familypic
 
JessPlusMess

Limited Edition

Autographed Copy

Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

Subscribe to Blog

Your Name:
Your Email:

Search

Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

Breaking Up With Father's Day

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print
Breaking Up With Father's Day

Father’s Day ended with me in tears.

I know - not my most admirable moment.
I’ve been in a semi- fragile state of being for the past few weeks trying to hold it all together – you know, Be In Control.  It is one of my worst character traits – this need to stay in control, and God just keeps chipping away at this false perception that I'm not letting go of very easily.  

This summer has been especially difficult with all of the kids home.  Having a one-year-old is wonderful.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful – most of the time. She has brought such joy and light into our lives and so little sleep (as I’ve lamented about in almost every single word I’ve written since her birth).  She is also at an extremely curious stage where she gets into everything and wants to explore constantly.  I don’t necessarily trust her siblings to watch her for more than, oh let’s say, about ten minute segments of time before their limited attention spans kick in, and they just leave. I’ve also found that she is a source of constant joy and entertainment for the whole family and because she is usually found near me, on me, or beside me, this equates to the rest of the children constantly being near me, on me, or beside me because they want to be by the baby – (she’s so cute, and cuddly, and adorable – for ten minutes at least).  It’s one thing to have her and maybe one other child babbling in my ear, it’s another thing to have her and six other children babbling in my ear as I accomplish my daily tasks.   It doesn’t make for a very productive day, and more often than not, I feel really close to losing most of my sweet, little, introverted marbles.  Just explaining here. 

The other week I received first round edits for the book from my publisher.  Great!  Exciting!  Oh boy - reality…  I need to go through all of these edits, rearrange entire parts of the book, rewrite or add to other sections of the book, and correct all of my comma problems because commas are not my friends.  Surely the publisher will give me an unlimited amount of time to accomplish this task, right?  They do know I have eight children home on summer break.  Nope.  I have a deadline just like all of the people with no children because now I have an actual release date – September 29.  Yay! – shameless book plug #sunlightburningatmidnight

And then Annabelle’s first birthday and Father’s Day.  Two days that I had to get right.  Annabelle only turns one once and Ryan and the Grandpas should feel loved.  I decided, in the midst of my already overflowing mind, that it would be a great idea to have the kids make personalized t-shirts for Dad and the six Grandpas. My husband says I set myself up for failure and maybe he’s right.  I love crafting.  I love crafting alone or with the kids.  I love making homemade gifts for people, but if I’m entirely honest, this was not the time to do it with everything else looming over my head.  I wanted so badly (as do all aspiring Pinterest Moms) to give the kids a fun filled, Mom involved, “See, Mom’s happy!  She’s crafting with us” moment, and I should have simplified instead of stressing. I think as moms we often do this – stress to feel better about ourselves as mothers, and it’s insane.

The kids, the baby, the book, the deadline, the birthday, the crafts, Father’s Day, and daily life.  At this point, I would be rolling my eyes at a post like this and thinking that the author needed some Prozac. I’m not looking for pity, this is my life and usually it is a good one, but these are valley moments.   I will not only post about the blessedness of our life because that kind of writing does not resonate with me ever nor do I feel like it resonates with most people.  This can be a difficult journey with all of the factors involved, and maybe someday I’ll write about why we choose difficult in our middle of nowhere but not today.

I say all of this to preface – I have had expectations on Mother’s Day that are usually unmet and unfulfilled.  I’ve learned to lower the bar considerably.   I’ve written a few posts on this and about how ridiculous it is that Mother’s Day falls on a Sunday, a day when I (and most moms) probably feel more stressed than any other day of the week. 

I usually enter Father’s Day with even bigger expectations than I do for Mother’s Day.  Admittedly, I create this – a perception of perfection. Kids perfectly behaved so Dad can have a much needed break.  Meals perfectly made so that Dad enjoys the food.  Gifts perfectly prepared so that Dad knows how much we love him. I know how I so desperately want my day to look (which it never does) so I am going to make sure my husband gets his day even if it kills me. Perfect, perfect, perfect - Martha running around like a chicken with her head cut off, singing to the tune of insanity, as Ryan, the Ryan I know and love, would rather I order takeout, sit beside him, and pretend to watch the world’s greatest Alaskan moose hunting tournament or whatever.

Our crew is exhausting even as we do it together day by day.  It’s even more exhausting when one of us drops out of the grind to be “honored” for a special day.

And that’s when the tears start flowing.  Tears of exhaustion and tears of forgetting to leave the stress at the cross.  Tears of trying to do it all myself and stay in control.

We talked.  A lot. (Poor guy, tears and communication on Father’s Day). We decided that we’re not going to play this game anymore - this imaginary game that Hallmark created to specifically honor and appreciate Mom and Dad on one special day of the year and sets up everyone involved for unmet expectations and exhaustion (at least in our current reality).  We realize we’ve been duped because the day doesn’t really help us feel better or special. Instead, it almost makes us feel worse because one of us is “trying to relax” because that’s what we’re supposed to do while the other one is going crazy trying to make it perfect for the special parent.  Stupid.  We are letting go of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in our personal life for the time being, at least while we have young children at home because it’s just too hard.  We love each other too much to create this false sense of perfection and admiration on one day of the year.  I know he appreciates me throughout the year, and he shows this in so many little ways – like right now, he has all of the kids at the river so that I can do some writing.  I know that my kids love me too by the small gestures throughout the year: the flowers, the helpfulness, the listening (that’s a big one!)  We are forgoing the official sentiment because it's not working for us.  We are going to appreciate the moments together and not try to fulfill the desperately impossible task of making the other one feel so special on a day entirely created to generate more money for Hallmark. 

Happy Father’s Day to all of you hardworking men who daily sacrifice for your families and Happy Father’s Day to the women behind the scenes. Pray that I can remain somewhat joyful through one more intense week, that the kids enjoy their time at summer care, and that Annabelle gives me some really good, long naps.

Just keep livin!!

  • Guest
    Cathy Tuesday, July 5, 2016

    Just a simple thank you from every mom and dad who has had unmet expectations, one way or another, on one of these days.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Latest Blogs

Love and Loss {And a Giveaway!]
The baby remains absent And grandma starts chemotherapy And the “C” word enters our children’s vocabulary once again Along with the “D” word in regards to their unknown sibling And our eyes spill in response to their tears And children still starve And that woman still aches for a loving spouse And girls are raped again and again And that is the reality of what we call life. And that is why our hearts ache for something purer And bigger And more beautiful We ache for more We need more We yearn for a hereafter Where all the pain is gone And every tear is wiped from our eyes Our hearts screa...
Continue Reading...
PIZZA PARTY!
Anyway…  I needed to do some soul searching due to the information bombardment and what I felt like it was doing to my soul as it was not only sucking me dry mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, it was depriving my family of me – present, engaged, fully in tune me – which isn’t good.  It’s not good for me, and it’s not good for you either. I took stock as I so often do.  I thought about how the information was feeling overwhelming and causing me to be anxious about life which in reality I really shouldn’t be anxious about because we’re all good. We’re healthy thriving peopl...
Continue Reading...
Follow Your Heart {And a Giveaway!}
I have four beautiful daughters ranging in age from 12 on down to 2: Mya, Mabel, Jada, and Annabelle.  Four hearts that I’ve been entrusted to nurture and care for. Four young ladies with strong wills and lots of estrogen. On the one hand, I love having four daughters.  I love watching them learn life skills and grow into their own personalities. I love crafting together and thinking about our future adventures when they’re grown; meeting up somewhere fun to shop till we drop or Ryan and I watching the grandbabies for the weekend so that they can get away with their husbands - goofy...
Continue Reading...
Brave and Beautiful.
One of the best aspects of being a blogger (even a very part time blogger) are the opportunities I have to review new book releases, and I am so excited about this recent opportunity to review Brave Beauty a devotional by Lynn Cowell; a beautiful inspirational book for the young girl in your life.  Brave Beauty encourages spiritual truths that girls of all ages need to hear and be reminded of on a consistent basis. Truths such as the appeal of inner beauty, boldly living your faith, being a friend to those in need, and putting your trust in God. Cowell gently guides the reader, chapter b...
Continue Reading...
Hope Prevails
I walked into the ultrasound room and felt the complete absence of warmth. No beauty relieved the coldness, no picture of a mother holding a child or a sunset over the water. Nothing to remind those who nervously waited of the potential for joy within the world. A large, heavyset woman poked with her stubby fingers at my thin, slightly rounded body. As the silence continued to descend, the air thick­ened with unspoken thoughts. I looked at this doctor, the expert I had been sent to, repeatedly trying to catch her eye, to shake her unmovable countenance. I wanted to see a glimpse of understandi...
Continue Reading...
Mother's Day Sale and Interview
Just a few items for consideration as you go about your week.   First - In honor of all of the wonderful mothers, grandmothers, and motherly figures in the world, I'm offering a Buy One / Get One 1/2 off sale on all autographed copies of Sunlight Burning at Midnight ordered here on the blog and also at Facebook/jessplusthemess.  It's the perfect time to buy one for yourself and then gift another to that special someone in your life. This sale will be honored all the way through to Mother's Day - May 14.  If you'd like the books sent to different ad...
Continue Reading...
Easter Memories 2017
One way we’ve been able to accomplish this desire is by peeling back many of the layers of what’s expected for a particular holiday and ask ourselves: A. Do we have the energy levels required to enjoy this activity (whatever it may be – elaborate meal, presentation, etc) or will this addition stress us out and if so, the activity needs to be eliminated or reconfigured to meet our current energy levels so that it doesn’t potentially hinder the true meaning of the holiday, and B. What simple traditions can we incorporate to ensure that our children are honoring whatever this holiday is truly a...
Continue Reading...
Two Beautiful Books, My Kid's Reactions, and a GIVEAWAY!
A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to review two recently released children's books, I’m Going to Give you a Bear Hug by Caroline Cooney / Illustrated by Tim Warnes and Bible Basics, A Baby Believer Counting Primer by Danielle Hitchen / Illustrated by Jessica Blanchard. 
Continue Reading...
Big Changes Are 'A Comin
Blessed but stressed has been our life motto for over three years now – ever since we made the decision to add an 8th child to our family. Some have raised questioning eyebrows with this decision, but we forged through, and we stand by the decision today as one of the best things we’ve done for our family, BUT we are tired and stretched about as thin as they come. Something about raising teenagers, and not sleeping because of a newborn, and then raising teenagers with a toddler who does finally sleep (PRAISE JESUS!) but never, ever, ever stops moving when she’s awake, and then there are the ...
Continue Reading...
Banana Chocolate Muffins
These are really, really good and really, really addicting so it's a good thing they have some health benefits or I'd feel really, really guilty after eating a few.  I usually make these for the kids breakfast because most days they're up at 6:00 am so they need something easy, filling, and tasty in their bellies. These always do the trick.  Banana Chocolate Muffins 3 ripe bananas. 2 cups flour½ cup maple syrup2 eggs1 tea baking soda1 tea baking powder½ tea salt2 TB coconut oil1 tea vanilla½ cup orange juice. 1 cup dark chocolate chips Mix the first 10 ingredients together. Stir i...
Continue Reading...