Thursday, July 29, 2010

Second Guessing

“Is this the right time to try to have a baby or not?” I should be grateful that this was not a question we asked in regard to having our first child. Other than that moment (thanks to God making that decision for us), Motherhood seems to be a lot of second guessing for me.

What birthing classes were right for us? Should I get an epidural or resist the pain medications? Should I nurse or bottle-feed? Although "back is best" for sleep, would she sleep better on her belly? Is she crying because she is hungry? Is she in pain? Is she just tired? Am I doing the right thing by letting her crying or holding her? Should I keep the baby on a schedule? When is the right time to start solids? Immunizations are best, right?

When is the right time to take my child to the doctor? I don’t want to be one of those moms who run to the doctor every time her child gets a little sneeze but I also don’t want to be neglectful. What is the right decision for my child’s education? Do I put my daughter in preschool? What about Kindergarten? Half day or full day? Should I home school? Public or Private school?

Question after question after question leaves me second guessing myself as a mom. It never ends. While I have a gut feeling, I just want to do right by my daughters. I want to do what is best for each of them. It may not always be the same choice either. I didn’t put my oldest in 3-year-old preschool while we did with our second daughter. I invited a lot of friends to Nikelle’s 4th birthday party but Jaycie had just a few close friends?

Yesterday, Jaycie had a fever and complained about a sore throat. I was fairly certain that she would feel better today but I began second guessing myself again. She cried every time I attempted to get her to drink something. Rod encouraged me to take her to the doctor and I called a friend who encouraged me to do the same as well. I scheduled the appointment wondering if it was the right decision.

After receiving the peace of mind that she did not have strep throat, I now had decisions to face concerning the rest of my week. Do I continue with my plans to visit extended family at a cottage near Shipshewana, Indiana? I gave myself the deadline that Jaycie needed to be feeling better by the evening last night. She was still complaining about her throat, so I called my cousin to cancel. I called my sister-in-law to cancel swim lessons for today as well.

Jaycie slept well last night and when I felt her forehead this morning, she seemed fine. I wonder if I made the right decision by canceling swim lessons today. She really will have been fever free for 24 hours by then and probably won’t complain of anything today if last night’s bedtime was an indication of anything.

I must remain secure in the decision I made. Rest is good for all of us. I need to seek God in these moments more often. I need to ask him what I should do and turn to the resources he has given me to make these decisions. Rod will usually give me his opinion if I take the time to ask. I need to allow him to make more decisions for me. I also need to seek advice from friends and doctors and quit trying to attempt to figure out life on my own.

Proverbs 20:18a – “Make plans by seeking advice”
Proverbs 12:15 – “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.”
Proverbs 15:22 – “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Prone to worry

My daughter's temperature read somewhere around 102* the beginning of last week. Immediately my mind fast forwarded to all we had planned for the week and how those plans would be altered as I was certain whatever was going on with my baby would pass through all my children and possibly even to my husband and myself. I was irritated and sad that my oldest daughter's day camp experience might be altered or that my first 5K run with a friend in years would be missed. Not to mention the camping trip we had planned for the weekend.

As quickly as I found myself discouraged with the future, I remembered Matthew 6:34"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." I honestly had no choice but to obey this verse. Without it, my attitude was going to stink and my relationships would suffer for it. Every time a worry would come to my mind, I recited this verse in my mind and pushed the thoughts of tomorrow away, focusing instead on the moment at hand.

I picked up the phone and called my girlfriend to cancel our plans for the next day. I contacted my cousin and canceled our plans for the evening and went back into mothering mode. With each day that brought a fever, I had to cancel play dates and get togethers. Tuesday morning (being the third day with a fever), I contacted the Pediatrician's office for an appointment. Almost immediately, the baby began to perk up and become herself. Her fever went away and I canceled the appointment wondering all the while if I was making the right choice.

By Wednesday, her fever had been gone for about 24 hours and I took the girls to my sister-in-law's to swim. All that ever came of the illness was that fever. No other problems (other than crabbiness galore) accompanied whatever was going on inside my daughter. It was a relief to finally be able to expect some sleep at night. And no one else came down with anything.

On Thursday, everyone was healthy and my oldest was to go to our local water park with her day camp. The sky was overcast and rain was forecasted for the day. I was disappointed for her. This should have been the highlight of the week for her and her cousin. I was also discouraged because my 5K was that evening and a storm would not make for ideal conditions.

The day ended up beautiful. My daughter enjoyed her time in the water and I finished my 5K in a time I was content with. It was a good day overall. Now we were headed into the weekend with 90's in the forecast for our camping trip. It's no wonder where my thoughts went next.

Why is it so easy to go into the worry mode? Every day brings with it worries and I naturally fast forward to worry about days that have yet to be. I learned something this past week about worry: It is highly overrated. "I just worry about you." is a phrase that people think is kind and thoughtful. Yet God tells us not to. Easy as that. Don't do it. Focus on the moment. Seize the day. Carpe Diem. This is your time. Read it again: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Our camping trip was wonderful! The first night, I actually worried that I didn't dress the girls warm enough during the night because it cooled off so much. There was a nice breeze during the day to accompany the heat. We spent a lot of time swimming in the pond and enjoyed our time together as a family.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Wise words. Wise words.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nikelle learns about John the Baptist

Nikelle has been attending day camp at the Christian Youth Center with her cousin, Julia, this week. I asked her yesterday what they learned about. "John the Baptist". I asked her what she learned about John the Baptist. "That he looked wierd." I can relate to that answer. I remember that being the thing that stood out to me about him as a kid as well. Who wears camel hair and eats locusts anyway? When I probed further, she informed me that he prepared a baptism for Jesus. We clarified that a bit. I asked her if she knew how he was related to Jesus. "He was a baptist." Well, there you go. (FYI - I did make sure she knew he was Jesus' cousin.)

Living on Cheese Balls

Last week could be categorized as “living on cheese balls”. We were running ragged and I sincerely think that the major food source for my girls was junk – cheese balls being the #1 consumption. Needless to say, this week I am paying for my lack of effort as a nutritionalist in my girls’ life last week.

Andelise came down with a fever on Sunday. Natural consequence: She and I have not slept well the last two nights. Today, she was still running a fever so I apprehensively scheduled the appointment with the pediatrician. I never really know whether I should be taking her in (and exposing her to all the additional germs in the office) or wait it out (and possibly feel guilty later that I didn’t take her in sooner). No big surprise that after I scheduled the appointment, she was asking for eggs for breakfast, her fever stopped and she started acting like herself again.

After conferring with my husband, I cancelled the appointment praying I was making the right decision. She took a 2 ½ hour nap today which I sincerely thank God for. Jaycie and I took naps as well. We were able to catch up slightly on some much needed sleep. Unfortunately, when Ande woke up from her nap, she was nothing outside of crabby. Nonstop whining and crying followed for a good hour or so leaving me seriously frustrated.

When her sister and cousin returned from day camp, this cheered her up giving me a few moments where I am not offering her the world to get her to stop her screaming. I am worn out. There is candy all over my floor. She just spilled a can of pop on the air mattress the girls are sleeping on and…

…now she just spilled a juice box on the floor.

My girlfriend just called and I told her all of this all the while listening to the screaming by my side. I decided to vacuum the candy nerds off the floor while the older girls get cleaned up and ready for bed. My cousin’s daughter (who is staying with us on and off this week) asked Jaycie to come down and get her PJ’s. More than thrilled to help her, Jaycie came down and I helped her get the suitcase to carry it upstairs. I went back to vacuuming only to hear the phone ring and my daughter scream as she fell backwards down the stairs. I just cried as I held her and thanked God that she wasn't hurt seriously. (I also explained my tears to my daughter that I was just scared with her as she fell.)

I feel like I’m going in the wrong direction in every area of my life today. I’ve eaten every kind of junk I could find in the house today. I’m spending more money than I should. And while I love my kids, I would give anything today to run away from it all and clear my head, curl up with a pillow and blanket and sleep this all away.

Some days I simply thank God for just getting us to the end of the day. Today is one of those days. I am thankful for a nap today. (I’d hate to think what I’d be like without it.) I’m also thankful that the baby’s fever is down. I’m grateful my niece brought Nikelle and Julia home from day camp today, saving me the trip. I’m grateful I have a husband coming home shortly to help me (and bringing home pizza). I'm grateful for Elmo that for the moment is keeping my little one from screaming. I'm grateful that I can meet a girlfriend for a run tonight to help me feel like I can salvage my day. More than anything, I’m grateful that even in the midst of everything today, I know God was there helping me through it all.

Oh, and I’m also thankful for cheese balls. They made last week so much easier. As a matter of fact, if I had those in the house right now, I’d probably be giving them to the girls for dinner again tonight.