It occurred to me today that when things are hard in a way that would sound sort of complainy if I told people about it, I'd like to make note. This is both for our own benefit, as time causes memory to fade, and I'd like to have a good timeline for the next go 'round, and also for others who will walk this same road and wonder if they're normal. We are three and a half months into this gig, and two and a half months home, and I feel like we're just not there in a lot of ways yet. We haven't approached normal, or if we have, I'm in denial about it, because I do not want this to be how our lives look until our children are grown.
That a lot of things are easier is true, but that some basic things haven't fallen into place is also true. That this bothers me a lot of the time is definitely true. I could blame holidays or the very cold weather or any number of factors for these persistent problems, but I think it really is just where we're at right now. Interestingly enough, very few of these persistent problems have anything to do with Zinashi directly. She's marvelous. About her, I have no complaint. But as for me, and what I can get done, well, I really had higher hopes for the beginning of 2011. I find it hard to keep the house tidy, to keep on top of paperwork and filing things and organizing and in general just making our lives run smoothly. I feel like I could use three days each for tending to our main floor and basement, and that would only cover the tidying and organizing part. To clean it...oh, my. Let's not talk about that. And then there's cooking. Either it's there or it's not. One night I'm cooking a homemade dinner and baking bread, and another will find me suggesting a run to whatever restaurant we can afford that is within our family code of eating ethics (which is a whole 'nother topic for a whole 'nother time). The only thing meal-related that is routine is breakfast, and I still feel harried getting that on the table much of the time, mostly because we don't have a definite morning routine. (Which is hard to have when Jarod's work schedule is not the same every day, so I'm cutting both of us some slack there, but still wishing we had a system.) That I'm not a morning person also makes this a challenge. A big, big challenge.
So here we are. That's life. If you show up unannounced, you will see a very messy, dirty house, and I will feel embarrassed. Honestly, I fear this quite a lot, more than I should--that someone will walk into our house and insist that they don't see anything wrong, but be thinking in their heads what a trashpile they just stumbled into. And I know, I know, I know that I shouldn't do this, that I shouldn't assume that people will judge me, but I do it. I can't seem to turn it off. Maybe because I look at our house and see that--a disorganized mess and very dirty floors, not to mention furniture on which you could carve your name into the dust.
So a note for next time, and for those of you who are about to embark upon this: hire house cleaners for the first six months home if you can afford it. And buy a LOT of Groupons to restaurants. You will need the help, and it's okay to take it.
At least, that's what I'm telling myself, and in hindsight, I'm sure I'll find it to be true.