Monday, November 24, 2014

Just Try Harder

I remember when I first became a stay at home mom back in 2010 and my kids were 2.5 years and 9 months old. I remember thinking to myself that I had it all.
I had a husband who was in school and working. I had gorgeous, healthy children. I had friends. I loved church.
Money didn't matter. We weren't ever rich but I didn't care. We payed our bills. We fed our children.
I was happy.
I had everything I had ever wanted.

It's been 4 years and 3 months since then. Everything has changed. Most of the things I loved don't feel existent right now.

I miss out on so many things with my children. Parties at school, playdates, moments when they just want their mom, etc. I'm not always there. I can't always be there.

I hate it.

I don't hate my job. I don't hate school. But I really, truly find myself resenting divorce because of the many changes.

A lot of the times I can get through the hard moments, trusting that there are also many beautiful moments ahead. I try to stay positive. I try to forgive and not judge and love the people around me.

But I don't always succeed. Today I didn't succeed.

Today it wasn't possible to be tough and hold back the tears like I normally do. I couldn't handle the stress.
I couldn't handle the thought of one more day where my kids would have neither of their parents at a school program to cheer them on.
And then I got a call that Ninja had an accident at school and I cried thinking about everything our divorce has put him through. He isn't as emotionally transparent as his sister but the scars are still there. The accidents and the finger-sucking and the baby talk---they are all signs that he is hurting and scared.

The guilt was weighing heavily on me. And along with the guilt, I was angry at the decisions that placed us all in this position. I thought I had let that all go or that I was at least getting better about letting it go but today it all came back.

Today it felt like a punch in the stomach.

All of these things I didn't choose that have effected my life in some of the most heart-wrenching ways just seem so unfair and messy.

When my heart feels this way, it's really hard to not question God. When everything first went down a year ago, I seriously wondered if He had made a mistake in allowing yet another hard thing into my life. Although I know He doesn't make mistakes, I still doubted my capabilities.

Let me rephrase that---I still doubt my capabilities. I do. It isn't a constant doubt but it shows up from time to time.

I used to wonder why certain people didn't seem as engaged at church or didn't attend every Sunday. I used to find myself wondering and maybe even judging people who were less active. Although I was a defiant teenager, I had never truly experienced those feelings {until this past year} and my lack of understanding caused me to think they must've not been trying hard enough.

It sounds so simple. Just try harder.

I love my church. I have a strong testimony and know that Jesus Christ died for me. But I struggle to feel like I belong. I often feel alone when surrounded by some of the most incredible people in my life who are there for me at church. I hold babies and make comments and sing hymns but it isn't always easy. In fact, a lot of the times it is really hard.

I struggle to keep my children in sacrament meeting. That has always been a challenge with my son. I try to stay patient but we usually end up in the hallways or we go late so I don't have to deal with it.

I struggle to stay in Relief Society---especially when we talk about eternal marriage or families. It is really painful to know you don't have what so many people have. It's hard to feel like people don't understand why you're single. It's hard to hear those lessons and feel like a piece of you is missing because your family is broken. You are no longer the "typical Mormon family".

I struggle to substitute in Primary callings. Because after that first hour of "heaven and hell" all I want to do is drop my kids off and breathe for two hours...and then go home and take a nap.

But I should just try harder, right? That's what I would've told myself a few years ago. I should go to church and set the example for my kids and practice more patience.

There are days I don't want to go to church. There have been moments in the past year where I've decided I wasn't going to go back. My testimony has always gotten me there but it doesn't take the struggles away.

It is possible to have a testimony and not want to go to church.

It is possible to feel an aversion to prayer or scripture study and not be a horrible Mormon.

It is.

I know what I want to teach my children. I still fight most weeks to get us all to church. But it is hard. Being a good Christian no longer looks the same way that it used to in my mind. Being a good Christian means trying---sometimes failing---but getting up and trying again. It means fighting for peace when peace seems nonexistent. It means trying to love myself the way my God loves me---and that includes not beating myself up for missing church or falling asleep without praying.

Although I often have an easier time talking about things "after the fact", I want today to be real. I am staying afloat. I am not swimming like a champion and I am not drowning. I am just struggling to float and not fall any further.
I don't necessarily doubt that we will get through this divorce and stand strong like the warriors that we are but somedays, like today, are just so hard.

I know my kids will see my sacrifices someday. I know they will understand when they are older. I'm just so done with missing out on so many things and feeling so exhausted from trying to be their mom and provide for them and giving myself time to be me.

It's probably not impossible---but it seems impossible today.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Seriously Ive been reading your blog and can I tell you although I know we are living different lives and its not the same I feel as if you are in my head. The last year Ive read and now the last 3 months I started your year, but my is going faster and I am at where you are now. These comments about church, I think them, I act on them, Im sure others do to. Its hard to be around others anywhere that dont understand that one little thing can make the tears start flowing. Stay strong, your not alone.