Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Home Life...eVites and Invites

It's 1:40am and I'm having trouble sleeping. When DearHubby came home from work today, one of the first things he said was, "I miss the slow pace of vacation in Illinois." He was right! Vacation is so nice because you can just get away from the hustle and bustle of things; you don't have to worry about anything except resting. I'm having trouble sleeping because I'm feeling anxious about getting back into the swing of things. I want vacation to last.

When I checked, we had 3 eVites in our Inbox and 1 invitation in our (snail) mailbox. We missed 1 of the events because we were on vacation. We are going to miss another event because it is for tomorrow and it is for couples only; a dinner and game night. It's too late for us to find a last minute babysitter. The 3rd eVite is for a ladies night out with no hubbies or kiddos at the beach for this Sunday. I don't know what to do, whether to accept or decline, because I am nursing. The last invitation is for a graduation party.

Then, there are 2 weddings we are invited to this summer. The first wedding we will need to decline because we are having DearDaughter2's 2nd birthday party on the same day. The second wedding is of DearHubby's good buddy from high school. It is on the weekend that we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

Lastly, a very DearFriend from college just had her first baby on July 1st. He is being baptized this Sunday. They live 1,300 miles from us.

Of all the events, there are 3 that my heart is truly set on. The first is celebrating our 10th year anniversary the way we want to on our anniversary weekend. The second is celebrating DearDaughter2's 2nd birthday party. The third is driving 1,300 miles to see my very DearFriend's newborn be baptized.

So, it bothers me that there are conflicting events on each of those dates and we will need to decline some invitations. Most likely, we will plan a trip to South Carolina to attend DearHubby's buddy's wedding, so we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary at a wedding. We will definitely be celebrating DearDaughter2's birthday, but will be declining 2 other events for that day. Lastly, driving 1,300 miles or 21+ hours, right after a long trip seems unlikely, which leaves me open for the ladies night out, an event I'm not too excited about. DearHubby is encouraging me to go because I hardly go out on any sort of ladies' night out.

I'm not too excited about this ladies' night out because I hardly know any of the women and I would need to take DearDaughter3 with me since I am nursing. They are leaving straight after church and won't be back until after dinner. Even if I have milk in the freezer, that is a long span of time not to nurse; it would be about 20 hours. My sister went to a wedding once and didn't nurse for that span of time. Regardless of how often she put her baby to the breast afterwards, her milk production went down and she had to completely switch to formula. If I take DearDaughter3 with me I would be focusing much of my time tending to her needs and will have very little opportunity to get to know the ladies or have much fun. If I don't take DearDaughter3 with me I would risk my milk production and I don't want to do that.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned. Some times I am jealous that there are mommies and other parents who have many opportunities to take a break from their children to do things they like to do, but many times I feel like there's too many events requiring mommies or parents to be away from their children and there's great zeal from mommies or parents to be away from their children. It's a struggle enough to find contentment when each day is a challenge with 3 little ones. These events that say "no kids allowed" reinforces the idea that children are a burden instead of encouraging me to persevere in the work that God has called us to with our children and to find that call a joy and a privilege. My idea of a nice ladies' night out is spending time with a close friend, sharing our struggles as a mommy, commiserating, encouraging one another in Scripture to persevere, and all this over a nice cup of coffee or hot tea at a cafe.

A ladies' night at the beach with ladies I don't know doesn't sound too appealing to me, especially if I also bring DearDaughter3, but I don't know that I should decline the invite. Well, I'm afraid to decline because we've declined so many invites already and I don't want our inviters to think that we don't like them.

Anyway, I thought jotting down these thoughts that were bothering me would help me feel sleepy, but I don't. Hmmm...


Trish D said...

First off, just wanted to say that I'm continuing to pray for your family and SPECIFICALLy you...

It's so tough trying to juggle everything, isn't it? There are so many "good" things that we wish we could be involved in, but there simply aren't enough hours in the day.

A few thoughts:
- You need to be focused on what's appropriate and edifying for your family as opposed to what other people might think. God has brought you and your husband together and entrusted you with three precious little girls, and they are your ministry at this stage of life. That being said, they should not be your entire world. While you are a wife and mother, you are also a woman who needs friendship and time away from those responsibilities (occasionally! ;)
- Since you do have three young children right now, people should understand when you decline invitations. If not, they either have not yet reached this stage of life themselves, or are simply selfish. If it's really a big deal, then they probably aren't the type of friend you should be cultivating (sorry if that sounds harsh, but I hope you understand where I'm coming from)
- There is nothing magical about celebrating events on the actual day. With hubby's heavy travel schedule the past couple years, we've missed numerous red letter days: Mother's Day, son's birthday, anniversary, etc. Know what? It doesn't matter! We still celebrated, just not on the given calendar day. And with some events, it actually worked out better because we weren't dealing with the mob of people also trying to celebrate. Also, at-home celebrations are great (particularly with young kids). I can vividly recall one evening when David and I tried to go out to dinner, and our son was around a year old. He was tired, hungry, and made our night out memorable for all the wrong reasons. Soon his little sister came on the scene so going out became even more difficult. Often we would eat just a bit while we fed the kids dinner, but then do something special after the kids went to bed (grill steak, share dessert, etc.) So much easier not to have to worry about the way the kids are behaving. But hey, there is still something to be said for going OUT at times!
- Personally, I prefer to visit people when there is not an event taking place. Oftentimes there are many people visiting at the same time and it's pretty much impossible to have any "sit down" time with friends or family. I understand that it's disappointing when we cannot participate in someone's special day, but perhaps you can make your own special memory later (i.e. the first trip to the zoo, etc.)
- Lastly, I sooooo hear you on child-free invites. Some of us don't have grandparents around corner, ready to babysit at any moment. I've come to realize that some women need time away from their children in order to fully connect, and I try to allow for that occasionally, but also work to develop additional relationships even if it is while one of us has a child attached and we're talking over a Veggietales program.

Well, I think I've rambled on enough, and it sounds as though my little darlings have just emptied a large toy bin. Back to my ministry!! Hang in there - God will provide you with the strength and wisdom you need during this time. I love Isaiah 40:31 - sometimes it's not about soaring like an eagle, but relying on Him to simply put one foot in front of the other (walking without fainting).

Sasha said...

I know this post is from a while ago, but I feel that I can share some insight with you. When I was working I never got a way by myself or with a friend (except to go grocery shopping and even that was not fun!) So when I quit to stay home I realized that I do need time away to recharge a little. That is when Brianne and I decided to meet one night a month for coffee and just to chat. That has been the best thing for me and for our friendship. Even though we are at different stages in parenting (hers are 7 and 8) she can help me through the challenges of toddlers and just to encourage me. So I think that would be something for you to consider if you don't already, just to find a close friend and get together for a few hours one night a month. And frankly lately I have let Joe do the dinner clean up and baths (its just a little extra break for me!)
Also I never used to think about "no children" activities because we always had grandparents to babysit. UNTIL mom and dad started going to Florida and are now gone for 6 months out of the year (and soon even longer!). SO it never bothered me, but recently it hit me. We were having a "no kids allowed" social for our SS class and we were without a babysitter. It was when mom was sick and Joes mom and dad were going to be out of town. We had come to the conclusion that we just wouldn't go because of no babysitter. Well that was the friday that we went to see Granny. But it really hit me that I need to be more sensitive to the "no kids allowed" activities because alot of our friends don't have parents here to watch the children and paying a babysitter is just too much money.
DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO FOR YOUR ANNIVERSARY!!!!!! Joe and I had a night away planned and mom and dad were going to keep he boys overnight for us. BUT that was when she was sick. So we already had our hotel reservations and Joes mom and dad were going out of town to his nieces high school graduation. I didn't really want to cancel. So I put away my pride and asked Brianne if she would keep Noah for us overnight. And Joes mom and dad took Elijah with them.
I hope some of this can be an encouragement to you! I know its hard to get away, but I think I am a better mom when I come home after having a nice (interruption free!) conversation.

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