Sunday, June 1, 2008

Queen of Unrealistic Expectations Strikes Again!


Update @9:30pm: I'm feeling a bit better. Still don't know what I'm going to do, but at least I feel a bit better.
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The Setup: I am a ninny. I know that I am a ninny. I am an unrealistic NINNY!!!! A passive aggressive, unrealistic NINNY! But still...

I have a "calling" in our church, which means that a year ago I was asked to lead the music in Primary, our children's organization (ages 3-11), because the other chorister was pregnant and unable to continue because of her pregnancy.

So, every Saturday night I usually remember that I need to pick out songs, which I do, and then I email them to the secretary so she can put it on agenda for the day and I print out two copies of the outline, one for myself and one for the pianist. I've done this for about a year now.

On Sundays, I lead this selected music. I practice songs we are learning for our annual Primary program (which we do in November, before the entire church congregation); we sing welcoming song and birthday songs, if need be. We sing WIGGLE songs. We sing quiet songs and reverence songs and theme songs. If there's a special occasion/holiday, we practice those songs so we can sing them in front of the congregation, too. I try to make it enjoyable and fun--spiritual but not boring. In fact, the last month we learned how to lead the music, which went really well.

So. I lead the music for two hours...actually I lead the music for about a total of an hour and 25 minutes, give or take, in both junior and senior Primary and then I go to Nursery and do music with the 18 months-3 yr olds which is about another 10-15 minutes of animated music leading. Truth be told, it took me a while to fall in love with this opportunity of service, but I have. I'm no musician or choir director, that's for sure, but there is a sweetness that these kids have that really comes out in the music they sing.

However. I have 10 weeks left in my pregnancy and it is physically exhausting to do this calling. MONTHS ago, I asked the Primary President if I could get some help (this was in February, at least) because it's HARD to be so animated for 2 hours, and I tried to drop the hint that once the baby comes in August, I'm not going to be available to do this. I mean, I will have a nursing newborn that will consume my time and energy, and honestly, I won't be available for 2 solid hours until my baby is MUCH older! AND, this is my last baby and I want to be able to take care of her as needed, whenever she needs it. I'm not like some women who LONG for two hours away from their kids...I can't do it. HECK, we even turned down getting tickets for the visiting Broadway Touring company of The Lion King, which I'd LOVE to see, because I don't want to be away from the baby that long. And seriously, you aren't even supposed to be exercising for 6 weeks after you have your baby, and trust me, every Sunday is an hour and a half of aerobic activity. I come home and am TUCKERED out, even when I wasn't pregnant!

Ahem. ANYWAY! Last week, after chasing Miss O in the hallway all during Sacrament Meeting (the meeting prior to the 2 hours of Primary), I pretty much had a weepy nervous breakdown in front of our Primary Pres because I just couldn't figure out why they hadn't been able to find a replacement for me. I mean, if motherhood is supposed to be our noblest and highest calling, WHY hadn't they been able to find someone suitable? My only answer had to be that they had forgotten when *THEIR* wives were pregnant and they just hadn't put it together. But WHY had they not done something by now???? I just couldn't understand. My Primary President told me that they kept offering her visiting college students who were home for the summer, but I told her that she really needed someone who could handle doing the Primary Program in November. She completely agreed and told me she'd keep working on it (submitting names, etc.)

Now. Here's a caveat: In complete full disclosure, I should say that I have not come out and asked to be released from this calling, out and out. I have not verbally said, "I need to be released." I have said, months ago, that I needed help because this was dang hard and every Sunday, my body responds in a variety of ways. Even as I type, my feet are swollen little sausages. However, I have not asked to be released because I am already guilt ridden with having asked to be released from a calling 2 years ago when Super J and I team taught a Sunday School class from Hell (aka: the 16 and 17 year olds) when I was pregnant with Miss O (it's a long story, but seriously, we had such animosity because of that class that we were fighting at home and truly trying to move out of the ward boundaries. Ugh.). I just can't bring myself to ask to be released again because I don't think I can handle that guilt. I just can't. I can't.

So, instead, I have said that I will do what the Lord needs and if they can't find anyone, I'll trust that the Lord will give me strength to go on. And I've meant it. However, I have tried to talk to the President to let her know that something really needed to be done, hoping that she'd pick up on it. So. Last week, after my weep fest in the hallway, our Primary President came up to me after our meetings and said that she thought she'd found someone that could work. Relief washed over me. I would be released. Thank goodness.

Well. Today, she came up to me after meetings again and told me that it was "a go!" I was welcome to call this particular Sister and get things planned (I should say that I love this particular Sister...she's awesome, but I also know she hates leading music in Primary, so her agreeing to this really says something about her). Now, my Primary President told me, this is just an assignment for this Sister. It's not a calling. But, she said, "it should get you through to November, so hopefully that will help."

Get me through to November? To our Primary Program? Because, it'll be easier to be chorister in Primary with a 3 month old?????

Does NO ONE LISTEN????????

I am beside myself. Talk about a weepy thing...that was me, this afternoon.

Here's what's so hard. This is the last time I plan on doing this whole mothering thing. My last baby. And they are giving me, basically, maternity leave and then wanting me to come back, full time. It's NOT FAIR!!!!!!!

I know I am a faithless wretch, especially complaining about it. I know. I am showing a complete lack of faith. But seriously. I'm beside myself.

I just keep praying for a softened heart. That I'll be able to trust this decision. But I have to admit that when I think too much about it, I kinda start crying again. Ugh.

I'll be alright. I just needed to get this out. Maybe tomorrow it won't seem so dire and I won't be as angry about this as I am now. Maybe tomorrow my heart will indeed have thawed a bit. I hope it hurries, though.

5 comments:

Katie said...

Oh sweetie,
I know this may sound hollow, but I feel for you. It is amazing what people in church can think, say, and or feel. It's not just people at church, but that's where we expect people to be more "inspired" than in every day life. And when they don't live up to the inspiration (at least the inspiration that we think they should have), all hell can break loose.
You are an amazing daughter of God. He is watching over you - whether the primary is making you feel like it or not.

bearblue said...

*hugs*

It's going to be okay and you are a good person, whether you ask off or not. It's okay to look after yours and the baby's best interest. Faith isn't about surrendering the option to take care of yourself so others can trod all over you.

That's not what it's there for.

If you know, in your heart, that this is not okay, then your faith is telling you to be brave and to act. You don't know but that God is calling you to stand up and be counted. And this may mean that you need that ability later, when it really means something.

That said, it's the usual story isn't it. Pray about it and if you feel led to say something, do it. If you don't, then don't. But don't complicate things with unnecessary guilt.

If motherhood is the higher calling. If this is indeed your last kiddo. You have an obligation of care that supersedes primary.

If you feel strongly that you can't just ask to be released, which is your option, then again, don't let guilt be your companion. Guilt has no heart, but you do and you don't need to wound yourself over the past. That was a different circumstance and it's own problem. Just ask yourself, are you and Jason stronger now? If so, then you came out on the other side for the better. Both for the courage to do the class and the courage to quit when it was wrong for you.

Besides, it gives other people the opportunity to serve to. Right?

As for the Primary: obviously they love having you as the chorister and so they're reluctant to let go. You must do a phenomenal and praiseworthy job, which is just fantastic and says a lot about how much you love your kids and that love spreads to others. But cut yourself some slack now. It's okay to accept your need to step back. And trust me, you're not the only new mom who has said, "Uhm. Wait a minute."

I mean, you mention it right in this blog. :)

Of course, it's up to you. Maybe it's a case of waiting it out. If by November, you're still not grooving to the tune of primary, don't sweat it. Pray about it and tell them. Say, "I need six more months. Or a year. Then if you still want me..."

November is a different month and you'll be in a different frame of mind anyway. You may surprise yourself (one way or the other).

Whatever the case, I love you, my sister and I support whatever you choose to do about it. *more e-hugs of the biggen-size*

Miss L said...

Thanks Katrina and Katie!!!!!

:) L

Stephanie said...

Hello!

I've found your blog through Colton & Michelle. So fun to get updates!

Can I just say I'm feeling de ja vu reading this! I WAS the primary president through my last two pregnancies and births. After leaving many hints, I was finally realeased after four years when our fourth child was 7 months old. Why not sooner? The bishop said, "A lot of women hold callings in presiding auxillaries when they have babies." Arg!

~Stephanie Felker

What's up with the Walkers! said...

I feel your pain, not literally just made me feel better about my primary calling, I thought I was released before the baby was born, apparently I was also on maternity leave because they asked me to sit in with a class again. Not a big deal except Ashlyn refuses to go to nursery unless either I or Kendall accompany her, which leaves us with Preston. The real glitch, which apparently no one has considered is that Kendall serves in the High Priest group leadership and has to be with them the last hour. How can we do all this and take care of two babies at the same time. You are my hero Laurenda, thanks for the rant, I needed it!