The reality of things we want are almost never what we were envisioning. No matter how much advise you listen to, you still have to go through the adjustment periods. And even though you might have what you wanted, you can still have moments of doubt. It doesn't mean you made the wrong choice. Just that when we're struggling we question our judgment. I have personally learned that in these first 3 years of being married and having a baby.
Loyd and I knew one another and dated for a few years before we married. We weathered a whole lot of storms together, and were well aquainted with each others faults. So we thought we had this marriage thing in the bag. No hard first year for us. We didn't have a hard first year, luckily. But we still had to adjust to each other. to living together, to figuring out responsibilities. I don't think he knew just how lazy i actually can be. So it took some time and we had a few pretty enormous fights...ok major blow outs! but only a few, luckily. And I did think "our marriage isn't going to make it." A good friend told me to squash those kinds of thoughts real quick like. And I'm so thankful for her support. Yeah, those adjustments can be tricky.
Loyd and I decided early on, before we were married, that we would follow who ever's career would bring more earning potential. Loyd also took a semester off school so i could finish my degree. (no. i still haven't finished. major chagrin) And then it was time for us to move to California for his school. I loved it. I worked as a tutor for a little bit. Even though we were doing what we had planned, one day I felt like I didn't have a life anymore. I felt like I was being dragged along where ever Loyd's decisions took us. Like I didn't have a say or a choice. We discussed my feelings and it got better. But the point, is that even though we were doing what we had planned, what I had wanted to do, I was caught off guard by what it would mean to pass by my own road not taken. It was hard to realize there were lots of opportunities and things I had wanted that were passing me by.
Marla was another major adjustment. After our first 6 or 8 months, Loyd and I found our groove and fights were few and far between. And when we had them we were pretty good at squashing them. (With a few exceptions lol.) Thankfully, pregnancy wasn't too hard on Loyd. I really wasn't up and down and crazy time with my hormones. But after Marla was born became difficult. First, I had to adjust to being a mommy. I didn't know how frazzeled I would be trying to take Marla to visit my friend who lived in the neighboring apartment complex. I didn't realize how tired I would be after very simple tasks. It took me 3 months before I could leave the house with Marla and not be a mental case. Those crazy adjustments.
Marla was also an adjustment for our marriage. I don't know when i realized it....maybe when we had finally adjusted, but it struck me that Loyd and I had been fighting a lot more. About silly things (of course). But they had become the big, nasty fights again. It took 4 or so months before we figured it out. This time, I never thought our marriage wouldn't work. but I did think I might kill, or seriously injure Loyd (j/k). It all takes time to adjust I suppose.
The final adjustment thus far is being a stay at home mom. I have never liked having a job. I hate working. I never thought I would be a stay at home mom though. I thought I would eventually find a career that wasn't work, but something I loved. I was working with Loyd at the publishers and I wasn't liking it. Loyd and I weren't as respectful to each other as most co-workers are forced to be. I wanted to be spending more time with Marla, not feeding her then ignoring her. Even though she was there in the office with us, I didn't feel like she was getting what she needed or that I was getting what I needed. It worked out that I didn't have to work anymore. And it was a big relief.
I still had to adjust. Wednesday I was pre-preparing dinner and was struggling to contain a mini-melt down. It was almost 3pm and Marla hadn't taken a nap. I hadn't been able to do any house work, or study for a test scheduled the next day. Those 2 to 3 hours of Marla not napping had created much more work for me! I was trying to play with her, but I was frustrated and feeling very panicky about this list of things I wanted and needed to do but wasn't doing!
When Loyd got home I was just barely holding it together. It was about 6pm that I put Marla down, and I finally got to take a shower. Marla still wasn't sleeping but at least she wasn't crying. I went to bed early that night.
The next day, Marla AGAIN didn't want to sleep! i couldn't get any studying done again! Loyd comes home early on Tuesday and Thursday because I have class. So, i went to class completely un-prepared for my test. Lucky stars! Test was rescheduled! After 2 hours of studying in a quiet place and having class and discussion with adults I went home a completely new woman! I wanted to play with Marla again! that to do list wasn't killing me anymore.
And then I realized that all week I really hadn't left the house. Normally I go to the gym in the morning, and if that must be skipped Marla and i can take a walk. but this week Marla and I have both been fighting colds(and poor Loyd as well). No gym. And the weather has been a bit rainy and cold. No walks. On Tuesday, I was only in class for 30 minutes then went home all sickly. So no outlet there either.
I am doing what I want. I am a stay at home mom, but I didn't want to be right then. I was thinking about updating my resume, and about finding day care for Marla. If I had to cook another meal or change one more diaper or pick up the same thing one more time I was going to lose it! When I got home from my class, I was finally able to put into perspective my feelings and realize where my angst was coming from. It is SO important to take time for myself! Even 1 hour when I'm not worrying about anything except making 3 miles under 30 minutes, or doing one more set of squats, or jumping a little higher on the next burpee. That makes all the difference in the world! When I can take care of me, I'm not frazzled or crazy... well, as crazy. :) Marla doesn't add work, she just explores and is learning. Any mess she makes isn't a big deal. When my mind is right I notice what Loyd does to help around the house :). So, I must remember myself, even when there doesn't seem to be time for me. If I'm not right, then everything is bad (even if it isn't).
I still think it would be nice to work outside the house- maybe part time - on the frustrating days when Marla poops all over the living room and won't take a nap and pulls out all the books for the 5th time. But then like a cleansing rain to my soul, Marla and I go for a run or I do some pilates and I remember that I'm doing exactly what I wanted.