Friday, February 07, 2014

A little change, it'll do you good

I been thinking a lot about change lately. We had a lot of change in the Lewis household over the last 12 months. One of these giant changes was having Maxwell. Having Maxwell is one of the best changes I've ever had in my life. I've never been great at change. Change has always made me very nervous and it also really pushes me to challenge a lot of my own thinking. Change has always made me feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and incredibly out of control. Another change that has happened recently in our house is Anthony started college. Although I knew he wanted to go to school, I really didn't expect it to be when our child was turning one-year-old. I often times thought he would do it when we were newly married or when Max was ready to go to school himself so that I would have just as much help everyday as I always have. Although that's true, I fully support Anthony going to college and getting a degree. The challenge came when he came home from school and told me that he had signed up.  It was a Thursday evening and turned out he wouldn't have access to his school materials until Friday. On Saturday some of his assignments were due, and the other half were due on Sunday. We spent the whole weekend burning the midnight oil to help Anthony get caught up when he had just started. That is completely out of my normal routine.

It is a complete understatement to say that "Erica is a planner."'I'm so much of a planner that I would have my books purchased a month before school, having read all of my chapters for the first day of class. I've also been known to have my binders divided and organized so well that others have borrowed my things to make sure their's is in order. I have never in my life had to do an assignment three days before it's due. I've always been the kind of person to be ultimately prepared and to really find it important to be on time and organized. Anthony is another sort of person. He is used to running late and never loses his cool under pressure. I'll tell you, that weekend really did me in. We got very little sleep, did tons of homework, and ended up spending so much time trying to organize Anthony that we got very little time as a family. I have a lot of help from Anthony in the father department. He's an excellent father! As a matter of fact, he is always my 50% partner in everything. Anthony always does bathtime with Max, bedtime reading with Max, and puts Max to bed. Now, I have a lot more on my plate. Anthony is often doing homework well into the night, which means mommy does the bedtime routine. Anthony still handles bath and bedtime story but it's always hard to see Max be sad when he walks out of the room. I know that Anthony needs our support now more than ever. 

Being able to be a mother was one of my biggest dreams. I know that Anthony feels the same about being a father. I also know that Anthony is having a very hard time spending less time with us as a family and mostly less time with Maxwell. I feel very sad for my husband because he's never had to adjust to a school schedule. I decided that I would not write about Anthony being in school until a month had passed. Anthony has now finished his first month of college and  I have to say he's doing wonderful. He finishes his assignments on time, studies well into the night, and overall is doing really great! Although that's true, I am having a hard time adjusting to the new schedule. I know that this is mostly selfish, and I just need to roll with it.

I think this mostly has to do with my difficulty with change. Change has always been difficult for me. Even when I was little, if we moved it took me a year or more to adjust to the new house. I'm one of those people that really likes my routine, my schedules, and my traditions. I'm not sure if I'll ever be different, but what I do know is I'm trying! I started to embrace the differences in our house including; doing more of Max's care, doing all the housework, and going to bed alone sometimes which might be the hardest for me. I know that this time is just a season. Anthony will eventually be done with his degree. Things will go back to normal or radically change again. Change, it really is horrible for me!

I realize you're probably thinking, "Erica, really? My husband never helps with anything and I always do all the childcare!" Well, I'm really sorry to hear that and I certainly understand that most of you probably do everything yourself. That just isn't how our family has worked for the last five years. One of the greatest things about my life is that I have a helper. I have a husband who continually helps me and gives 150% of his time and effort. That is not to say that Anthony has changed his effort at all. As a matter of fact, Anthony has stepped up his game more than ever. He stays up even later to help me, spend time with me, and definitely makes time for Max every single day. This is even if it holds him back from getting the sleep he needs to work. I really do have a fantastic husband!

So, the reason I'm writing this post is not because everything is falling apart and  to cryand whine about my life. As a matter fact, it's completely the opposite. I'm writing this post because I'm actually enjoying the challenge it takes for me to embrace change. I started to step up my game as well! I started to keep the house in more order and under a better schedule so that my time can be spent with my husband when he has free time. I started to make Max's schedule very tight also so that when he is with Anthony is more about free time and less about getting things done. This new phase of our life might be the next growth spurt in my life. This blog has always centered on my personal growth. It is always been about me becoming a better person. I think part of being a better person is learning to cope with your difficulties. I think being a better person means adjusting to things that you fear and learning to be there for the people you love.

Two of the things about myself that I absolutely loathe are that 1. I'm selfish. The other thing I really hate about myself is that my fears overcome me. The "what ifs" of life have always bogged me down. Immediately when Anthony started school the anxiety started. I started to think "what if he doesn't have time for me?" What if he doesn't have time for Max? What if this completely changes our life and our beautiful marriage is torn to bits? I know, that is a really silly process to go through. I guess that's why I hate it! I have always had more than an average amount of anxiety and it has always held me back from enjoying the parts of my life that are supposed to challenge me. Not this time! I'm embracing Anthony's school life. I am also helping him as much as I see that I can do. I'm adjusting to the changes and I am learning to love the process of change. I started to think about how useful I could be to Anthony. I mean, I do have a Masters degree so school is something I'm good at. I help him with time management, scheduling, and helping him perfect things. I also edit papers, make notecards, and basically support him the way he did me through graduate school. 

I decided that instead of worrying about how my marriage will be challenged during this time, I will work harder to create a beautiful marriage through time constraints. Instead of worrying about Max getting enough time with his daddy, I will help Anthony manage time so nothing gets sacrificed. I realize that change is inevitable and more importantly it's good for us. God puts us through seasons of life that are to change us, challenge us, and help us to grow. I know He has something wonderful planned for this change for the Lewis family. I pray that as you go through changes today that you also learn that change ... It'll do you good! 

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