Saturday, July 25, 2009

Girl's Night- Boot Scoot Boogie


Logan and I headed out for a very fancy girls night out last night. I'm sure you can picture us, painting the town of Oldsmar, or Palm Harbor, or Tampa (the city limits all blur together here) red. Speaking of picture, this is going to have to count as my 14 week belly shot, k? Thanks.

Jacob spent Thursday night shooting pool with John and catching up, so when he offered to hang out with the kids last night so Logan and I could get out, we jumped at the chance. We started out strong with a trip to Chili's to eat our very favorite Chocolate Molten Cake, and had a surprisingly fun time there chatting and joking around.

Then we headed out to do some line dancing. It had been a while (read: never) since I'd been lind dancing, but I figured it could be fun...and we were overwhelmed immediately. How do people memorize eighty completely different dances, and how do they know which dance to do with which song? We observed for a while, but of course the longer we sat the more we became sitting ducks for ever "cowboy" in the joint (I use the term loosely...I asked one of them if there was any country around here and he said "Yeah, country BARS!" They don't even pretend to actually be country). So then we decided to join in and man, it is hard work! I was exhausted and I thought those songs were never going to end. I tended to fake left when I should have gone right, and I felt vaguely as if there was a playbook that everyone else had seen that I had missed. Luckily, they played the Cupid and Cha Cha slids, which I do know, and I was able to salvage my reputation.

It's going to sound strange, but I cannot tell you how nice it was to get out of the house without one single kid (except Logan, of course). I didn't realize how shut in I felt until I got out. Just going out, bothering to look put together, and people watching was lots of fun and a huge morale booster for me. I felt like me again. Like I was real, like I had a theme song again.

I have to say that I can see how John could have gotten started on this path without me. I know lots of people go out after work at his restaurant, and I'm sure it started out like that and he had more fun than he thought he'd have. That probably led to more and more, and he never told me he was doing anything because he thought I'd disapprove. I wish he had told me...I don't know what my reaction would haveb been, but I would like to think I would have been open to him going out sometimes, especially if I could have come along. Sometimes you can get in a rut of taking care of the kids, waking up with the baby, so on and so forth, and I was very verbally against going out because I thought it was unnecessary and silly. Since he knew that's what I thought, I guess he just never wanted to tell me about what he was doing because I would have disapproved.

But last night made me realize that, while unnecessary and silly, going out dancing was fun, and that every once in a while it's nice not to be the mother of four, but to remember how to be Ellyn. It was interesting to me, though, because while I had a lot of fun with Logan, I couldn't help but keep thinking how much fun it would have been if things were different and my husband were with me, too. When he is out without me, does he compare the other people to me? Does he think of me at all? I remember when we used to go out and have fun together, and I miss that. I was just so stuck in that rut I was talking about that I forgot we ever had fun together at all. I remember on Father's Day, he suggested going bowling, and all I could picture were balls dropping on kids' toes, balls rolling the wrong direction, the fit Jace would throw when things didn't go his way. It seemed like way too much work to every be fun. Like lots of things, if I had just pushed through it, we could have had fun. Instead, I vetoed his idea and pushed for mine, which turned out to be no fun at all.

It's so important, and I get this now, to remember that the kids aren't the center of everything. When I was so focused on getting Seth everything he needed, I forgot that. I forgot I was anything at all but Seth's mom...I forgot a was a wife, a daughter, a friend...I forgot I was even a person, who has actual needs and wants and desires outside her children. I figured since I felt that way, John did too, and I forgot about ever doing anything for us at all, thinking that after the kids, we could worry about those things.

It was a gross miscalculation, and not just for my marriage, but for myself. I'm only 27 years old! I love my children more than anything, but I was so depressed, even before this all happened with John. I remember sitting talking to him and telling him how horrible I felt, hopeless, like there was nothing for me to look forward to, even though I loved my kids so much. I remember begging him "I just don't feel like anyone likes me. Can you act like you like me?" Of course he didn't know what to do, and maybe he was feeling the same way, I was just unable to see it, and he didn't tell me.

I have always been one of the worlds biggest supporters of stay at home moms. I think the job is amazing and so important. But my kids have only had babysitters a handful of times in five years. While we still had a great time with our kids, and did lots of things with friends and family bringing our kids along, I should have made alone time more of a priority instead of refusing offers of help. I wish I had. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten so depressed, felt so alone. My husband was right there next to me, but he felt so far away. It's so bittersweet to me that so many things are clear to me now that he's gone, when it feels like it's too late to fix them.

I do know this. Regardless of John, regardless of me being pregnant, regardless of the kids, I will not make the same mistake for myself again. I am telling you all this now, so that you can hold me accountable. I do matter. I do get to do things without kids, and I will. Being pregnant does not sentence me to a life at home doing nothing but waiting for this baby to be born. I want to enjoy my life, not just my childrens'.


WendyCarole said...

So pleased to hear you had a good time going out. it's so important that you have time that is yours.

I can understand how you put Seth before everything else, it's a mum's instinct to do that.

Stil keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Unknown said...

I so fall into this category of being a mom only and letting everything else come a far second, if it is even second. I understand everything you said here and I appreciate your honesty and candidness. Praying for you, for YOU :)

And what a blessing for you to have a fun night, even if it came with "revelations." I am sure your ob would have been thrilled to know you took some time to just be Ellyn.

Janis @ SneakPeek said...


Now I gotta try to remember that for me too. Having a "Special" child does tend to put us in a different category than most SAHM. We, especially us single moms, need to remember to be "US" every once in a while.

Thanks for the reminder Ellyn.

Anonymous said...

maybe you should start writing john emails? apologizing for whatever you need to, telling him what you are realizing, what things would be like if he came back...just like the blog posts. you know, love letters so to speak...all you can do is try:) i am praying for the restoration of your marriage every day. it is never too late.

Anonymous said...

Good for you girl! I am a huge supporter of staying home with our girls too. I know how important it is to not lose myself in the process. It's REALLY hard to make yourself a priority. I'm so glad you are finding your way through this storm. I hope you end up loving you find in the end!

Cathy said...

God is really working in you. Keep listening and learning. You are His creation and He longs for you to have the "abundant life" that He created you for. No matter what happens now, you are beginning to see how all things, though not always good, can work TOGETHER for good. I will be praying that you don't lose sight of His love for you. By the way, I LOVE, LOVE your haircut!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what town wouldn't love being painted by two such beautiful girls!

So glad you had some fun for a change! Sounds like your visitors have done you a world of good.

I have to disagree with the love letter comment. I think you have done some real soul-searching, and identified things that you would change. Your humble honesty is refreshing, but let's not pretend your flaws alone caused or are deserving of your situation.

It is clear to everyone, your husband included, that you greatly desire to save your marriage. I feel it is equally important that John have the opportunity for the same honest reflection.
If this marriage is to be saved, and strengthened, it will not be overnight, and it will not be easy. It will require both of you to be completely accountable and sincerely committed to achieve the change and growth to get past the past.

I hope and pray that John has a change of heart, that he too is willing to address his own role in the breakdown of this marriage, and that he has the courage and desire to stand by your side and fight for the happiness of your beautiful family.

Stacy said...

What a small world! I had no idea we were neighbors. I live in Dunedin. For some reason I thoguht you were across the country! I dont know where I got that idea. Anyway, I am so glad you got out and had some fun. You are right, YOU DO MATTER, especailly to God but to so many people. I pray that God will bless you today and that you continue to get stronger.

Emily said...

It is easy to get wrapped up into our children's lives and forget about our own. And it's hard to find a balance. I'm happy that you recognized this El, and be praying for you as you strive to obtain that balance...

Meghan said...

I think it is a real challenge to make time for yourself and also with your spouse. I work full time and so does my husband so I feel guilty about being away from my child during the evening or weekend but I also recognize it is healthy to have some time away. It is very rejuvinating to have an evening away. I must say I do not ballance this well and I have one child and another on the way. It would be so much more difficult with three, or four or five kids. It seems there is never enough time and also money to go out as much as you want and then add the guilt in the equation. I do feel that I am a better mom when I have had a little time away.

Shannon said...

I gave you an award on my Blog today (7.25.09). I hope you stop by & pass it on.

Sonya said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. You have touched on so many things that I am going through right now. I struggle with going out and having alone time with my husband. I just can't feel ok with asking someone to watch my daugher while I go out and have fun. I know that it is important but I just feel so wrong doing it. This is because my step sister goes out all the time leaving my dad and her mom to pretty much raise her kids and that pisses me off to no end. I know that I will not do that but I still struggle with having time for myself. But you are so right. It is VERY important and I am going to work on this very much so!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hi, it's me-the love letter email suggestion commenter. i just wanted to elaborate because it seems i was a little misunderstood.

please don't think i was saying the separation is your fault and therefore you should apologize...honestly i believe your husband has made horrible and disgusting choices here. but all you can do is own up to your part in it... i was just thinking as i read your post that if he could truly hear how you felt it might change his opinions.

and since you want him back you should try to woo him back..because you know SHE is telling him lots of things about how great they're life could be together. i'm just saying you gotta fight for your man a little, since someone else is trying to take him. not because he deserves to be fought over, but because YOU want him back and the way i see it-he has two options right now, her or you. and your option needs to look just as good as she's making hers look. does that make sense?

i'm not trying to be offensive to anyone here, just thought i would encourage you to get out there and try your hardest to love on him and make that man want to come back where he belongs!

Madison Sanders said...

I'm glad you got out and had some fun.

That molten cake sounds yummy!

4 Lettre Words said...

Girlie Nights rock...and that's a great pic!

So glad you had a fun night out!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the poster who suggested writing the love letter. Your marriage does deserve the effort on your part even though what he did was way wrong.

If your husband does read the blog, then of course he does see, on here, that you want to change. I'm sure he also knows from the visits that you all have had as well.
But does this public blog penetrate to his heart like a personal love letter would? I think the effort on your part (after prayer about what to write) would really show him your heart. Of course he has a lot of work to do on his part but at least if he doesn't have a change of heart, you will always know that you gave it your all to save this.

I hope this isn't offensive. I am praying for the healing of your marriage. Your family is beautiful and deserving to be 'whole' again!

P.s...glad you had a great night out!


Momof2bz said...

Hi El,

I am so happy that you were able to get out and enjoy yourself. I know it is hard to balance life between mother, wife, woman, etc. Most times it is commonly the woman in us that we push aside. It's not a bad thing to treat yourself to this time occasionally. You need it. It will help you appreciate the kids even more. The fact that guys were hitting on you should prove to you that you are desirable. I know that feels good too even though you don't need to act on it, it's good to feel beautiful :)

I have to say that I read through the comments. I'm not so sure I like the love letter idea. I think you should continue to do what you are doing. Enjoy some time doing things you want to do. If one of John's complaints were that you weren't fun, you are certainly having a little now. Maybe he will see you as the girl he fell in love with and not El "the mom". He has classified you as irrational and I don't think a letter professing your undying love is the answer. He had your undying love and didn't appreciate it. I am sure that he never wanted you more than when you didn't want him. Maybe if you just go about you own life, maybe he'll want you more. If not, he just remains the fool. Again, this is just my opinion.

Hope you are having a great weekend in Florida. The Christmas in July sounded like fun (saw it on your tweet)! Hopefully, you'll tell us more in another post.

Momof2bz said...

PS - I am against the love letter only because if he is so unwilling to work on your marriage right now that I feel it only sets you up for disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I'm a newcomer to your blog. I just want you to know that I will uplift you and your family in prayer.

I know you didn't ask for my advice, but here is some advice anyway :)

From a Biblical perspective, I believe the best thing you can do is to FIRST and FOREMOST pursue your love relationship with JESUS. In line with that, I think that, as your sins and marriage mistakes are exposed (how AWESOME it is that God is revealing these things to you!), you could apologize to John, ask his forgiveness, and verbalize to him that if/when he wants to return to "the wife of his youth", you will be there, ready to rebuild your marriage. As hard as it might be, don't bring up his sins, don't even mention anything like, "I understand why you did what you did", because that gives the impression that two wrongs make a right. Simply own up to your sins in the marriage, and continue pursuing your Lord. The more you try to figure out "how to win him back", the more crazy you will make yourself. You can't control what he does; you can only control your own actions. I'm trying to learn this in my own to work on giving control over to the Lord. It's exhausting trying to be "in control" of things that are NOT meant to be under my control. It feels so much better to make my relationship with God my main focus, because He never fails me, never hurts me, & heals the hurts caused by others.

Praying for you!! :)

Anonymous said...

Just want to say, when I disagreed with the love-letter approach, it was not because I don't believe El should share her realizations with John, but because I assumed she had already done so. And I feel John should be given time to do the same.

I feel that looking at this as John being "taken" or "wooed back" suggests he is powerless in choosing the direction of his life.

I want him to come back. I want him to want to come back. And not in shame, but with a hero's strength, and conviction, and forever. That choice has got to be powerful, and it has got to be his.

Unknown said...

It's true, we sometimes place ourselves in the label of "just mom" because it entails so much responsibility. But like you, I am a young mother and after a few years of being stuck in the label I put myself in I had a very long talk with my husband. We decided that we needed time away from our family and from each other, to make us miss what we have and grow more value to it. It's been a life saver not just for my family but for myself as well... I feel young again, I feel I have more control, and I feel "normal" - whatever that is, LOL! Hang in there! You are ALWAYS in my thoughts!

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