Some days are better than others. Some weeks are better than others. I have had better months than the past couple of months. For some reason, things have not been going as smoothly as I would like. Granted, Paul and Brigham are potty training. Actually, for the most part, that is going much more smoothly than I would have anticipated. However, it means that we have been at home for much of the past two months. We have virtually stopped going anywhere non-essential, and I find that I am lonely. Four kids is a big adjustment. Hyrum is now too big for his infant car seat, which means no longer having the convenience of being able to let him stay asleep after he has finally gone to sleep in the car. I can't just pick him up and lug him. AND, the kids seem particularly difficult lately. I am more than a little tired of having to explain how EVERYTHING is fair to Joy. I feel outnumbered and overwhelmed. Some days. Don't get me wrong - the kids are great and I love them immensely. I am doing exactly what I want by staying home with them, but some days I wouldn't mind a little more adult conversation. I know that there are ways to combat the feelings of loneliness and desperation, but those require more effort than I think I have. I have wise friends who have gone through the same thing, and they all advise the same thing - get out and do stuff. Take your kids and be with other people. Make time to go on outings. And, I live in a wonderful ward with lots of fabulous women who have kids the same age. It isn't like I live somewhere where there just isn't anyone available. But the effort required to load four kids and all of their paraphernalia in the van to go somewhere is a nightmare itself. Having people over would also be a good option, but it too requires effort. Where is the magic maid of happy goodness who comes in and takes care of all the little jobs that need to be done so I have the time to have friends over? I think she is taking an extended vacation.
It occurs to me that there are probably lots of other moms (okay, not just moms, but people in general) in the exact same situation. Which is why I am blogging. I admit to a private pity party every now and again, but public pity party is not my style. And, I think we have the tendency to look at other people and think, "Well, Sister So-and-So never seems to have these problems. I must be the only one." However, I think that one of Satan's most effective tool for this crowd is isolation and introversion. He wants us to feel alone an unhappy. And, As the mother, my mood and attitude sets the tone for my home. I used to think this was entirely unfair. Why is it that so much rests on me? Doesn't everyone have the responsibility to choose for themselves? However, I have come to see this responsibility as a gift. I have the power to have a dramatic influence in my home. Because I can choose, I can choose to be happy, to not let frustration get the best of me. I can choose to sing instead of scream. I can choose to focus on the cute quirks instead of the pet-peeves. I am the adult here, and I can make a difference. What a great gift.
So, I guess that means that I need to plan more, prepare more, and put forth the effort to be social. It really is to my benefit. It may take a little more short-term effort, but in the long-term, I think it will be well worth it. I was reading a friend's blog earlier today and could completely sympathize. She was talking about how making new friends sometimes felt like dating all over again. The same doubts and insecurities plague me that did when I was dating. Did I say something dumb? I wish I could learn to listen more and talk less. I wish I were better at conversation. Am I really as dorky as I feel? I wish I could be like the popular kids. How come no one seems to like me? Obviously, our adolescent fears don't ever really vanish. Or, maybe they do for some people. Someday I will be self-assured and confident. In the meantime, I will learn. And, that really is the point, isn't it?