i think as a parent we tend to think of our children first, always. being a stay-home mom, my kids are my life. i live, sleep and breathe home. it is what i do. i create safety, comfort and beauty to nurture this family in. i felt that by separating from my husband i would be shattering all i, all we had struggled so hard to create. what is a homemaker without a home?
i have slowly come to realize, though not yet fully and not without struggle, that home still can be all the things i strive to create, only... different. it has been hard. i am working daily on myself, struggling to keep my head up some days and full of hope others. i am so lucky to have such a great family close by and a wonderful circle of friends.
the hardest part in all of this has been the change in routine. especially in a large family like ours we all seem to fall into roles and the days take certain shape again and again. for us there was always the one that got up with the older kids for school, and the other would tend to the baby so everyone was fed and on time. mornings have become a struggle now. one child with disabilities needing total guidance some mornings, one pre-teen waiting for the bathroom, one kindergartner needing breakfast and bags packed and dragon toys for naptime and snacks for circle time and a baby needing well, what babies need. everything. all of them needing so much and so little to go around. dinnertime has always been family time and i have tried my damndest to keep it that way. maybe some nights we have breakfast for dinner or even make your own sandwich night while olivia claws at my leg and screams to be held or nursed, but we do it. we will do it.
the nights my husband comes to have dinner with the kids have become salvation for me. i take a project and shove it in my bag and head over to my parent's house where we have a QUIET supper and relax a bit afterward. i felt guilty, initially, about these quiet evenings away from home, but then grew to knew without them i'd surely burn out. i am so grateful for the support and quiet refuge my parent's house offers both my kids and i.
(view out the back door over the river @ my parent's)
sunday night is spaghetti night, it has been since i was a child. when my husband and i first met he was introduced to my parents over spaghetti. he proposed to me while i was cooking spaghetti in the kitchen of our first home. so many stories have been shared, so many lessons woven into the fabric of our family and so many memories made over a table smelling deliciously of cornbread, salad, and spaghetti, always the same sauce from the moosewood cookbook staining the lips and fingers of first two, then three, now four children. even my husband comes sometimes.
the draw of the familiarity and warmth these traditions offer in any family is hard to deny. i know my husband feels it still. sometimes over our plates i can look at him and remember without hurting, surrounded by love and children and food and smiles and slurping, that these are the things that bind us together always.
life is changing for us all and i'm certain that many traditions will be tweaked and altered and our hearts will bend and break a bit while we struggle to find our way through this mess, but there is one thing i know for certain...
sunday night is spaghetti night, and everyone who's anyone will be there.