Part time job, full time heart.

Anyone else very vividly remember the day you found out you were pregnant? Well, after a very violently sick night, I remember sneaking into the bathroom at 4:30 am to take my test. We had been trying for a year and I had seen a lot of single lines, and “not pregnants.” I lost my breath and my heart skipped a beat when I read the word pregnant on the test. My hand immediately flew to my stomach, I loved that little bean more than I ever thought possible but on June 2, 2011 I was proven very very wrong.

There really isn’t anything that can be compared to how you feel when you first hear your baby scream. I remember laying on the hospital bed looking at my husband with our new baby boy while they cleaned him up and I listened to him talk to me…”6 pounds 8 ounces Chels. He’s 19 inches long, and he takes after your dad because he’s bald.” When they laid that perfect boy in my arms, I never wanted to let him go, seconds away from him was to long, and when he was gone I felt like something was missing. Little did I know that that was a feeling that I was going to have to get very used to down the road.

It was a year later when my husband told me he wanted a divorce. It didn’t believe it. I fought the reality of it in my head all of the time. But while the details of my divorce were becoming something that I could accept, losing my baby, even for a day wasn’t. I became bitter. I told him he could see me in court if he wanted to see his son. It wasn’t my choice to get divorced so I shouldn’t have to give up my baby. Months went by, me and my little man lived in our house and we were moving on alone until one morning my one year old son came into my bedroom and said “daddy?” He looked in my blankets thinking he was hiding. He looked in the closet “daddy?” Confused he ran to the bathroom. “Daddy?” I sat in my bed shaking as my baby ran around our house, his questions turning into a cry as he looked for his daddy and I knew he wouldn’t find him and it was then that I knew it was time to let go.

We started slow, he left every Thursday and every other weekend. My heart was ripped out every time. I kept trying to tell myself it would get easier, but it never did. Some days were harder than others depending on whether or not he clung to me screaming “mommy” as he was leaving, reaching for me. Other times he left without barely saying goodbye, I wasn’t sure which one was harder. I failed, I failed as a mother. I would hold him in bed at night and whisper to him while I cried about how sorry I was. How bad I felt for ruining his childhood. Why couldn’t I hold my marriage together? Why was it so difficult for me to keep my family in one piece? Where did I go wrong? My little one was to young to have to go through something like this, and it was my fault. I should have been stronger. I should have worked harder. I should have cooked more often, and cleaned better. I should have been more intimate and affectionate. I should have done SOMETHING. But I didn’t, and now, here we were a very broken, shattered family.

As time has gone on, my son is 3 now and his time away has slowly become every other week, because while his dad may not have been the best man for me, he was the best father for him. I’ve met someone else, and we have another baby. I’ve gotten the question a lot since our second boys birth “So you have your oldest part time and the baby full time then. How’s that?” The answer is, it’s hard. And it’s led me to wonder a little bit why sometimes God gives you a baby that you can only have part time, but a heart that loves them full time because it really seems unfair. No mother has a baby thinking, I only want to see you sometimes. I only want to kiss you goodnight every other week. I would prefer to only hear your voice every seven days.

I know that you may think after reading this blog post that I have the answer, but the truth is that I don’t. I know that there are mommies out there that look at an empty bed sometimes and a room of toys that haven’t been played with for a while. I know that there are mommies that watch their babies leave in the back of their daddy’s car and want to drop to their knees. There are mom’s that wake up in the morning and make breakfast for 1 less person. I know I’m not the only mom that has watched the Lorax even when it’s just me in the house, just because it’s his favorite and the house is to quiet. I see you over there, yes you, the mom that is watching the other kids at the family party with Santa, wishing your baby was there, but it’s just not your year for Christmas.

But, you moms are also the ones that know what it’s like to feel those tiny arms around your neck for the first time in to long while they run to you screaming “MOOOOMMMMY!!!”. You know what it’s like to see a messy house and hear whatever loud noise is coming from their room and think “finally….” I know that there are mommies out there that understand what it means to take in every moment because believe me I’ve missed a lot of them. Like when did my child learn that Proboscis monkeys have 4 stomachs? You know how sometimes they leave and they’re 3 and they come back and they are somehow 16? Or at least it seems to be that way. And you’ve somehow found or are on the road to finding peace in the storm that is sharing your child.

So mommies that know what this is like, you’re strong. It’s a long road. I didn’t fail as a mother and neither did you. I worked hard. Sometimes love stories end, and it’s not always in happily ever afters. I look at my life now and I know that raising him alone and now with my best friend and husband is better for him and me then it would have been if I would have stayed just to keep our family tied together. And while sometimes it seems easier there are still nights that I wonder how I’m supposed to handle seeing my baby 9 out of 18 years. But peace is possible when you stop looking for dark clouds and search for blue skies. Whether you find blue skies in your free time to workout, or extra time to love on your other babies. Whether you see the rainbow in your extra date nights or a pedicure followed by a nap. I guess I’ve found that as time goes on, there is a part of my heart that rides away each week, but I’m a full time mom not a part time one. When he’s home, and when he’s away. When he’s here and when he’s there. He will always be mine, and I will always be his. No time, or home, no distance or circumstance can change the fact that his heart started beating inside of me, and it still does.

image

Advertisements

Yes, it’s an addiction.

Addiction is a strong word. I’ve never been addicted to anything. I’ve never done drugs. I don’t drink so it’s never been able to get excessive. I don’t view pornography and I’m not even addicted to food anymore. Though I love a good pizza and brownie as much as the next guy, I’ve found a way to cap my cravings. No, I’m not addicted to anything, unless you ask my 3 year old, and he might be right.

After having my baby in November and becoming a stay at home mom, I lost quite a bit of contact with the outside world. You hear so many horror stories about taking your baby out and then having them get sick that with a preemie, it was in my best interest to stay behind the closed doors of our home. Sometimes it was hard feeling like I never got to see other adults, or talk about something besides Wild Kratts and Mac and Cheese. I forgot a little bit what it was like to interact in the big people world. Thank goodness for technology, it kept me connected to what I called “the real world.” My phone was my lifeline to other adults. To intellectual converations. To the friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Whether it be through facebook, Instagram, text, email, the Internet, or just a phone call, my phone was always with me. I finally didn’t feel alone in a big house all day until my husband came home.

Now, remember my 3 year old, from my last blog entry? The one that is always wanting to play, but I’m so busy that I never have the time? Well, I promised the other morning that once we ate breakfast, got dressed and brushed our teeth, and I got the house cleaned up that we could play. Being a mom of my word, I finished cleaning, put the baby down for a nap and I went into his room. “Let’s play buddy!” He was so excited! We were finally getting some time that was completely dedicated to him! He doesn’t have as much of that since we had Ryker. Even though we do our very best to give him his own time, sometimes it doesn’t work out the way we want it to. We pulled out his cars mat, his cars, and his….dinosaurs because naturally you need those things, all together. I sat down on the floor, he handed me my dinosaur and then I pulled out my phone. “MOM! You promised you would play with me! That means no phones!” A little shocked and put back, I said “I’m just sending a message Jax” and he, being 3 going on 18 said “mom, you can do that later. Right now we are playing.” Okay. Well fine child. No problem.

The sad reality is that it was a problem. I found myself continuously reaching for my phone and having to remind myself that it wasn’t time for that. But I hadn’t looked at my facebook in hours. What if someone posted something awesome? And it was Thursday, I was missing everyone’s throw back Thursday pictures. Okay, this is easy, just forget about the phone. “Oh, Bedford text me! Of course I need to text him back.” “Or do I? Would Jax understand?” You see, while I was having this inner debate about what I refused to admit might be an addiction, Jax had built an entire village. I looked at him smiling, and talking about how the monsters were going to the movies and his avengers were going to the park. I was missing it. When did he grow up? I took my phone into my room, plugged it in, walked away and plugged myself into my child’s world. I plugged into imagination, fantasy and magic. I plugged into a relationship with my 3 year old that I haven’t experienced before. And I loved it.

When he decided that he wanted to watch a movie, we cuddled and I found myself wondering, where have I been? What have I missed? The thought was a little depressing, I needed to change things so that I didn’t miss even more. First of all, I was addicted. Okay! I said it! I was addicted to reading what my friends were doing that day on their facebook posts and seeing where they checked in for lunch. I was addicted to looking at recipes on pintrest so that I could make the worlds most fantastic menu. I was addicted to scrolling through fitness pages on my Instagram in search of new workouts. I made a goal, right then, to start living more presently and in the moment.

The rest of that day was beyond productive. Imagine that. Dinner was made, the kitchen was cleaned, both boys were showered and in bed by 8 leaving my husband and I extra quality time which never happens! I’m embarrassed to say that I struggled that day. I found myself picking up my phone when I could have been reading to my babies. Or looking at my email mid Walking Dead episode instead of cuddling with my husband who I had barely seen all week. But, the point is that I recognized it and am working to correct my addiction to what I used to call the “real world.” This is the real world. My family is the real world. Not the random girl posting videos about how to get better quads from home. Or the kid from highschool that I haven’t talked to in 7 years that hates his early morning classes.

Technology is Incredible. And while the internet can be a frightening place, it can so be a beautiful place to explore. My Facebook albums hold all of my most precious memories from the past 4 or 5 years because technology lets me post pictures of those moments from anywhere! My blog allows me to express my feelings and share them with others through the awesomeness that is the internet. My pintrest holds so many yummy food ideas for dinners that my family can enjoy at the dinner table, together. Or craft options for the days that I’m at home with my kids! I love seeing where my loved ones are in their lives and getting to follow love stories, graduations, the building of new families with the birth of new babies and so much more! But, sitting across from my very busy husband at a restaurant on our date night, is not the time to explore. Playing hide and seek with my 3 year old is not the time to explore. Cuddling my 3 month old while he laughs at me wiping cereal off of his lip, is not the time to explore. Because those moments, those are the ones that I’m sick of missing. I’m still addicted, and I’m not trying to not be. I’m just trying to change my addiction to the things that capture my heart. I want to be addicted to the moments that I want to take mental pictures of. The times that I laugh until I can’t anymore. I want my addiction to be to things that make me a better person. I want to be addicted to my life. And I have my 3 year old to thank for the reminder that life is to short.

Be present people. Don’t be addicted to the things that don’t matter. Choose to be addicted to the things that do.

halloween.jpg      >