Tag Archives: Husband

Life Happens – Where I’ve Been for the Past Year or So

I know I kind of fell off the face of the earth for the past, umm year, is it? It’s been a while since I posted anything of any substance, anywhere, longer since I posted anything about my family. I still have drafts I wrote last Summer that I have every intention of publishing…someday. In all honesty, life has been a bit of a struggle for me, the past few months, the past year.

I read something about stress-levels post multiples and how post-partum depression hits later than with singletons. I don’t know if 6 years later is feasible or not. Maybe it is. At just the time they say it hits (2-3 years of age), we had Peter, which didn’t give me the chance to breath…life marched on. There was no time to feel “depressed”.

There’s still no time, but it’s there. The tired, the not caring, the overwhelmed. 

And this is where I always freeze up when it comes to sharing, because no one knows how or wants to admit that they don’t really like themselves or their life sometimes. At least I don’t. And there’s another part that if you are liking who you are becoming or what you are doing, there’s a problem with that too.

I love my husband. I love my kids. I love our home. Sometimes it’s all too much though, too much noise, too much stuff, too many personalities, too many to-dos. And all the too much means there’s not enough of other things…quiet, clean, brain power, focus, clarity.

My mind gets swept along the raging river, bashing into rocks and being sucked under the waves. Sometimes, I’m able to keep my head up, manage to keep afloat amidst the debris, and other times I’m sucked into one of those underwater crevices of a rock and the panic sets in.

They tell me that this is normal, that it’s just “motherhood”. Then why do I feel so alone, despite opening up to others, that no one really is drowning in this as much as I am. I don’t honestly think I’m failing at this, I think I’m doing a pretty darn OK job at mothering these 5, but why does it feel like I’m the only mom that wants to walk away from it, from them?

Last summer my book club read “The Awakening”, and most of the responses of the other moms was how could she leave her children, that she was so selfish for all she was doing…and all I could think was how I “got” what she felt. She would do anything for her children, except kill her “self”.

I’m sure there are many Christian moms that would read this, clutching their pearls, at the very thought of not dying to self, of not living solely for their children. I’m sorry, I can’t, and I don’t honestly think that God wants me to become a shell of a woman for the sake of my children. I don’t for one minute believe that I am supposed to entirely relinquish my interests, identity, or any part of me for my role as a mother.

That said, it’s finding my self, finding the time to remember who I was before any of this, that feels impossible. The part that makes it so impossible is that I’ve always lived for someone else and what they expected of me, so it’s not just FINDING my self, but actually LEARNING who I am, and in that there is a struggle.

When you start figuring out who you are, what your interests are, who you want to be, you have a tendency to piss off people, to disappoint people. You become no longer willing to just make every one else happy, to be a doormat. Suddenly, there’s a whole other part of you. Your interests and opinions and feelings don’t line up with what people expect you to do and be. And that can be a very hard place to be.

It’s very often pointed out that the marriage/husband should be the focus of a family, because after the children are long gone, that will still exist…and it’s true. Your children are your’s for a season, your husband will be your’s until death do you part (baring anything else). But here’s the thing, YOU will be you until forever.

What happens when a spouse dies? You’ve lived your entire life for that person only to not know how to function when they’re gone. I don’t want to do that either. I don’t want to curl up in a ball and not be able to live if something were to happen to my husband, and I know he wouldn’t want that for me, just as I wouldn’t want that for him, no matter how old we were.

Now that I’ve taken this whole big thing to explain what my mental state has been for the past year. I have been in a constant struggle between taking care of my children and husband and taking care of myself. I don’t have an answer on how to manage it. I don’t have a solution.

Sometimes I feel like me. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed (I d0 anyways). I’m not sure that there is a way to find a balance between the two, because as soon as I feel like me, I’m hear that I’m failing my family. It’s lovely really *note sarcasm*.

I think the hardest part of my writing and being active on social media, is that I don’t want to be open with certain people in my life. I honestly don’t want to share my struggles with nosy relatives, the neighbors who are just going to gossip, but I don’t know how to cut those ties without insulting someone. So I shut myself up instead. At the time it seems easier.

That said, I am seriously considering going private again as a blogger, because I know I need this space. There are a lot of things that I want to mull over and share and process here, and hopefully in the near future I will be sharing more about things that are going on in my life.

Do you listen to podcasts?

Over the last few years I’ve spent a bit more time listening to podcasts…they were great when riding back and forth to Albany for doctors appointments (2 hours one way). I’ve had a lot less time lately to listen to them, which has been kind of sad. One in particular I’ve made a concerted effort to listen to Sarah Werner’s Write Now Podcast, because I love it! IMG_5934

I don’t remember when or who I started listening to with Podcasts…I think maybe it was Kat Lee’s How They Blog, which I’m not even sure it exists anymore. I do know that she does Inspired to Action, which is another great blog. Anyways. It went from there to God Centered Mom and a whole bunch of other ones, a lot of them radio shows that I just never caught on the radio.

Then came the day that I just declared podcast bankruptcy because I couldn’t handle looking at the number of unplayed podcasts. In November I was looking for podcasts specifically about writing, which is when I found Sarah’s awesome podcast, which is what got me back into the whole listening to podcasts thing and wanting to BE a podcaster {I love them, I’d love to do one, I’d love to be on one…no idea what or who I would talk to}.

The thing I love about podcasts is how my mind can be engaged in something, while doing mindless stuff. I can learn something new, be entertained, inspired, or just about anything else while listening to a podcast and it doesn’t take away from my ability to perform any of the myriad of mindless activities that I need to do on a regular basis.

Just recently I started cleaning our church on a weekly basis which gives me a couple of hours of quiet time to listen to podcasts! Score! Until I got caught up on every podcast episode…now I am in need of some new material…WHICH IS WHERE YOU COME IN! What are your favorite podcasts? Why? Do you listen to every episode or pick and choose? And, if you DON’T listen to podcasts…why not?

What do I listen to?

I love Write Now Podcast, which I mentioned above. She does two different types, the more frequent ones are interviews, referred to as Coffee Breaks, and then there is the more technical/inspirational being a writer ones {which are my favorite!}. I have yet to listen to a Coffee Break, just because…my time was limited, but with cleaning I’m planning on delving more into them.

I also started listening to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s What Should I Read Next? The premise of the podcast is interviews and matchmaking between writers/readers and what they have been reading and what they should read next. It’s really a rather fascinating idea. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing something similar once a month on here.

I’ve already mentioned God Centered Mom and Inspired to Action, both of which I really enjoy. I just starte
d listening to Sorta Awesome with Megan Tietz, which is great, as is Tsh Oxenreider’s The simple Show. I do also enjoy listening to ProBlogger‘s podcast, but it’s more on the if-the-topic-interests-me basis, the same for Focus on the Family‘s daily broadcast.

I’ve really been looking for a family radio theater kind of podcast…either Lamplighter or something similar, but haven’t come across one. We love the Family Hour on Family Life Network, but it goes too late for our crew {they’re in bed by 7:30}.

What are your suggestions? What podcasts do you love? or maybe one that you listened to that you’re definitely not tuning in to again. Maybe you don’t even listen to podcasts. I want to hear from YOU!

When Date Night Feels Like Mission Impossible

When Date Night Feels Like Mission Impossible JessicaMWhite.com

If you’re anything like us the idea of a “Date Night” makes you quiver with excitement and lament that it will never happen. And yet, date nights are one of the most heralded ways of improving your marriage. Some would even say that if you’re not having date nights, at least once a week, your marriage is doomed. Wow! Isn’t that inspiring?! Might as well hang up the wedding rings now!


When Date Night Feels Like Mission Impossible JessicaMWhite.com

Here’s the thing: I agree that Date Nights are extremely important in a marriage, but who has the time, the money, the babysitter, or the ENERGY to have a date night! I know we don’t. Any babysitter that we can find wants $15 an hour {and that’s before they know we have 5 kids}. What is a couple to do?

You have a couple of options here:

  • Forget date night and just plan on co-existing with your spouse for the foreseeable future, inviting discontent and divorce into your marriage
  • Rethink the whole concept of date night

I recommend rethinking what date night looks like.

We don’t get out much, about once every 6-8 weeks we do make a point of asking the grandparents to take kids, so that we can either go out for a quick salad {it’s a cheap date} or stay home and cook dinner {even cheaper}. Most of our date nights consist of putting the kids to bed, doing the dishes, then sitting down together with a pot of tea {and maybe a dessert or special chocolate}. At that point we do 1 of 4 things:

  1. Play a board game or some sort of activity that allows for good conversation
  2. Watch a movie that we both agree on and sit next to each other on the couch, NO PHONES or any thing else that might be a DISTRACTION
  3. We watch a video/discussion series through RightNow Media
  4. Read a book independently and spend time discussing what was read

The point of whatever you are doing is that you are doing it together, that it is creating intimacy with your spouse, whether physically or through communication. If it is not an activity that you both enjoy or it is not creating intimacy with each other DON’T DO IT! The whole point of an at home date night is that you and your spouse are focusing on each other and on your marriage.

One warning of an at-home date night: They’re not perfect! The kids may interrupt, there may be distractions {that pile of laundry glaring at you from the back of the couch}, it may not last more than 30 minutes. It’s annoying. It’s not conducive to lengthy, deep conversation, but that’s life. The same things can happen when you’re out, you just don’t notice them as much. You have to train yourself, and your kids, to deal quickly with whatever distractions there may be and move on. You can’t let it take away from the purpose of this time together.

Just as you schedule anything else in life, you have to make the time to have a date night. If you want your marriage to thrive you have to put the time into it…no excuses {whether it’s a date night or anything else}! Figure out how you can work with the time you have…be creative! If you’re at a loss for ideas then Google is always right there for suggestions. There is HOPE: a date night is do-able at least once a week, maybe even twice.

Resources

 

 

 

The Unveiled Wife {a Review}

While doing my research for my 31 Days of Pursuing Your Husband I came across a most excellent blog, UnveiledWife. There was so many wonderful words about marriage and our relationship with our husband and God; you can bet I was excited to see that Jennifer Smith had just released a book with these topics at its very heart! I was even more excited to see that she was asking for people to review it. *

About the book, from Amazon.com:
As a young bride, Jennifer Smith couldn’t wait to build her life with the man she adored. She dreamed of closeness, of being fully known and loved by her husband. But the first years of marriage were nothing like she’d imagined. Instead, they were marked by disappointment and pain. Trapped by fear and insecurity, and feeling totally alone, Jennifer cried out to God: What am I doing wrong? Why is this happening to us? It was as if a veil had descended between her and her husband, and between her and God―one that kept her from experiencing the fullness of love. How did Jennifer and her husband survive the painful times? What did they do when they were tempted to call it quits? How did God miraculously step in during the darkest hour to rescue and redeem them, tearing down the veil once and for all? The Unveiled Wife is a real-life love story; one couple’s refreshingly raw, transparent journey touching the deep places in a marriage that only God can reach. If you are feeling disappointment or even despair about your marriage, the heart-cry of this book is: You are not alone. Discover through Jennifer’s story how God can bring you through it all to a place of transformation.

Can you see why I was so excited about this?!Unveiled Wife

I read the book  pretty quickly, it was interesting reading about Jennifer and her husband’s marriage…it was kind of like a train-wreck, too awful to look away from…your heart breaking for them. The main issue, and cause of most other issues in their marriage, was a result of Jennifer’s body not being amenable to sex, for unknown reasons it was extremely painful.

Throughout the book the topic was discussed to the point that, honestly, I was tired of hearing about it, particularly given that no one was willing to pursue professional help. This issue was almost single-handedly destroying their marriage, because it was a source of stress and not something they were comfortable discussing, even with each other. {I do realize this is a very tough subject; for a multitude of reasons men and women are extremely uncomfortable seeking help for something they feel so alone in, particularly regarding sex and infertility}.

HOWEVER, this did not prevent me from gleaning numerous gems from The Unveiled Wife!

As women, we all have an innate ability to manipulate and hurt the people in our lives. It’s like we are somehow hard-wired to know exactly the things to say and do to hurt those we love most. We all have this perception {thank you Hollywood!} of what love and romance should look like and we feel robbed and cheated when we don’t get it. It is then that one of a few things will happen: We mentally check out of our reality and into fantasy {this is the reason for the popularity of 50 Shades of Gray}, we have an affair, or we habitually seek out a new relationship thinking it will be THE ONE!

Jennifer Smith addresses all of this! And more important than addressing it, she takes back the veil of deception we cover our selves with, she points unapologetically to the fact that this is SIN. It is our own selfishness, it is unkindness and it’s wrong. Our own expectations of what marriage should be {or life in general} can destroy us and our marriages when we allow them to consume us. Jennifer does a fantastic job of showing how this very thing was not only wreaking havoc on her marriage, but on her physically and mentally.

The Unveiled Wife is raw, it is written from the heart, expressing Jennifer’s pain and struggles with her relationship with her husband and with God. She faithfully points to God, how He protected her and loved her well, even when her husband couldn’t or it hurt. Even in that, she is honest about her relationship with God, her anger at him, her feelings that He did not love her, did not appreciate all she was doing in her life for Him. She very openly discusses how twisted her own relationship with God was and how He redeemed it.

Jennifer Smith does a wonderful job of explaining her story, her experience and the necessity of being unveiled before God and our husbands. As a wife these are the two MOST important relationships in our life and it is entirely essential for us to be unveiled and completely open in both, so that we may be truly intimate.

You can find more information about Jennifer Smith’s book  The Unveiled Wife here.

unveiledwife.com Wife After God

*I received a copy of The Unveiled Wife for review purpose free in exchange for my honest opinions. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Keep Pursuing Your Husband

31 Days of Pursuing Your Husband @JessicaMWhite.com

Thank you so much for joining me this month. I hope that you’ve enjoyed yourself, learned some new things aboutPursuing your Husband 31 Days of Tips, Tricks, Prayers, How Tos, & Why Tos to Build a More Intentional Passion with Your Husband @JessicaMWhite.com your husband and some ways that you can pursue him with ease and on a daily basis. I pray that your husband has started to notice your little ways of pursuing him {if he hasn’t, ask him!}

The most important thing is to remember to keep at it! Little things every day and once in a while a bigger something to let them know you love them. I’m praying for all of you that have put this plan into action; that your husbands will not only notice, but reciprocate, that your marriages will strengthen!

Originally I said I was doing this series as much for my marriage as anyone else, and I did. My husband knew I was doing this, because we were both trying to make a point of intentionally pursuing each other. It was helpful because I was able to sit him down and ask him how he felt the whole thing went.

He enjoyed it. Not because I was catering to him or lavishing him with gifts, but because to him, being pursued, he knew that I do want him and love him, that my showing him love {in a variety of ways} helped him to remember that he is loved, and that I am on his side, willing to fight for him {and with him, if necessary}.

All in all both of us felt that it was very good for our marriage to me intentional in doing and loving each other. The thing that helped us both to feel more loved was praying for and over each other, as well as little notes left here and there, but prayer was the big one. Knowing that the other was interceding for us, that we were making ourselves vulnerable to the other by praying over them was incredible.

For us, pursuing each other HAS to be a way of life, there is no other option. Going forward we will continue to do what we can to prioritize and pursue each other and our marriage.

Going forward for you: What does that look like? What does that mean? I recommend keep trying new and different things, have the hard talks with your husband, keep praying, keep doing the little things. There is one website that has becoming an invaluable source of information and ideas for me: The Dating Divas! Seriously, check out their site: There are tons of ideas and printables and all sorts of things to help you pursue your husband. I could write a whole website on it, but they already have, so be sure to check it out.

Keep in touch! I’d love to hear how things are going for you and your husband! If you look down a bit further I put together a freebie for you to enjoy!

Don’t forget you can find the post with ALL of the 31 posts from this series HERE, so be sure to pin it to refer back to!

Download your MARRIAGE QUOTE FREEBIE HERE
as a Thank You from me to you!

Marriage Quote Freebie