Friday, February 22, 2008

Where do we go from here?

I just got a phone call today from my 1st grader's teacher. Apparently he has been sent a disciplinary action form for the 3rd time... And this time he didn't bring it home.


I am ready to pull him from everything and move to a place where we can have a more peaceful, quiet life today. I am ready to chuck the ideas that DH has for all these business ventures and just run to Egypt and live by my SIL where I can have a simple existence. I think all the chaos in our house is at the root of this problem. He was fine last year.

So now I am asking myself should I push ahead with the plans we have... With the life that is keeping my husband in bed every hour of the day that he is at home? Or should I put my foot down and demand that things change? I have been seeing this anger in our DS... As a matter of fact I just spoke with my DH about it this morning over breakfast. He doesn't see it. He thinks our son is merely defending himself. I see uncontrolled aggression and I'm afraid it runs deeper than not liking school this year because I see it at home too.

I just hope our lifestyle (which is intended to provide a good life for our children in the future) doesn't ruin their lives now. I know it's been hard on me. I have been suffering from a deep depression for some time now... I can't let it touch my kids though, that would break my heart.

I think we are doing too much, fighting too much, and struggling too much. We need an easier life. We could have it. The question is will DH be willing to seek it?


Umm Yehiya said...

Depression? Wow, subhan'allah, I didn't know - not from your posts, hababti. You hadn't written about these emotional difficulties for awhile, so I thought things had changed...I'm sorry you're feeling down. May Allah bless and guide you and your family, make your path clear and easy, and fill your hearts with peace. Ameen.

What do you think your son is angry about? What is this lifestyle you're referring to? Why would life in Egypt be easier? What do you want your husband to change?

Sorry if I'm being too nosy...these are the questions that just cropped up for me, out of your post.

Hope you feel better!

UmmLayla said...

UmmYehiya, No, ask away. Yes, I have been depressed since before my last child was born and she is 20 months now (masha'Allah). I think my depression has organic roots... But it also has been triggered by life in general. I have been living with it for so long that I do OK most of the time, alhamdulilah. But it is there under the surface and it bubbles up when there are problems in our lives.

I think my son is just reflecting my husbands emotions to be honest. This last year has been horrible with his job and the death of his mother.

Our life is just crazy. Everything revolves around what needs to be done for my husband's business that day. Sometimes we get the kids from school on the run and don't get home until 10pm. I have had to help more with my DH's job for so many reasons this year. Plus we have the things with trying to build a daycare and selling property.

The two major things I want my DH to change are to take his work out of the house (which I did about 9 months ago and it has all come back) so that we can have our living room and our dining table to share family time. Then, I want him to ease up on the sleeping all the time so I don't have to constantly try to keep the kids quiet whenever we are in the house. Unfortunately, I don't think either of those things is happening anytime soon.

Egypt would be easier for a few reasons. DH would have to get a job that was just a regular job (not his own business) and I would be closer to family that could help with the kids. We have memberships to all the clubs and live in a big area so we would have people around and we wouldn't be so isolated. Oh, and I could afford to have help around the house there which would be nice for me.

Mona said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this tough time, making duaa for you. Just make sure you don't rush Egypt and plan it out well inshaAllah. (I know I said that already.)

Anonymous said...

I have moved abroad - although not to where we have family - and have found that some things did increase. My husband also sleeps all day - out of choice- and is awake all night. I feel horrible trying to quiet the kids it is stressful.
I think that moving just makes the issues less immediate but they are still there and they still bubble up. Whatever is wrong between 2 people will not get instantly better. Aand you may carry resentment at how things were before, however much u try to unload it.
Also it may be difficult for ur DS to adjustto thenew environment. Also, he may be reacting to your depression, even if u hide it he may sense it.
I will keep u in my prayers

Umm Yehiya said...

Assalaamu alaikum UmmLayla. Hmmm I agree a move to Egypt sounds like it might help, inshaAllah. Your current situation does sound very stressful - and kudos to you for recognizing that it could be better and can change, inshaAllah.

I hear ya about making changes for the better - and then sliding back to the old way. *sigh* But our good changes (and no one person in particular is to blame) don't seem to last as long as yours sound like they do, mashaAllah! I think that's just the way it is with families, sometimes, who have certain challenges to overcome. So, what do you do? You pick yourself up, again, and have the serious conversation, again, and agree to try and start over on the right path. All of it sounds exhausting, I know. And I don't even have 4 kids! So mashaAllah, I think you are SO STRONG to be the wife and mother you are. Additionally, I know you care so much about your family, and are, as always, creative, mashaAllah (I'm always impressed by your projects and involvements....maybe I'll HAVE to get more into this arena when my kids are a bit older inshaAllah) and progessive, seeking the good and ways to improve.

Life is full of trials. These are yours. What helps me to always feel better is when I remember, Alhamdulileh that these are my trials, and it's not something worse!

Are you on medication for your depression? I used to be highly critical/skeptical of this (in certain circumstances), but months ago, someone close to me started medication for anxiety and I saw tremendous improvements. I began to agree that this CAN be beneficial.

Talk to you son...(I'm sure you already have), find out what's going on. The key to improvements is communication. Maybe his dad can talk to him, too.

You'll be in my thoughts and duas inshaAllah.

Mona said...

Hey there's a tag with your name on it on my blog if you're up to it. Tags feel like homework sometimes!

L_Oman said...

Moving from one place to another won't solve all your problems!

It's not until you all become at peace together when things will fall into place.

I don't know how old all your children are, but I can say that one of my children was about your son's age when we came over here and he had a time with adjusting to things here. He's ok now, but I can see it in his eyes that he's really not content here. I really believe that when he becomes 'of age,' he will go back to the U.S. Life here just doesn't suit him. Then again, I could be wrong - but mama's know their stuff!

I'm not trying to put ya down or discourage you from moving to your husband's homeland, however since I've done the same thing and have gone through the emotions (and am still going through them...), I just thought I'd give you my two cents.

It's not easy. It really isn't. In the beginning it's fun but when you reach that in-between stage, oy - things can be topsy turvy!

I'll admit I was looking at the whole move through rose colored glasses, but reality hit hard after the newness of it all wore away.

Alhamdulillaah, now things are ok and I am adjusted for the most part here. Honestly though, I think the hub and I may have thought a little bit harder about it - at least when it came to the kids and the education offered here.

In the short time I've been here, I've seen a handful of women just up and leave because they couldn't handle it here. You have to be super strong to cope with a move across the world. You mentioned you're depressed. I hope that you pull through and get that under control prior to making any major decisions. I mean it with sincerity and concern, sister.

Umm Ibrahim said...

Assalaamu alaikum,
Insha'Allah khair sis - make istikhara insha'Allah. :)
I am in this state if mind too - wanting to move, wanting to be more stable but with the kids it is hard as we have to know we have made the right decision. Dh's home country appeals to me the most, for the same reasons as you: simpler life but dh insists that that uni education is poor there. :( It's so hard juggling everything and finding something that will be the solution for everything!
Take care sis. xxx

PS Umm Yehiya... are you reviving your blog?? :)

UmmLayla said...

Mona, I hear you about really thinking it out. I can be impulsive... But DH is the anti-impulsive so I know we will really think about it before we move, insha'Allah. I will look at the tag ASAP.

AA, I am sorry to hear that you are in the same situation with the sleeping thing. It sounds so trivial and yet it really is stressful and disruptive. I think you are very right about the resentment thing... We women especially seem to have the emotional memory of an elephant.

UmmYehiya, Thanks for the positive thoughts. I do enjoy all these creative things, actually I feel like not having more time and inclination to do them is part of how I can know for sure I have gone pretty far with the depression. My house also bears witness to this. It's a mess and I don't seem to have the time or energy to deal with it.

I have thought about meds... But I have seen my SIL who is addicted to them and am not ready to take that risk. I think I have this tendency in my personality and have tried to avoid anything that might lead to dependency.

There are so many things that go into a move, I agree it can be very stressful. However, I am really isolated here... So I guess there are differences but I am already accustomed to the isolation part that is hard for many people. Thanks for the thoughts and the concerns. You are right about it all.

UmmIbrahim, Oh, I have thought about it prayed about it and talked about it all the time. What was your DH's degree? Mine says that there are practical things he sees students here getting that he wishes he had in Egypt. It was a shock to come here but he discovered that he had a better understanding of the fundamentals than most American students. They knew some shortcuts and programing stuff that he had to learn but he had the underlying concepts that they didn't. Oh, he's an engineer BTW.

Anyway, overall thanks for the thoughts sisters... It's a hard time for me and some days things just really break me down.

aischa said...

Asalaamu alaikum,
I have no advice for you sadly,
Inshallah you and your family will make it through. Inshallah your husband can get help with his business, at least until you know what you'll be doing as a family. Our kids really really really absorb all of our emotional messes, and it does effect them. We need to have a special dua that will help our husbands wake up, and realize that what they do effects the family as much as we moms do (even if they are out working or comatose on the couch). Arghhhhh!
May Allah help you find a solution.
P.S. I'd vote for easier life in the U.S., by living on less $$$$. Kids need their parents. Egypt might have it's own stresses.

Umm Ibrahim said...

Assalaamu alaikum,
UmmLayla, my dh is an engineer also (polymers) but it is the kids he is thinking about when complains of the uni ed in his country as my eldest is already 12 subhan Allah.

Anonymous said...

Salaam Sis,

I am new to your blog. I hope all works out for you. I will keep you and family in my thoughts...

Molly said...

Allah be with you honey, it sounds extremely stressful. Children are such sponges, sometimes they may not actually see that anything is going on, but they soak up the energy in the house and act on it without understanding.

InshAllah everything will work out for the best. Have faith that where you are in life is where Allah means for you to be.

Its whats getting me through this time of being away from my dh.

Lemons said...

1. How old is your son relative to other children in his grade 1 class? If he is the youngest it would most likely explain the circumstances. I can explain in greater detail if this is the case.

2. Sorry dear, that is simply unfair for a child to go to bed at an inconsistent bedtime, much less at ten o'clock. All of you will pay the price with aggressiveness and irritability not just the day after, but the days following until his body catches up with the rest it needs it its entirety.

3. I guess you are starting up a daycare. I know a mom who did a similiar venture who also had very young children of her on. I also noticed the terrible effect it had on her eldest boy (then 5 years old) -- jeolous, clingy, irritable. The mother admitted it to me as well. Is it fair for your children to compete with stranger for personal attention?

4. believe you are depressed? And you want the responsiblity to look after your children and other children as well... And run a business... And keep a house...

You will get sicker because of your stressed out exhausted state; most likely you will get irritable or emotional (i.e. arguments) with dear husband or kids. You will find cause to get into arguments (probably with good reasons at the time) but really eeryone will be walking on eggshells around you (or better yet avoid you, not help you, ignore you) just cause they don't want to do something to tick you off...

5. Trust your instincts. Trust your instincts. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong IT IS!

6. You are doing all of this to provide a good future for your kids? Doesn't Allah provide?

7. Molly's comment is right on. Children are sponges. I would actually surmise that your son is feeding off your uncertainty and frustration.

8. You are spending effort trying to keep the chidren quiet while baba sleeps? Buy earplugs for baba. Close his bedroom door. Lock it if necessary so no one interupts him. Ummm, he knew what he was getting into when he got married. He knew what would the situation would be like when you got pregnant. I'm not saying let your kids take control over the house, but it shouldn't be your number one priority to shush the kids. Also maybe the kids are upset because baba ain't giving them any attention. (Sounds like he is avoiding them).

9. There is a ton of research concerning the benefits of eating together as a family. It is VERY IMPORTANT. Statistically it will lead to better marks, better attendance at school, better relationship with parents, no pre-mariatal shenigans or drugs (May Allah Protect You).

10. How is your sleeping? Get some sleeping pills if it a problem. I personally use non-addictive sleeping pills and it has made a difference in my energy and phsyically and emotionally.


I too am married to an Egyptian. He works, I stay at home. Although briefly I did work when my kids were super young. I have three kids under the age 6. I was born and raised in Canada. You know yourself best, of course consider or dismiss my comments above. But really I write out of concern for the wellbeing of you and your family.

Mona Um Ibrahim said...

i think the answer lies in moving to another city with a bigger muslim community. i will write more later, baby is crying.

UmmLayla said...

Aischa, I do think we could live in the US... Just not here in WY. I don't know about the Egypt thing... I know it would be stressful but I think that the influence of my DH's friends on him there would be a really positive thing. Alhamdulilah he has kept in touch with people and we have the start of a social network there. We have more friends there than we do here honestly.

The angry muslimah, Thanks for the thought. Ahlan was ahlan BTW.

Molly, I do think kids absorb the negativity. And we have too much of that right now. My DH's status is really no better than mine. His mother died almost a year ago now and he hasn't been back yet... I know it weighs on him.

Lemons, Thanks for your advice. I agree with you on all the things you said. I guess what we have going on is my DH pushing for things and me being in he middle. I know what I want for the kids... But I can't fight to the point where I make DH crazy so I am trying to do something in the middle. Of course that doesn't please anyone really.

Mona UmmIbrahim, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

You give me the impression that you are powerless in the situation. You are not.
Be bitter, be resentful, be exhausted, be depressed, be the martyr. I have no sympathy for you really.

You mention that you are doing all these endevours to provide a better future for your kids. I think instead your children will remember a tired, exhausted mom who just was too busy.

You can't change other people's behviour, only your own. So if your husband doesn't help, or is unimpressed with the fact a family should eat together at the dinner table, then so be it. But you have control over other areas in your life. So make the necessary corrections.

Commenters can give you blesssings, share positive saluations or best wishes, and make duaa. But a lot of your situation is the result of choices you made.

There I said it.

UmmLayla said...

Anon, I do have choices. The choices are try to work with the situation I am in or get divorced. I don't think that I would be any less exhausted if I was a single mom. And I don't think being upset about your situation always means you are resigned to it or don't see it for what it is. Sometimes you see the full ranges of your options and are not truly happy with any of them. We all have our challenges and these are mine. Sharing them leaves me open to all types of responses... Of course there are always those who feel they could handle my situation better than me. They might be right... Then again they might also just be going on assumptions.

Anonymous said...

I have suffered from depression for years and have been on medications for years. I thank God everyday for the medication and no I'm not addicted "smile"!

I am a stay at home mom, my husband has his own business, and yes we have a home office which unfortunately brings the work home. I can't escape the business responsibilities though I wish I could. I want to help him but reality be told I just can't being a mommy and wife.

We are in the same boat. We have been trying to sell our home to move to another state so we can get more house and land for much less money. Which will then give us the ability to work less, live more, and spend the summers in our mother land. This is our mission to have the best of both worlds for us and the children. School year in our home in the US and the entire summer in our homeland.

Keep praying about it and keep speaking to your husband about what options are out there for you and your family to slow down your lives and focus on family unity.

The point is to live life and not work just to live life. You have to find a way to make everyone happy and put yourself economically in a place to better support yourselves without ruining your lives. There are ways and you will find it.

Hang in there and keep praying for guidance.