I am so sorry I have been late in getting my serial excerpts up for my novel, Dates with God: How Four Mormon Mamas Beat Satan with the Book of Mormon.
Here is Chapter 4: Part 4, Lauren’s Letter #4, in which poised, professional Lauren inwardly acknowledges that her life is in shambles and she needs help. Will she ever be humble enough to admit this to her husband?
Lauren Week #4
My life is falling apart. The porn addiction is gripping Logan like a vise. I am supposed to be leaving tomorrow to speak on natural birth in Houston at a conference but I just feel like I need to stop being gone from home so much. I have got to figure out what I can do on my part to get Logan help without him rebelling and rejecting it. I can’t leave when he is in the depths of his addiction. He can’t babysit the kids in his addiction and I don’t want to get a babysitter with him being here at the house. And I don’t want to leave him home and have all of the kids at the babysitter’s house. Of course, James has to work all night. It will just be one long marathon of screen time and eating junk food if I go and a marathon of porn for Logan. I’m also having a strange rash on my upper arms and I pulled a muscle in my back that makes it hard to even move. I am calling today to regretfully say that I can’t make the speaking engagement.
I’ve thought about writing another letter to James, but what would be the point? I already tell him everything I am feeling and everything he needs to do. He’s been working for his dad all these years even though he has his own general contractor’s license. He could totally start his own business. I really don’t like living in this neighborhood because it has too many kids my kids ages’ who I don’t like. Logan has two friends whose moms have told me that Logan introduced them to porn. So they are mad at me. I don’t blame them. So now we also have neighbors who don’t like us. Well, that’s another reason to move. I don’t know how to describe it, but this neighborhood is on the ever increasing fast track of life to consume as much money and status as the people can. I feel like my kids have too many friends just in this neighborhood that distract them into talking about superficial things like fashion and pop music too much. I have always dreamed of my kids getting into an Ivy League school like me. They can’t do that unless they study and none of my kids are studying because of all the fun they are having with friends and digital distractions.
We’ve talked about building a house on our property on the outskirts of town in a humbler neighborhood. It would be so nice to move there and have a fresh start with different friends for my kids. But Dave never seems to find the time to even start. He’s always doing extra work for his dad. I would love to get away from this neighborhood and the schools and his family.
I remember seeing my sister’s comment on Facebook. She asked “How do you press the pause button on life?” Her friend replied by saying that a pause button is called homeschooling. Oh, those homeschoolers, I thought, they are so smug! But the more I’ve talked about it, the more appealing homeschooling sounds. I don’t want to tell James though. He asked me to do it years ago and I said I couldn’t because of all my other stuff going on, like my midwifery practice and my blogging and my nonprofit.
So I am just exploring the idea inside me right now, not telling anyone but Thee God. If I am going to homeschool then I would have to let something go. Even I couldn’t keep that balancing act going on. I’ve been controlling the finances because I know how to manage money better than James does with my accounting degree. So I feel like how we spend our money is up to me. All of my various hobbies actually bring in an income. I don’t know which one I could give up. James would have to start making more money, a lot more, for me to quit.
Hmmm…there’s my midwifery business. Maybe I can cut back to one birth a month. Then I would never have more than one prenatal a week, and even then it wouldn’t be every week.
How about my doula business? I consider it a way to get potential clients. I guess if I cut back on my midwifing I won’t really be needing any more clients so I could probably drop the doula thing.
What about my nonprofit org and my blogging? I guess I can cut back here, maybe. I have a huge amount of people following me, with over 200,000 page views per month and 200K Facebook fans. People think I’m funny. I love sharing my life about being a high-powered attorney turned naturally crunchy green mom. I love sharing stories and pictures about birth and breastfeeding and kids and family life and organization and time-management for moms. By looking at my blog, you would think that I have a picture perfect life with a perfect husband and perfect kids. But there’s so much that my readers don’t see about my life that needs fixing, namely my kids and my marriage.
James and Logan both generally avoid me and go to their screens every night. James just does it later in the night because he comes home around 9 PM from working late. I am thinking we need to get screens out of this house! Or at least take away Logan’s phone. My kids are not getting the education I want them to have. We moved into this neighborhood so we could live by this charter elementary school where they could have Chinese language immersion in all of their classes but they hate it. The older boys tolerated it, then graduated from grade school. Now that they are in junior high and high school I would like them to take honors and AP classes but they say only nerds do those and they just want to be in classes where all their friends are. They never do their homework. Every night, we don’t really connect. We each go to our devices after dinner. If we even have dinner. Sometimes I am at a birth and then they have to fend for themselves with convenience food or I will order take-out or pizza for them. It feels like we live in a hotel where we don’t know the other people living in the building with us. For the younger kids, I used to help in their classrooms for a few hours each week. It’s been ages since I could do that. I liked that I knew what was being talked about in class. Now I see their homework occasionally, when I am home and they remember to bring their homework home. I also hate that it’s so much busywork.
I’ve also got to stop spending so much money. When I am in the moment looking at something I want to buy, I feel like I have to buy it. I don’t want to even remotely remember that I have been wanting to curb my spending. I love getting cool organizing and decor stuff for my office, the home, and my midwifery business. I just got some killer shelves at Ikea for only $49. I’ve been thinking of getting some training in energy healing to help my pregnant clients, but that training costs $3000. But I have already maxed out my credit cards.
I’ve actually been feeling hugely depressed about all of these issues. If Logan doesn’t recover from his addiction, his mission will be delayed, or maybe he won’t even go on one. If I don’t do something about my kids’ time after school, they are going to just keep sinking into zombie screen time deeper. If I don’t control my spending, I am going to have to start dipping into my savings. I am thinking that maybe we could live on James’ income if I stopped working, because then I wouldn’t have all of these expenses. But I get so much gratification from my work.
I don’t want to think about my depressing issues any more. The homework for the class this week is to think of something that generates Mother Bear chemistry. Hmmm…that’s easy. I picture a doctor taking away my baby boys right after they were born and circing them. Or I think about one of the OB-GYNs in town who has a reputation for inducing lots of births early and handing out C-sections like they are candy. He even has a sign in the reception area of his office saying that he does not accept patients who are taking Bradley childbirth education classes. That makes my blood boil! I picture him talking smoothly to pregnant moms, telling them horror stories about natural births and how the best answer is to just accept all of the interventions that the doctor says. That makes me want to run in between them, cover up the mom’s ears, and stick a sock in the doctor’s mouth. Then I want to challenge him to pass a bowel movement, with him strapped to a table, lying down, as people watch, under bright lights, according to a timetable. And that if he doesn’t do within the 30 minute deadline, I am going to give him an enema. Or I think about a young mom I overheard in the park on Saturday when I was there with the little girls. She was telling her friends about how all teenage boys are porn addicts. OK, so one of my boys is, but that doesn’t mean they all are! Austin is 13 and so far, he’s not showing signs. I am sure Logan has exposed him to it, but he’s not addicted. As far as I know. Aargh, that gives me another thing to stress about. I just want to go up to that young, know-it-all mom, and tell her that I know over a hundred young men who don’t touch porn.
God, I just don’t know what to do with my life. Please help me.