My Turn

I’m not writing this post to invoke sympathy from friends or family, or to pour out my woes and feel sorry for myself, but as an observation to how life plays out.  Those sayings about what you put out  there comes back to you and karma and such, I think there is some truth in them. I have tried to live my life with those thoughts in mind. Treat others the way you wish to be treated, trying not to burn bridges, don’t judge someone unless you’ve “walked a mile” in their shoes, remember there are always two sides to every story etc, etc and so on. And I think I have done an okay job, I am not perfect, but I always try to make an effort.

Well tonight, yet again, I am sitting at home alone, listening to my girls (who are suppose to be sleeping) arguing about what book to read next and to my very tired baby “complain” about being put in his bed so I can get a few minutes for me.  Now neither of these things are terrible, reading in bed is okay really, and it’s not like Conner is screaming his head off, but after another day by myself  looking after the kids, these noises sound like nails on a chalkboard.  Today again I am a Harvest widow. My husband has been out in the field all day and just informed me that he’ll eat his supper when he’s done, so I don’t need to bring him anything. Yesterday after supper I took all the kids for a quick drive to see him, just to get out of the house and have a break. I know my fellow moms would understand when I say at the end of the day it can be hard not to snap when one of your kids calls…. Mommy! By 8pm that word sends shivers down my spine sometimes, and I have to remind myself, “it’s just because I’m tired and it’s been a long day. I really do love that word” : ) My friend told me once there was a FB post about how bedtime should be at the beginning of day when mommy’s patience hasn’t been used up yet. How true is that hey? I am capable of handling it though. I’ve proven that to myself in the last four months, but it’s certainly nice to have some help. I’ve got tonnes of support that I can call on anytime I need too, so it’s really not as bad as it may seem here. PS the house if quiet now. All three kids sleeping like angels.

So I bet your wondering where this is going. Well it seems like ever since we had our baby boy in the spring,  I have been running this show alone. I know that’s not how it is, but with Dean in the field from morning till after dark and a new baby and two other kids, it gets overwhelming sometimes. It’s better now that Conner is older, he’s still demanding, but before I know it he’ll be running around too. In my husband’s defense, it’s just the timing of everything. Spring, and Fall are a farmers bread and butter. For as long as I’ve known him this is  how its always been, the daily schedule at harvest, but I haven’t been home full time till now to notice how much I miss him when he’s gone all day and then all evening. It’s hard doing the parenting thing all by myself, and then I realize…….. huh this must be how HE felt.

You see when we were first married, I had a business and I had started dancing very regularly. Then we had a baby and I continued to run the flower shop, pursue my dance passion, be a mom and wife. Since dean farmed and he was busy at parts of the year, we naturally fell into the stay-at-home dad routine. And it worked, it really did, he loved his little girl, we managed alright, but I was gone a lot. Eventually I would sell the store and work a bit less, but by then I was part of a professional dance troupe and had started teaching classes. Then Caitlin came along and I worked part time after she was born. I was fortunate to bring her to work with me, and  I still danced in the evening, often leaving Dean with one or more kids. I don’t ever remember him complaining once all those years, he never protested, he always just helped make it work. What an amazing man! Well I realized last summer, that it just wasn’t working for us anymore. Caitlin cried when I went to work and I was so tired that driving to dance and teaching was exhausting. It was time to start subtracting. It was MY TURN to be the stay-at-home parent.  I knew I made the right choice when we had an incredible summer and then God confirmed that I was right where I should be when we found out we were expecting again.  So after all those years of me being the one who worked all day and then having evening commitments, it flipped around, and now it’s my turn to take over the role my husband did so well for many years.

And even if I feel like complaining, I will try not to, he never did and I will just remind myself, that now it’s my turn. Karma’s a bitch right? , but in this case I’m actually thankful cause she kicked me right to where I should be, and probably where I should’ve been a long time ago.  When the kids are older, there will be time again for me to dance and work (if i want), but right now they need me here, Dean needs me here, I need me here. I’ll be thankful also that I am part of a family fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. For I know there are others who do not have that luxury.

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You Should be Dancing….. Yeah!

For those of you who remember, that phrase brings to mind a man in a white pant suit. Yes great song, and yes “I” Should be Dancing….. literally!

Tuesday nights for  many many years have been my dance night. I would truck off to Airdrie to rehearse with the professional Bellydance group I am part of.  Yes I am a bellydancer too, another role to add to my list,  and I have the closet of costumes to prove it! On Tuesday evenings, the amazing Suzy Q, and wonderful friend,  of Shimmy Dance Productions would lead us in shimmies and undulations and glorious choreographies. Not only is it a great workout for body and mind, it is also my sanity time, a retreat with the gals.  I developed many wonderful friendships with the other dancers, and although the drive was long, I always had a fabulous time there.

Now recently, another great friend of mine started fitness classes at the school by our house. This is great, as they are close to home  and twice a week.  A little less driving for me and still a great workout. Over the summer she did her Zumba certification and so now it’s ZUMBA twice a week.  ARE YOU kidding me!!!! THAT”S SOOOOO AWESOME!!!!  I love Zumba.  I used to go to a studio in Red Deer when I had time, and Natalie’s  Zumba classes rocked the house. Rachel’s classes are just as fun and I am so excited that its right around the corner. Oddly enough Rachel’s classes are on Tues and Thurs. So now I have two wonderful classes I could attend on Tuesday nights. Great! But lately there have been many factors in my life working against me going to dance.

1. My growing family of three kids – with each one comes more demands on my time, and harder and harder to leave all of them with my husband Dean, or babysitter. I have in the past packed the kids up and taken them with me to Airdrie, but with two kids in school and a baby who likes to nurse 24/7, that’s not so realistic right now.

2. Money- well it’s just a little tighter around here as I stay home instead of working. Justifying the gas money, or cost of class can be hard, but it is my physical health after all. Also paying for a sitter has to be considered too, so…….

3. Child Care – Besides the cost of paying for a sitter, evening dance classes mean night time routine up to the sitter, and believe me some-days putting my kids to bed is a hour long drama filled adventure, with cups of water, pj’s that don’t “feel right” and triple hugs and kisses ( I don’t mind that one actually). Needless to say I don’t really want to pay a sitter to fight with my kids for bed. If the Dean is home, then it’s not so bad, which brings me to….

4. My husband farms – And right now its harvest. So as I write this, he is still running the Combine, and will be till after dark. I am a ” Harvest widow” as my mom would say. Now I’ve had this battle in my head and debated it with many friends, but I  need to always remind myself, that Harvest is where the income comes from. It’s our bread and butter.   The short weeks of the year that I am left to fend for my self, come the rewards of having a roof over our heads and food to eat.

So right now I will not complain and know that one day my kids will be old enough to leave at home while I go shake what MY mama gave me. In the mean time I will think of all you ladies in Airdrie and the ones at the school and maybe I’ll put on my own Zumba class in my living room. If fact a friend just got Wii dance, maybe I can borrow it for a few weeks until the crop is off.