Working has definitely been a good thing. Not that I have the most wonderful job in the world or anything, but it breaks up the stress in my life so that varies from day to day. Being a full time stay at home mom has its perks, but I find that the constant low grade stress that doesn't ever change and doesn't feel like it ever will change, well it just chips away at my energy and happiness one little bit at a time. It's never a big stress hit that I can point to and recover from, just a little bit of drain every day until there's nothing left. Now that I'm not doing the same thing every single day, the days that I am doing the stay at home mom thing are much better and I think I'm better at it.
The only real thing I probably should have blogged about is some frustrations that have been building up over time finally coming to light and being addressed. As readers of this blog have probably figured out, I've had some internal stress and self esteem issues that have been nagging at me and dragging me down. I think a large part of that is simply decision fatigue.
K and I have a really exceptional marriage. Seriously. There's simply not much to complain about so I don't complain. In every relationship there's a balance of power. We balance our power by allowing me to make most of the day to day decisions but if something is important enough to him, he speaks up and I generally defer to him. At least that's what I'd always believed our balance of power to be. But after some real looking at what's actually happening, K never speaks up. Or he speaks up so quietly that he thinks he's communicated what he wants to me but I don't hear it and just make the decision anyway and he goes with it.
I've come to realize that I no longer trust him to speak up at all. I feel like every idea, decision, movement made in this household is my responsibility and I don't trust him to give his actual opinion on anything. That means I'm constantly second guessing myself, trying to drag an opinion out of him that I trust to be his actual opinion and not just agreeing with me for the sake of agreeing with me, and me constantly feeling like there's something about me that's bothering him so I'm constantly trying to guess what that is and fix it. It really wears on a person to constantly be looking for their own faults.
One of the byproducts of making every single decision in the household, every single mistake is mine. Everything that doesn't work or turns out badly, that's on me. After over a decade of owning every mistake from buying the wrong kind of orange juice to this latest cell phone plan debacle (we changed cell phone providers, it's been an expensive disaster, and we're trying to fix it) paired with my own general insecurities and guilt issues and it's all added up to me simply being terrified of doing anything because I'm sure it will end badly. It's gotten to where I feel like I can't do a damned thing right because I've done so many things wrong. I should have addressed this sooner but I didn't recognize the core of the problem. I've just gotten to a point of being paralyzed to make any decision at all and I couldn't figure out what the hell was so wrong with me. I've spent the last couple of years trying to figure out and fix whatever has made me so damned scared. If I look at it, I'm sure that the ratio of my right to wrong decisions is the same as anyone elses, but we don't tend to remember the right decisions, we only add up the wrongs and after more than a decade of just so many damned daily decisions, my wrong pile got too damned high.
We had a big talk about this and K admitted that it's just easier to let me make decisions, but that it's unfair to me. He's trying to take on more of the decision making responsibility but when that's not your usual MO and someone else will do it if you don't because it simply has to be done, it's an understandable struggle. Unfortunately it's not really one that I can make easier for him because the whole crux of the issue is that he needs to take the initiative to do things so that I don't have to. There's simply no way for me to do that for him or to have any control over whether or not he steps up to the plate and accomplishes this goal.
I'm starting to delegate certain things to him. He's in charge of when the girls take a bath. If he doesn't get the process going, the girls simply won't get a bath that day (they are wiped down constantly so they don't need a bath every day). I had a decision to make today about some money that was gifted to us, do I put it towards something I've been wanting for about 10 years but that serves no purpose other than I want it, or do I put it towards home improvement. I came home in tears because I want something but I know that if I decide to spend the money on it, I'll always feel guilty about it and I just can't feel good about the decision either way so I decided this decision is on him. If he thinks I should have it, it's his job to get it for me and if he doesn't, I'll wait a while longer until we're in a better position to be spending money.
As I'm starting to push decisions on K rather than just doing it myself, I'm shocked by just how many daily decisions there are. You don't notice them as you live your life, but shit, there's just a ton of them every single day!
So that's what's going on in my world and in my head. As for the girls, they have now had their first haircuts and are sporting different styles of bangs. I think they're much cuter. They've started working together on projects which is totally awesome. When I bring them out for diaper changes, whoever I changed first now runs back into the bedroom to giggle with the other one while I get her up. They want to be together! I'm enjoying the mom thing a whole lot more now that the girls are more interactive and I'm not doing it every single hour of every single day.
Hey look, I have more pictures!