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Sunday, November 13, 2011


I woke this morning and immediately started beating myself up.  I am really good at that.

I have a friend who was just diagnosed with cancer and friends who just lost their son and grandson, and I sat in my room all day yesterday and wrote papers.  Ugh!  Where are my priorities?

School is in its final stretches.  I have finished the reading and studying for personal finance.  Now, it’s the HUGELY ENORMOUS term paper that waits to be finished and the final exam.  From there, it’s the careers class with its essays and resumes.  Guess what…after that, I get to write a big wrap up paper about my experience with independent study.  I will then be done.  My deadline?...March 31st.   I plan to be done with the classes and be ready to start in on the capstone paper on December 14th.  It’s going to be quite the push to get there, but I’m praying a lot.

I continue on knowing that the end of this tunnel is so close.  Up until now, I’ve been able to take my time and pace myself.  Well, this is the final stretch, and I learned from watching my kids as they participated in cross country this fall, I have to sprint.  It’s either sprint or give up, and there’s no way I’m going to give up now.

As I lay there this morning, I got to thinking about the other writing project that lies ahead.

Right about the time I left for Japan, I received an email.  It stated that the age requirement for Mother of the Year candidacy had been lifted and that I should proceed with my portfolio.  The portfolio is a big deal—letters of recommendation, photos, written essays describing how I feel about being a mother.  That kind of stuff.

Needless to say, as I pondered this, I got to thinking, “Ha!  Yah right.  Mother of the Year doesn’t stay holed up in her bedroom for an entire day writing.  Mother of the Year doesn’t cause her husband to do all the work while she sits around typing away.”

Maybe I should just bag the whole idea…but my letters of recommendation are done, and now it just sits on me to do the rest.  Maybe I should just inform the people that wrote those nice letters that I’ve decided to bow out.  Maybe I should face the reality that I’m just not the right person for the job.  Maybe I’m just not qualified. 

But then I got to thinking about my qualifications…

As I thought further, I realized that a Mother of the Year has the kind of husband who tells her to stay in her room and type up the papers needed to graduate from college so that if anything ever happened to that husband, the mother could provide for their children in his absence.  She would have the kind of husband who uncomplainingly stepped up and cared for everyone’s needs and supported her in her goals and desires.  He would push her as needed to be all she could be and was meant to be.  He would help her reach her full potential.

Mother of the Year would have children who were supportive and capable.  Those children could and would get themselves breakfast in the morning when needed.  They, too, would step up to help their mom and dad.  They would help see to each others’ needs and would want their mom around more than need her because she would have taught them the skills they need to be independent.

When we got word that Morgan had passed away yesterday, the tears didn’t start all at once.  #3 was sitting next to me, talking to me while I typed.  That’s kind of how the day was, it was almost like the kids took turns sitting next to me, keeping me company.  I jumped over to facebook for a moment, since the night before, I had had the feeling that his passing was imminent.  #3 heard me say, “Oh no,” and asked what had happened.  I shared the news with her, and the tears ran down my cheeks.

She sat with me for a few moments and then went out shutting the door.  I heard her holler downstairs, “Mom’s in her room crying.  Morgan passed away.”

Immediately little boys’ footsteps were heard running up the stairs.  As the door came partly open, I could hear one of them say, as he jockeyed for position and pushed his way through, “But I want to hug mom too.”  They came in and grabbed me around the neck.  #5 hugged me on my left side and then #4 took over on my right shoulder.  #6 was, at this point, just trying to figure out what angle he should come at me from.  They held me for a long time, and we cried together.

Can you blame me for feeling guilty over sitting and writing papers?

The only thing that keeps me going at this point is that I know the end is coming.  If I were to quit now, what kind of example would that be for my kids?   I need to continue to teach them that we see our goals to the finish, and we make sacrifices to do so.  But, oh man, that’s HARD to do.

I keep thinking that when it’s over I’m going to have all this free time on my hands, but you know as well as I do that Heavenly Father didn’t send me here for free time. 

Someday, maybe I’ll look back on this time with fondness and feel some amount of pride at what my family’s become capable of.  For now, it’s just a matter of enduring and plugging away.

I am grateful that today’s Sunday.  I don’t study on Sundays.  We keep it as a family day, so I will get the chance sit down with each of the kids and see where they stand on their goals and see what they need from me to see them through.  I am grateful for the time together with each of my children one-on-one.  That’s definitely something I’ve learned to appreciate through this whole school experience.  My greatest qualifications surround me and share this madhouse with me.


buzygrizz said...

One of my favorite parenting books is "The Parenting Breakthrough" by Merrilee Boyack - about teaching kids to be capable and confidant. I absolutely love one of the first illustrations - a mom huffing and puffing on a bicycle with her husband and kids lazily on her back. It wasn't until I saw this picture that I realized how ridiculous it was - why do we as moms assume that we have to be perfect superheroes and do and be everything.

I like Merrilee's description of the better scenario: "Picture having a nice tandem bike for you and your spouse. You are [together] leading the way. And each child behind you is on his or her own bike, from the sleek 20-speed to the mountain bike to the cute pink bike with shiny streamers to the little tricycle peddling like mad in the back.

Our role as parents is to provide a solid grounding for the family in the stability and security of our marriage. Then we provide leadership and vision for the family."

You're doing a fabulous job! And yes, it's really helpful to have a wonderful husband (I'm blessed to have a pretty incredible one, myself). Don't let that make you feel any less. After all, you guys are a TEAM.
- Lisa C

Julie said...

Thanks so much, Lisa! I love that image. I appreciate the comment. Love you!

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