Thursday, March 23, 2006

Doing Less...(rant)

I would give anything at this point to have less to do every day. I would love to be able to just stay home with no regard for the clock. I am going crazy with the things I have to do outside the house, and what is every single person in my life saying???? Maybe you should consider putting the kids back in school. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

This makes me angry on so many levels. First, it means they don't understand my priorities at all. Second it means they view my work with the kids as less important than my errands, the store, helping with DH's business and having a clean house. Third it means that they feel I am not contributing unless there is some monetary gain from what I am doing.

I had a good cry about it this morning when DH told me I should open the daycare we have been talking about and I told him I didn't want any more things to do in my life... And that the only way that would work is if I could hire out everything (which I don't think is feasible). What part of three kids and another on the way so even leaving the house at all is stressful doesn't he understand????? And yet somehow DH thinks if only I woke up earlier there would be enough time in the day to do all these things. Honey, if I woke up earlier I might have time to actually eat and maybe even consider my personal appearance... But not open another business when I am pressed to get everything I have to do with the store done.

Is there a way I can just relax a little without being berated for not contributing? I'm tired, exhausted and over-emotional. Would it be fair to tell people to lay off for awhile? Would they listen? To tell you the truth I am seriously considering a teaching job just to shut everyone up, and the insurance would be a real plus too. Maybe if the kids were all able to go to whatever school I worked at I would just do it... But with the new baby I can't even consider that. Maybe I'll just pack up the kids and go to The Farm for the rest of this pregnancy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Birth plans revisited

So, since my last posts about the plans for this birth I have had a health concern arise... Namely an abnormal pap followed by finding abnormal lesions that will have to be monitored and dealt with after this birth. Because of this all my care has been through a nurse midwife... But I really like her, and she understands where I am coming from and supports me in refusing things I don't want to have done. DH has finally relaxed about it, but I know the freaking out will commence once I get checked and biopsy post-partum.

However, none of this changes my birth itself. There are no nicu's here in Wyoming, so we had an ultrasound to check the baby for any conditions that would necessitate a nicu after birth. Alhamdulilah, things look fine... So, my plan right now is to quietly plan to birth at home unassisted. DH is not in on this plan, and I have mixed feelings about that since I believe in honesty in marriage... But, I really think I can do it, and as far as anyone knows it could just happen spontaneously anyway. I figure if it's going that smoothly I won't interrupt it. Also I have this vivid memory of laboring alone with my DD and I really think that is more my style. DH knows I won't even say I'm in labor until the last minute anyway, so I don't think he wouldn't be surprised if I waited a little too long. So, I am getting the standard measuring and weigh in type care... Monitoring my thyroid and just praying that I am in good health and the baby is too. I have a good feeling about it, the only caution I have been given is that I will probably be quicker to go to the hospital at the first sign of anything unusual than I would be if I had an attendant. Which might very well be true. But I have made dua about this, tried to make the best choice for the whole family, and this is what keeps coming to me. I have these dreams of a peaceful night birth, which I am praying is guidance about the whole thing.

Insha'Allah things will go smoothly. Please keep me in your dua! I will try to post more about things now that I am in the final trimester... I'm getting excited about the whole thing really. Now if only I could get motivated to get the house in order while I still have time!LOL

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Expectations in marriage...

Over time, women in the US have managed to set things right for themselves where men are concerned. They have very well established that they are no slaves and they are no maids and if husbands want a good clean house and well cooked meals then these men would simply have to put on the "kiss the cook " apron and ditch in.....(part removed here)... So how come there are the married couples in bliss in the middle east? Very simple. Women have used every part of their wit and intelligence to get what they want from their husbands. They know for example that if they cook and clean and sweat all day in the kitchen, then that is sending hubby a message: I respect you.

This comment on another blog got me thinking about the idea of what spouses expect in marriage and how that is influenced by culture and upbringing. Now, let me be clear that there are some differences in the cultures that get lumped into the "middle eastern" label... But for the purposes of this discussion I will be lumping but understand my personal experience is mostly from a city Egyptian's view.

What I would say is the hardest thing about being married to my DH is our different views on areas of responsibility. And this is a recurring theme in Middle Eastern/American marriages pretty often (from my perspective). My DH will be totally up in arms that I didn't do something and I will feel like it wasn't my job in the first place. If there is a culture clash for us that is it. Masha'Allah we get through it but I think both of us have our deep-seeded beliefs about what we should and shouldn't have to do in the family.

For most Middle Eastern men it seems that responsibility ends at the office exit door. They bring the money the family needs (and masha'Allah will do it no matter what) and then they are DONE. Now what happens when such a husband comes home to a mediocre dinner and a messy house (even if the wife also works) he flips. Why? Because the entire day has been spent fulfilling his obligations to the family and the wife hasn't met hers in his view. Is this bad? Does this mean that these men are self centered, chauvinistic, bullish, lazy or some combination of the above? No. That is the culture they are from, and that is most likely how they were raised.

Now of course the difference is that in most Middle Eastern countries the wife can just pay to have the things that she struggles with done, where as in the US that is not an option unless you are really well off. And how well off would you have to be to afford a woman to come cook with you every weekend and whenever you have an invitation? Or someone to deep clean the house weekly, or bi-weekly? Not to mention all the other things that an American maid will not do and an Egyptian maid will. My SIL, for example, has a maid come every season change to re-organize the family closets and store all the out of season clothes and things the kids have grown out of. So, the other factor for Middle Eastern men seems to be if he is doing OK, why not hire out some of the work?

Now, my DH taught me to cook Egyptian food, and could give laundry tips to the most seasoned wife... But he never does either of the above; if he does he leaves the clothes on the couch to be folded and the kitchen full of dishes and cooking debris. Am I mad, am I annoyed, do I wish he would help more? Yeah. But I don't think he is being lazy or mean... He just isn't convinced that I can't manage it all without his help.

So I guess what I am saying is the next time a culture clash occurs in your mixed marriage ask yourself if you even agree on the basics of who does what in the house... Chances are you don't!LOL Hmmm, I'll try to remember that the next time my DH asks me why the lawn hasn't been mowed in ages...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Polygyny, not Polygamy...

I watched the show Big Love on HBO this weekend, it was pretty good. It is about a family with three wives, and several kids. The women each have their own house and the husband stays one night with each in little three day cycles. I was thinking they might not really be living in the Islamic type of polygyny... But for the most part they are. With the separate houses and dividing the money, also the time... The husband even tries to deal fairly with regards to the three when one asks him in private if he misses her the most. He simply says, "Officially, I miss you all the same."

So, I have asked myself the question would I about polygyny soooo many times. Actually I annoy my husband talking about it because he feels I would hate it (he once tricked me into thinking he was marrying again and I cried) but I am working through the idea in my mind...

Seriously, I could imagine that if circumstances allowed (like he was healthy and secure in his job) I would be telling DH to look for a second wife. Why??? Hmmmm, that is a harder question to answer. It has something to do with challenging myself to put my money where my mouth is (I do believe polygyny can be a good thing, and do believe it is a man's right). Also, I guess I see it as jihad, a way to put my trust in Allah's law, and I see it as a way to show I really do love my sisters in Islam... Or maybe I'm just plain crazy!lol

I guess I see where sharing would be hard, impossible. But I think of men who have time and money and how they always seem to have mistresses or if they are brothers secret second wives... And I would rather have it out there in the open. I don't want my DH committing haram, and I certainly wouldn't want him to go behind my back to marry again. I would hope he could face me with it and we could exist as a family. And you never know, because we all know the hadith right? The one about maybe you dislike something that has great good in it? Something to think about:)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Home Again!

Well, our trip was much longer than expected... But, Alhamdulilah, we are home again now. We had to go to Denver a day after we got back though, since I had scheduled things thinking I would been Laramie a week earlier! I am up to my neck in things to do... Laundry, unpacking, cleaning up after the past few days of being home with no energy. I just keep telling myself one big task a day. Yesterday was the van, cleaning and unloading the last few things... And also paying all the first of the month stuff and catching up on paperwork for DH's business.

As far as the trip... I got us into this city pass thing where you buy a pack of tickets that will go to the major parks and attractions at a discount. 3 days Disney, 1 day Universal Studios, 1 day Sea World & 1 day Wild Animal Park... If you are really going to do all those attractions it saves you some money. But, for me it meant I had to go to those places since I already paid. Yikes... Too many attractions for my kids even in the 2 weeks we had to go. I think I would've done 1 day Disney and Sea World and maybe the Wild Animal Park. I have no love of being in lines with a 3 kids who might have a meltdown because they are hungry, tired, have to pee, or any other number of things. Really, the best part was the beach and just relaxing at the time share.

I have so many things I want to blog about that I thought of while on vacation... I just hope to get to them before pregnancy brain erases any trace of them!LOL