Giving Up

Well, it's official, I have decided to give up.  What am I giving up?  Everything that seems to matter and everything that has the appearance of importance.  After battling with myself for many months, I have decided to take a break from working on my Master's.  It's a difficult decision when I am so close to the end, but after an incredibly difficult semester, during which I was only getting about 4 hours of sleep a night and constantly running during the day, I have decided to continue when I have a little more energy and time to commit to studying.

It hasn't just been the new baby or even having three kids under 5 that has made this a busy and trying time.  It has been autism and all of the lovely challenges that come with it.  Yes, my son is in preschool and Mom's Morning Out, so I should have time, right?  Maybe if getting him there wasn't such a battle.  On the days I can get him out the door and to go to school (when we have had a night of more than 3 hours of sleep) it still takes an hour of screaming to get him ready and convince him (kicking and screaming) to get dressed and get to the car.  It then takes his teacher carrying him kicking and screaming from our van into the school.  After enduring that every morning, it does not leave much energy for the two hours I get with just the baby and me.

So after many months of this routine and the days home being even worse and more exhausting, I decided to call it quits on school to take one manageable stress out of my life.  To me, this seemed like a wise and almost a simple decision.  You can imagine my shock when someone very familiar with our situation said to me,  "So, you're just giving up?  People who have full time jobs get their Master's all the time.  You don't even have a job.  Why is it so hard for you?"

So, yes, I am giving up.  I am giving up on school, just like I gave up my career and gave up my body for our family.  I've pretty much completely given up sleep and fashion and nearly given up hygiene as well.

Even though we have a different daily battle than some, I don't think my complaints are that much different than other stay at home moms.  Cleaning up the house multiple times a day, and it still looking like shit before we go to bed.  Using our Mom's Morning Out to do the grocery shopping or shower.  Cooking a dinner just for the kids to push around on their plate.  And for my fellow military mamas, not being able to hold down a meaningful job even if we wanted to because we move every two years.  Factor in a kid that completely loses it because there was a detour and you had to go to school a different way or whose entire day is thrown off because he woke up to the wrong sound or wrong lighting and you would probably want to throw your hands up in the air and be done with it all.

Of course there are some things I won't give up.  The less prestigious and the unseen things.  I will not give up fighting every day to make our lives as normal as possible, even if it means having a wonderful outing to the dinosaur museum knowing we will be listening to screaming and crying the rest of the day because we had to leave the museum.  I won't give up on fighting for my son's care and education, even if it means going round and round with Tricare, EFMP and the school district until I am blue in the face.  I won't give up quality time with my children or snuggle time with my baby girl even if it means the house isn't perfect or dinner wasn't made from scratch.  I won't give up my identity even if that identity is ever changing and growing and becoming something more.

I will willingly give up being a Pinterest mom, having a perfect body, having a perfect house, having the perfect look.  I begrudgingly give up completing school, having a career or getting a full night's sleep.  I will never give up on my family and working hard to make sure my three little blessings have everything they need to be taken care of and succeed in life.


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