Love and Sacrifice

As a mother, I am doing what I can to instill proper values on my children. I do my darnedest to make sure they are always showing respect, mannerly, honest and always, always full of love and compassion for those around them. With toddlers, it’s more just getting them familiar with how the rest of their life under my authority will go.

As any mother or father would, I want to see my children succeed. I never want to see them struggle, but I want them to know what it’s like. I want them to know that in order to get what they want, they have to work  and work hard for all their desires. And by working they can achieve anything. I don’t want them to feel privileged or entitled. Not that they ever could since we don’t have much and surely don’t come from a family of riches but if they ever seen the day that they established a lavish lifestyle for themselves, I want them to remember their roots and how they got to be where they soon will stand.

Being someone who has grown up in a life of struggle, from a young age living with my parents to trying to find our own place in life as adults, I’ve learned that these endeavors are exactly what I need to stay grounded and humble.

When I was younger, I thought the world was unfair and in many cases it seemed to be. My family, with my stay-at-home mom and stepdad who worked hard at all his jobs, could still hardly afford food. The bills didn’t stop coming just because we were broke and that left us with no choice but to accept food benefits, however we never abused them as there are many who do today. My brothers and I weren’t able to sign up for the sports we wished to play and going out to eat was never an option. It felt unfair that I couldn’t have a normal life. I couldn’t go to the mall buy all the “fancy” new clothes that all the cool kids were wearing. Going out with friends was rare as we never had enough money for me to spend. It was all unfair. I never understood how others seemed to have it so easy and could always afford nice things.

It wasn’t until my first job as a gas station clerk that I truly understood what being an adult is all about. It may not have been the most strenuous of occupations and most definitely not a permanent career choice, but it opened my eyes to many things. I put in many hours, taking any overtime I could get. I helped maintain a friendly atmosphere and bonded with all of my regular customers. Loved each of them like family and still continue friendships with them outside of Shell. I helped manage the appearance of the store and cleaned undesirable things that would make you gag at the sight of, among other responsibilities of the job.

Working at Shell taught me punctuality, responsibility, initiative and how to be a team player. Then came motherhood. While I was still working up until the birth of my second child, I still had to balance a work life with parenting. That in itself was a struggle. I had to learn sacrifice. I sacrificed my precious and valuable time with my girls that I can never get back, all to ensure they had what they needed and we could afford our own roof over our head. Even with both, my husband and I working, we still couldn’t afford a middle class life. We thought we were well on our way up to being “comfortable” since my husband had a new job that he loved and was quickly climbing the ladder earning raises until one day something unfortunate happened and he lost his job. All after I had already quit mine to take care of my girls while he worked.

At times, I still felt moments of resentment toward the rest of the world but I didn’t let it get to me. I had to learn that things happen, even to the best of people. I learned to live with it and instead of wallowing in the unfairness of life. I learned to make it better in the best ways I could- from baking and selling my own baked goods, painting and selling my paintings to doing photography all on the side. When I started doing that and no longer passed blame on others, I felt myself drifting into a happier, less bitter Samantha. A self that I could live with. One that pushed me to want to do better because I have little eyes staring up at me and watching my every move. All things you want for yourself become meaningless to what you want for your children.

My girls were my inspiration to finally stop with procrastination and get my butt in college. Even if I don’t get far with my newly acquired degree, at least they got to see me succeed. They got to watch me spend many late nights doing homework, sacrificing our playtime. They watched me come in the door super tired from putting in a long day in the kitchens, going straight to work at home to try and keep the house up and then back to cooking so that they and my husband have full bellies. As hard as it gets, I try to keep in mind that my sacrifices and all of my husbands will be well worth it all the in the future.

I try so hard to be a good role model for them in hopes they will never see me fail and if they do, I want them to see me getting back up and pushing forward no matter how great my obstacle. For me, that means never letting them see me break down and cry. For me, that means keeping my head up and for me, that means always being strong- if not for myself, then for them.

If we ever want our children to succeed we need to show them the way. We have to show them love and kindness. My days of parenting are nowhere near finished and I still have lots to learn. I know that I will make plenty of mistakes along the way but in those mistakes I will learn at what I need to do to be a better mom and role model. I can only hope that as they are observing my actions, that they too will learn as I did as a kid.

“It’s not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings”- Ann Landers

 

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I hate you but I love you

 

 

It sounds contradictory to confess one’s hate and love for another but that’s exactly what I’m doing. No! I do not hate my husband (well, not always). Mainly just the quirky, little things he does to constantly annoy me (all of which he admits to doing). That man literally drives me insane on a daily basis and I can’t help but to still love him at the end of the day. Isn’t that how marriage is supposed work? Despite my annoyance, he is the poster boy for imperfectly perfect husbands. A couple days ago, I was reminded of just how lucky I am to have found myself such a man.

For the past month and a half I have been struggling to gain control over my kids. Fighting, screaming, mess after mess, attitudes and now the stress of potty training my two year old has got me pulling my hair out; Add all of that to the homework I’ve got piling up and my lack of transportation (crazy mom status hits a new meaning). I feel like I have mastered the art of talking to walls and I can honestly say I get more of out them then my own children. Sometime’s I feel like giving up. It’s those moments that make hiding out in my bedroom, buried under a blanket fort with a glass of Moscato and my favorite tunes blaring loudly in my ears, hard to pass up. Trust me, the thought’s crossed my mind a time or two.

It was Tuesday that I really found a new appreciation for my husband. With Rasputia (my jeep) down, I’ve had no way to school so he switched his schedule to let me take the car while he stayed home with the girls. He made no mention of his plans for the day. Leaving the house looking disastrous, I came home to a spotless living room and kitchen and the kids sitting quietly on the couch with sweet smiles stretched across their faces (knowing they had just made Mommy happy) watching their daddy play the Xbox.  My heart literally melted at the sight of a clean floor.

You wouldn’t believe how the little things can turn a person’s world upside down. Heck, you wouldn’t believe how it’s the little things that make a crazy Momma a little less insane. To me, it’s little things- like a clean room that I didn’t have to scream at top of my lungs just to get movement from my sassy little ladies- that bring the most joy to my soul. That Tuesday, my husband’s spontaneity showed me just how much he cares for me and that he hears my crying pleas.

As if spending hours cleaning (yes, at my house to clean just two rooms it literally takes hours) wasn’t enough, he even agreed to cook for me. He told me the day before about his plan to cook me a dinner,  but you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to get him to stick to his plan. He begged me to take over and cook (after already spending a work day at school on my feet in the kitchen). The excuses he threw to sway my descision, “I can’t cook”; “I don’t even know what to cook”; and my favorite… “But we don’t have anything in there to make” after just going to the grocery store two days prior. His confidence was lacking.

I wasn’t having it. I was sticking to my guns. I wanted that homecooked meal I was promised and I was getting it! Plus, I was curious to see what he threw at me. Sure, he’s cooked me dinner before, always chili because it’s his go-to that he knew how to make (and it’s delicious), but I wanted to see what else he can do. “Mase, you got this. Do what I do when I can’t think of what to make. Find a cookbook and if that doesn’t scream out to you, search Pinterest!”

With a little huff and puff, he finally marched his happy butt in the kitchen and threw down- Mase style! He made us an awesome Creamy Cajun Pasta! I wasn’t the least bit shocked he produced something so delicious, I knew he had it in him the whole time. Besides, anyone can follow a recipe. 😉

Sometimes I feel like I forget to tell him just how much I appreciate him, which is the whole point of this post. While I am sure it’s his daily intent to drive me absolutely berserk to the point that I hate him (if you are a married person, you would be lying to yourself to say that you’ve never hated your spouse at one point in your marriage), he’s someone I can count on at the end of the day to continually love me through all of my meanness.

Marriage is hard. Like- really, REALLY hard. Maintaining a happy relationship throughout the years requires a lot of love and patience and a mix of emotions and nuttiness. Mase and I learn this everyday. We are not your perfect couple. We don’t kiss in public (if we have time to do that), We don’t hang all over each other. We make each other mad. We make each other kooky. And I would even go as far as to say we’ve made each other cry but we also make each other laugh and smile and even fall back in love with one another. At the end of the day, we are back in each other’s arms going over what the day has been for us and how we can make tomorrow better. We laugh at the funny things Hadleigh said or how Halynn reminds us of his Granny Dean by the way she throws her hands behind her back as she paces the living room. We reconnect and build on the struggles that have brought us dark times.

With that being said, my imperfectly perfect husband is perfect enough for me. Mason, as if you didn’t know this already…. I hate you but I love you! Mwah!

a housewife confession