pregnancy affects about 20% of pregnant women. It's not just regular hormones acting erratically, causing me to be extraordinarily cranky, eat more chocolate and sleep a ton more.....there's actually a radical change in brain chemistry happening here, which is bringing on mood disorders. Some days I can't get out of bed, and when I finally do, I'm exhausted, on the verge of tears, and already yelling at my children before they've done anything wrong. Many days I find myself feeling extremely anti-social, lonely, angry, and worthless. (Basically, depressed.)
 So, I'm doing all I can to combat it, once again. I'm taking the right things,  and I'm getting help.  I can't do this alone, I realized. I just can't. 

One form of help is coming from my angel mother-in-law, Sandy.
She is truly one of the most wonderful, loving, trusting, and compassionate people I know. She'll be coming up next week to stay with us for a month, to help with all these new transitions. 
First I will need her to stay with Zadok and Jonah while I help Odin transition to Kindergarten, then I'll need her to stay with Zadok some more while I help Jonah get used to his pre-school. 
Several weeks ago I thought perhaps sending Zadok to a private home-school-school several days a week would be helpful. But, it wasn't the right answer because Zadok would've been miserable there. It would have been a form of punishment for him, which wouldn't have be good for any of us. Because of his special needs, I've had to reevaluate my reasons for wanting to send him away. Sure he is having a difficult time at home with his brothers, and in turn I am having a hard time with him, yet he still needs me to be with him. He needs the reassurance that I am always here, and that he is safe. He's always needed that reassurance, and I need to trust that the time will come someday where he'll want to break free--at his own time, at his own pace, and not because I forced him.

Odin and Jonah, on the other hand, will do great in school-- I just know it! Odin has the bubbly, happy, easy-going  personality that will allow him to thrive in any situation, and Jonah is right behind him. So the decision came that it would be best to sign them up instead. 
 I've struggled endlessly with this decision, and have felt the guilt and punishment of a resistant homeschooling mother. The passionate homeschooling mother in me wants to keep my kids out of the rote, government education system,  let them learn and thrive creatively on their own, teach them correct morals and principles from the safety-net of our home, and build a strong, family system based on our own educational values. 

I had to tell her to shut up.

Then I had to dig down deeper and deeper to find the sweet, soft whisperings of the guiding Spirit, gently showing me the path I truly needed: 
"You're not a bad homeschooling mom for sending your kids to school." it said.
"You're not a bad mom for needing this space right now." it spoke again.
"Your children love you and will be happy, but you need to be happy first." It pleaded.

But I want to homeschool all my children, I tried again. I want to enjoy all the wonderful, joyous moments with my kids throughout the day. I want to be there when they make new connections and learn new concepts, and watch their faces light up as they understand. I want to help build a community of homeschool support, and connect with other families in our area. I want to start a co-op, to share my talents and abilities with my children and the world. 

Not right now, it nudged me again. You completely lack the mental capacity and patience to take on these challenges. You can't do this alone. You just can't.

So that is the end of that. Zadok will continue to stay home and the younger two will start on their new journey next week. Perhaps they'll do school just this semester, or maybe they'll start again in the Fall. It's hard to tell. This is one of those stories that will unfold for itself. If there's one thing I've learned, (besides that the world is tough but I'm tougher,) it's that the world is not black and white. There is a  long, beautiful spectrum of color out there, winding it's way through our lives. One day a decision may seem perfect for us and we may start to see in all black and white, but then something happens: Changes occur, prayers are answered, the right people come into our lives, and we suddenly find ourselves tip-toeing carefully on gray, then bordering dark purple, then teetering on the edges of mauve, til we've suddenly reached bright, fluorescent pink. Flourescent pink is where we find our answer: In fact,  maybe it was pink all along, even when I couldn't see past the black and white of my own passionate, made-up mind.

At least that's how I see it. 
Here's hoping all goes well during these new transitions. 
And praying that pink is a tough color on me, as I face the tough decisions of this world.
18 weeks pregnant!


arianne said...

You can trust that voice inside you. It knows what is best. You have nothing to feel but peace. Hugs!

Sally Jackson said...

I think about your comment a lot Arianne. These are just the right words I needed to hear. Thanks friend