When I first got married I was living in a new area and my only close friends were my husband’s family and relatives. I only went out when we were doing something with family. After having the children and changing from a working individual to a stay at home mom I found myself struggling.
After my first son was born I found myself becoming moody and more times than not depressed. I wasn’t getting out and if I was going out it was with family. Date night had become a night on the couch watching a movie (even though I usually fell asleep).
So by the time my youngest was born I was desperately in need of getting out more. Once a week my husband would take the kids to his mom and dad’s house so I could have the night off but that wouldn’t happen. Yes, I got the night off and I loved having peace and quiet but I would spend the time cleaning the house, not relaxing. I was getting more depressed as time went on and I knew I needed to do something about it.
In 2010-2011 my church announced a Cornerstone Retreat for women in Jan/Feb 2011. January is the month of my birthday so I asked my husband if I could have that as my gift and he said yes. I had gone on retreats in high school and college and loved them. I find them very rejuvenating and insightful. Heck, maybe I would even make a friend or two at this one. Well my life changed after that.
I made a friend or two and I started to become more involved in my church. I signed up to become a Eucharistic minister which I absolutely loved doing. The following year I joined the core team of Cornerstone and have been apart of it ever since. I also signed up to be party of the Rosary society too. I went from never getting out of the house to being out almost once or twice a week.
I was enjoying my new found life but was also feeling very guilty since I had a husband and 3 little kids at home.
This past year we moved to a new town and I found that all the activities we had going on was becoming too much. I tell my kids to pick one activity per season they want to do and that is it. Well I think it was time to take my own advice.
While I loved being a Eucharistic minister I was torn. My husband doesn’t attend church and my kids are too young to sit in the pews alone. When I am on the schedule I was either going to church twice just to make sure my kids went or they wouldn’t go to church. Also, during this struggle it just so happened that my church decided to change the mass times. The mass I usually went to was going to be changed to a new time so I felt that was my chance to step down as a Eucharistic minister. Hopefully, when my kids are older I can get back into it.
I am still continuing to figure out what activities to be a part of and which ones need to go on the back burner. It is not easy but I see so many families racing through life and over exerting themselves. I don’t want that for me or my children. I want us to figure out what truly makes us happy and to do that.
I also know that my children and marriage are my first priority besides God and if that means I need to step back from things then that is what I have to do. I know I can’t be a hermit and let depression take over but I can’t decide that all these new things I have found I can do at one time. I have to pick the one that is the most positive for me and when my schedule opens up more I can add to it.
I pray that all families who struggle to find balance find peace. Peace that they do find balance and that we all find happiness in the little things in life.
copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent