Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ebb and Flow

Some people call it seasons, others call it the tide but there comes a time in all things that they become less potent than they once were when they began. The honeymoon period ends. Everyday life takes over. It's a natural occurrence that affects all things.
When a couple embarks upon this journey, this dynamic, it's exciting in the beginning. They enter into a season of renewal as a couple. The attraction they have for each other reawakens, they hold hands more, seek each other out more, live for a purpose in their relationship again. After a time, though- the first year, the second- that honeymoon period ends and the couple finds themselves in a regular cycle again. Sometimes they forget that things are still very different then they were before they embraced this journey because their "new" way of relating has become familiar to them.
J and I have practiced this dynamic nearly three years now. During this time we've had our ups and downs as we've learned to function in a new way together. We've been blessed with how this dynamic has helped our relationship, changed it, and made it blossom. I've been asked what was different. People have mentioned wanting what we have and have noticed the changes in us although they've been unable to identify what exactly changed. The evidence of the fruit this bears is there.
When I miss him I think of this. when I long for the excitement that came with our honeymoon period, when everything was new and exciting, and we had a "secret" I think of this. What was intended has been accomplished. We are a success. To look at who we were years ago and see us today, you couldn't surmise less.
And when I  stop and think about it, I say "Yes, Sir" to him again. I say "may I" when I request something again. I seek out his needs and perform them without being asked. And I see his reaction to me as he notices- a look, a hand on my neck, a grab of my ass as he passes me in the kitchen, an order to kneel.
It is all very much there and potent as it ever was in the beginning. It is comfortably a part of who we are now and I couldn't ask for more. That was the intention when we started, that it would become like this. All it takes is keeping the knowledge alive that it hasn't faded away- during the schedules, during the working hours, during the tired evenings. We may go through seasons of rest but our commitment to each other is ever present. I will be secure in that.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Don't Quit

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about where I'm at in my life. Now that things have settled down with our daughter and J and I have been able to reconnect, I have once again longed to put some of the things I've been striving for into action. I mentioned in my last post that I was putting my personal goals aside for now and wasn't sure if I'd be ready to pick them up again any time soon. It seemed like lately whenever I'd have any spare time I was either exhausted or one of my children needed me for something. I found myself feeling down about letting my ambitions go. I also found, as my daughter recovered more fully that I began to have periods of free time again and that I wasn't as exhausted as I have been. I began to long to get back to my goals but I was afraid at the same time. I was afraid that if I did so something would happen to take me away from them again and I'd feel like a failure and be disappointed. Way to be positive, right!
In the past, J has had concerns with the goals I'd given myself because I tend to bite off more then I can chew. He found that when other things would come up and get in the way of my goal I'd either give up or get angered by the obstacle that came up (which at times was my children). Back when our smallest child was just an infant he forbid me from taking part in NaNoWriMo because he knew I'd be a wreck over the daily word count that I'd try to hold myself to and he knew it would be too much pressure with a new baby in our home. He was right of course and he made me deregister after I had signed up without his permission.
I have talked with J many times over the past couple of years about some goals I have and have gone back and forth about them when things have gotten too crazy for me to keep up. I am referring mostly to my writing. I have been torn between feeling like a failure for quitting on my goals but also like I'm inadequate for not being able to keep up with them.
When I've tried to stick to my goals as a writer I feel fulfilled to be doing something I've always loved and work towards something I've always wanted which is to get my work noticed and out there. However, I also feel pressured and at times this pressure has been too much of a weight for me to carry with everything else that I have to juggle. Giving up on my dreams feels like a solution at first but just leaves me feeling a forlorn sense of emptiness later on when I'm not doing what I've always had a deep passion to do.
What I came to realize is that I didn't need to give up on my goal, I needed to cut down on my goal expectations. I needed to take some of the pressure that I was putting on myself off and not expect so much of myself so soon.
There is a quote that I love that says, "If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit." I try to remember it often because I've fallen into so many traps by this very thing. I realized that there may be some nights I'd be on and I'd easily manage a 2,000-word count but there's nothing wrong with the nights that all I can manage is 200 words either. I needed to stop expecting myself to be able to pop out books like the more experienced writers and be happy if I could start off with maybe 1 or 2 this year. I learned that I could still have my goals but the pressure to expect more of myself then I was able to give had to come off. I could still strive to accomplish my goals but the expectations I had for myself needed to come down. I had to realize that "Rome wasn't built in a day," and neither would I be. I had to learn to be patient.
So like always, I talked about my revelation with J and he supported my feelings on the matter and agreed to hold me accountable to this as well as some other goals I've made for myself this year.
So if you are struggling with a goal or two I encourage you to evaluate why you made it a goal in the first place. If it really matters to you, I encourage you to keep going and not give up. Look at the expectations you have in order to meet your goal and adjust if necessary but don't let go of your dreams!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Why I've Been Away (An update and an encouraging word)

I've been MIA for a while now and I want to apologize for not being in touch or getting back to readers in the comments. The last month has been challenging for our family and I am just now coming to a place where I can wrap my head around it. I will get into all of that soon but first I want to say that my purpose for this post, other than updating you, is to encourage you. The past month has taught me so much about what it means to have to put "us" on hold, meaning J and me. And I want to tell you if you're at a place in your dynamic where you just have to shelve it for a while, I know it's hard because I've been there but I promise you, it won't last forever.
 After having the experiences we did over the past few weeks, with the holiday season thrown in and responsibilities to keep up with, the last thing either J or I had time for was to keep up with all the nuances surrounding our relationship. For a time we had to put that on hold and I don't mean just the physical parts of our dynamic. Even some of the expectations that we have for each other had to be shelved for a time just to keep up with everything else. We made it through it all and we have had a chance, now that the waters have settled, to reconnect.
 I have learned through this that there are times when we have no choice but to put things on hold for a time. There are times when even modifying the way we execute our dynamic in order to accommodate our situation isn't workable. There are some situations that just force impromptu breaks from how we operate with each other.
 As submissives, generally, we do not do well with this. We fear it. Often times even our dominant partners struggle when things are put on hold in this way.
I want to tell you that if you are struggling through something that has caused your relationship with your partner to come to a halt, keep heart. Things will get better, they will go back to normal. You won't be going through what you are now, forever. It is temporary.

This is what happened to us...
One of our children recently became sick and was admitted to the children's hospital (you can read about that HERE) After coming home she did well for about a week but then went downhill again. She had to go back and be admitted a second time and this last time was far more difficult to get through then the first. This time I couldn't stay with her. I had to leave her so I could care for our other children.
 She was there for a week and everyday J and I drove to the hospital to be with her. Sometimes we took shifts, other times we went together but during daylight hours one of us was always with her.
 J took time off work and family members helped with our other children.
 Again we sat with her, held her through every poke, watched the bites she took, encouraged her to eat. After meeting once again with the team of specialists that had cared for her before, our daughter finally got a diagnosis. Our little girl was suffering from PANDAS. You can read an article on that HERE.
Through the ordeal, our other children missed us and became clingy. I felt terrible leaving them each day, just as much so as I felt leaving our little girl at the hospital without us at night. Studies were put on hold, work was put on hold, even Christmas got put on hold. When the holidays came our baby was still in the hospital and though we had a little surprise put together at the hospital for all of them (we brought our other kids to see her that day) we saved our traditional family celebration and dinner for when she came home. Luckily it wasn't too much longer she would have to stay. She was discharged on the 27th but she had to come home with an NG tube because she still wasn't eating enough. J and I learned how to care for her and spent a good deal of money on accessories to make the tube more comfortable for her. 
As soon as we were home with her we threw ourselves into making the holiday come alive for our children. We had explained to them that Santa would be making a late stop at our house for when their sister was able to come home. We celebrated on the 30th and had family over. The holiday was lovely but it wouldn't have even been possible to celebrate without our little girl. The best part about it all was seeing her home again and seeing all our babies happy and together. 
Our other children were aching for time with us. While our 5-year-old was in the hospital, we did our best to give them what we could, but they really didn't see much of us while she was so sick. 
They were clingy for a while and it took a couple of weeks for them to feel secure again. They needed to know their sister would be okay, they needed to know we would all be home again, they needed life to be normal again. We did our best to meet their needs, putting ourselves on hold again because that's what parents do. 
Finally, when our children settled into their routines, J and I had to rest. We were exhausted. Even then our dynamic remained pretty lifeless while we tried to bounce back. 
I had to make other hard decisions as well. Some of my own personal goals had to be laid to rest indefinitely. I still won't pick them up again because I want to devote all my time and energy towards my family and now finally towards recovering the routines pertaining to our dynamic. 

On a side note:
Thankfully our daughter is doing much better now. She was put on antibiotics and many of her symptoms have disappeared. She no longer needs her NG tube and she is eating well again and regained the weight she lost. 

How this affected J and me:

During this ordeal, it was very difficult for both of us to have to put our relationship on hold. At one point J told me his hands were fairly itching to take me in hand just to reconnect with me. 
I completely understood. Sometimes I just looked into his eyes and said, "I miss you, Daddy." No tears, I forced myself to be a big girl, be strong. Just truth. Just acknowledgment. I missed my Daddy, but I knew we had to be on hold so we could give our energy to our daughter. Whatever else was left had to go to our other children who were missing us and longing to be with us again. 
Each time it seemed we got through one hurdle, another was there waiting to be tackled. Once our daughter was better we tackled recreating our traditional holiday celebrations for our children. Once the holidays were over we were still caring for our daughter's medical issues and our other children's needs and making up for lost time with them. Once they felt secure again we were taking time apart for rest and self- care because we were literally exhausted. During this phase I found myself getting snippy with J. I needed us to have our turn. I needed our relationship to be normal again. He still needed rest. 
J gave me a lot of unwanted grace while I battled with my attitude, while I waited for him to come around. A few times I tried to talk with him about my need for us to return to normal but one of us was either overtired or our children's needs took away from what little time in the day we had left. Finally, the night came that we were able to talk and that talk led to a Re-connection or what we also call a Role Affirmation Session. The kids were asleep, the house was quiet for the night. J led me downstairs and held me close. Then he bared me, placed me over his lap and gave me the spanking we had both been needing for weeks. 
Afterward, we cuddled up and watched a movie and were actually able to have a date night together.  Finally, I felt like I was with my Daddy again. Although I knew he was Daddy all along, it didn't feel the same. So much of what we share was missing because we had to reserve our energy for what was most important at that moment. We had to sacrifice our relationship for a time to be the most helpful to our little girl who needed us and then to our other children. We had to put our relationship on hold further so we could nurture ourselves enough so that we had enough reserve to give to the other.
That night was healing to both of us and we both felt more ourselves. Our roles began to flesh out again. The next day I felt more attentive to J. I noticed him more, felt sparks again when I'd look at him. I began to anticipate his needs and do the things expected of me in my role.

Although I felt restored in our relationship, after our session I wound up giving J a bit of an attitude the next evening. He diligently took care of things and placed me over his knee that night once our children had fallen asleep.
 By the following night, I was back on the straight and narrow once again.
It really is no surprise to me that I had another hiccup after being reconnected. I think there is a part of us as submissives that need to test the waters with our Doms after we have had a disconnect. We need to be sure of them again and sure that they really do have us. Once J proved to me that he was back on, I was able to trust and fall gracefully into my role again. 

Something else I learned while all this was going that is also worth mentioning is- there is no cookie-cutter Dom. What I mean by that is that every Dominant has their own unique gifts that make them the Dom they are. I think sometimes as submissives we form expectations of what our Dom should be like. We want the Alpha, the top- dog, the one who can snap his fingers and make lesser men do his bidding. You all know what I mean, especially if you've read the kinkery available in the romance section.
The truth is all Dom's are their own person. Like anyone else, each has their own strengths and weaknesses.
How many times have you heard a submissive say that they aren't actually submissive in real life? Their submission is a gift they give to one person, their Dominant.
I would argue the same for a Dominant. Every Dominant is not an Alpha. J certainly isn't. He is manly, he is rugged, he's a beast of sorts and I love that about him, but he certainly isn't competitive nor is he in a leadership role in every aspect of his life. However, is he Dominant in our marriage? Very much so. Is he Dominant with every person he comes across? No.
His role of Dominant is pertinent to our marriage. It is a gift of himself he gives to our children and to me and he performs it within his own sphere of strengths and weaknesses.
There was one point at the hospital when I had been throwing myself into the role of caregiver to our daughter, that I noticed how opposite J and I are when it comes to handling our stress. As a mom, I deal with stress by jumping in and doing what needs to be done. J tends to stand back, observe, process, and then make his decisions. My decisions are made by doing, his are made by observing. Many times his way of doing things has made him the right man for the job as my Dominant. In this instance, Where I needed to fluff pillows and decorate our daughters room to deal with what was happening to our daughter, J needed to sit back and observe, process and ponder in order to process everything happening with her medically. By doing that he was silently the calm that kept my storm at bay. While I tend to throw myself into whatever needs to be done and go at it full force, J tends to observe the situation for a time, processing information and applying himself as needed to whatever needs his attention.
When I  noticed our different responses at first I felt like I was being the typical "dominant partner" and he was following my lead. It made me uncomfortable. What I came to realize is that he was very much still the dominant partner. Although we had different ways of handling the same situation, no decisions would be made in regards to our daughter without his approval.

So I tell you all this to say- hey, if you are struggling, hang in there. It will get better. Try to be patient, try to hold on. Give each other grace right now so you can get through the hurdle you are facing. Remember that your dynamic will be right where you left it when you are able to pick it up again and in the meantime let it bear the fruit in your relationship that it is intended to create- healthy communication, understanding, passion, love, security, attentiveness, faithfulness, servitude and humility. Remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Importance of Self- Care During the Beauty of Self- Sacrifice

Good morning,
 I hope this post finds you well. This past week has been a difficult one for my family and after my last post, I feel it is appropriate that I blog it out and update readers here.
In my last post, I explained that one of our children was having a hard time and how the stress of it was an example of how a stressful situation can put a strain on our dynamic. My submission to J tends to wane as I try to cope with the stressor and I tend to not submit well in those moments. 
Well, things took a turn for the worse last week and though things are better now, we're not out of the woods yet. 
Our daughter was admitted to the children's hospital for a few days suffering from dehydration due to not wanting to eat or drink. This child has an allergy to Gluten and became afraid to eat, thinking that all food would make her sick. She's 5. 
So during this ordeal, I stayed with her. There was no way under heaven or earth I could leave one of my children in this situation alone. I stayed right by her side, holding her every time they had to poke her with a needle, every time they had to flush her IV, every time they had to take blood from her IV which hurt worse than the needle pricks because her veins were so small. I only left her side to go to the cafeteria to get something to eat- and then only when a PCA or a family member was free to sit with her. 
I missed my other babies terribly who were staying at my mother's house so that J  could  come and go and get to work. In all the hardship of it, it was a gift to have so much time with my daughter whom, as a mother of many littles, I don't get a lot of one on one time with. We colored together and snuggled to a movie, I took her for several spins around the unit in a little car that they had there. It was a wonderful bonding experience. And through it all, I sat and watched every bite she took, softly encouraging her to eat and trust food again. 
She began to look better. Her eyes weren't so dark, her face wasn't so pale and she began to regain the few pounds she had lost. I, on the other hand, began to fade. Before I realized what was happening I became sick and also had to be treated for exhaustion. Even then I tried to fight through it but my body couldn't and had to rest.  I wound up in the children's ED, floors apart from her. I had to let others take over in order to care for myself. 
I felt horrible for getting sick and not being with her. I felt horrible for getting sick in a children's hospital, feeling like I was taking the caregivers away from the children that needed them. I was surprised when I was told that what happened to me happens far more often then one would think. Actually, no one really seemed surprised that I had gotten sick.
It is so easy for mothers and for submissives as well to give at their own expense. We love deeply, passionately. We give and we don't mind it because we love so much. It's a beautiful kind of love that we feel for others and I believe it is unique to it's calling.
That being said, we run the risk of giving to the point where we neglect ourselves. Not that we mean to, because we know we must care for ourselves, but because we are so preoccupied supporting those we love.
I needed to advocate for my daughter and support her care but by doing so I neglected my own. That's what mothers do. But there comes a time when we need to step back and let someone else take over for a bit so we can take care of ourselves. Even then, we do it because it's for the good of those we love that we are able to stay strong. Even then, it isn't selfish but necessary.
J and I stayed in touch by phone and text while we were apart. He came to the hospital on his off hours when he was able. He reminded me to take care of myself, to eat, to rest, not to overdo it. I did my best to obey him. When he first arrived at the ED as I was being cared for his first thought was that I hadn't obeyed him and had neglected myself. I assured him I had obeyed. I'd eaten when I needed to, rested when our daughter was asleep, I'd taken quick showers. But in spite of all I had done to try and keep myself going, my body had worn out. As I stayed in touch updating concerned family and friends, consulted with umpteenth medical personnel to work towards a treatment plan for our daughter, watched over her and provided the support needed to implement the plan, my own reserves were depleted.
When I recovered enough to be discharged from the ED, J wheeled me back up to our daughter. Luckily she had also recovered enough and a discharge plan had been put in place so we were both able to leave that night. When we finally got everyone home I threw myself into washing everything and straightening up the house. In spite of J's concern that I rest, he allowed me to do this. I explained to him that I needed things to get back to normal in order to feel like I could relax. I explained that I needed his support- with our daughter, with getting us all back to normal routine- he understood and threw himself into supporting me in whatever way I needed.
 Once the house was put back to order and all the laundry washed and put away, I sat down to go over a large stack of papers that had been waiting to be attended to all week. That's when he put his foot down and had me put it aside for later. It was Daddy time. He ordered me over to lay my head in his lap and he ran his hands through my hair, twisting and kneading the way I love. Then he rubbed my back and my body began to finally relax.

 I slept well that night and woke feeling more refreshed then I'd felt in days.
I read recently about another blogger who had a hard week not too long ago. She mentioned in her post how her dynamic with her husband had physically taken a back seat during the difficulty she faced yet was very much present in spite of it. My heart went out to her for the loss she spoke about throughout her post but as I read on, I learned something. Although a dynamic 'physically' must halt during times that are challenging like this, it can be very present still- by the way we give to each other mutually with our thoughts and our words, the way we respect each other, by the way we communicate and listen to the other, and by the way we give grace to each other during trials that are out of our hands.

J never got angry with me for telling him exactly what I needed from him. He never accused me of being 'unsubmissive' when I told him that I needed to do things my way- I needed to get my home together so we could get back to normal before I would be able to really relax. Although to him it appeared to be counterproductive, it was more relaxing at that moment for me to nest and put our home to rights then it was to take a nap or have a cup of coffee. Afterwards, though, I was able to do those things. I could feel my body relax as I went about the house cleaning up, or folded more laundry, or placed more clean clothing in closets and drawers.
Though physically our rituals where put to the side momentarily, our dynamic was very present in the way that we communicated our needs and sought out to support the other, the way we worked together and validated each other, the way we each thanked the other for the things we had done and were doing to support our home and family. By pulling together the beauty of our dynamic was revealed. The bond created through our dynamic was able to be exercised and fully present because it is in the trial that we find our strength, we find what we are made of. It is in the fire that we are put to test and refined.


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Awaiting a Spanking

Today was awful... can I just say that again?

Today was friggin' AWFUL!!

I would normally be having a date night with J right now, wrapped in a blanket and cuddled in front of the tv with a drink but that is so not happening tonight. Date night has been canceled because we have had such a horrid day and I'm also getting a  spanking tomorrow night- and I'm pretty sure it's going to be horrid.

If this sounds funny, I don't mean for it to. I'm just shy of becoming a catatonic couch potato that babbles incoherently into space (you know like in that movie Overboard- bababababa)

It all started at the butt-crack of dawn, one of our littles has been having a hard time now for... gosh I don't even know how long. Well, we are having a whole new round of issues now that I won't get into. Let's just say that it's related to food allergies and leave it at that.

I'm sure many of you in blog land know this, but when your littles have problems of whatever sort and you don't know what the hell to do, you tend to run the gamut of possibilities until you get a lead that points you in the possible right direction. It can be stressful as hell! You may turn on your partner and end up fighting. You may say some really stupid things that you really don't mean because you're stressed out and pissed off and can't take it out on your little who is the initial cause of your anger. You may feel guilty because they need you, they trust you and you shouldn't be angry at them. You may feel upset at your partner because deep down, you know they are fighting with the same ugly feelings that you have. We're there! And although we're not doing awful as far as our relationship goes, we're worn out, stressed with obligations and responsibilities, missing each other, and trying to hold on.
Remember that post I wrote on submitting with distractions?! Well, this is a distraction at its finest. These are the moments when I have the hardest time EVER submitting to J. I'm not even worthy of telling you how to do it. I'm just another wife posting another take on ttwd like all the other bloggers in blogland.
What I CAN tell you is, if you're struggling, you are not alone. It's not always easy. It takes work, demands it, even when you're at your weakest.
In those moments sometimes I think of others like myself- others who practice this male-led lifestyle and have children and large families. I think of them keeping on going on and I take a deep breath and keep trying. I remind myself that I'm not alone.
Sometimes I go to other blogs and read there for a while, just so I can see I'm not the only one. I read about what's going on in their lives and take notice of how they've come through things. I remember other times in our marriage that we came through things and how our dynamic helped us get there. I remind myself that we can get through whatever we're facing now too.
We are going through a trial but if we pull together we will be fine. Sometimes it's just hard to choose to see things from a positive perspective.
I know this won't last forever and it's just a momentary blip in our lives, but can I just say it sucks, it's hard, it's not what  I wanted, It's not how I wanted our day to go.
Deep breath...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Can anyone relate?

J and I are heavily into routines. Almost everything in our home is planned out ahead of time from what we'll eat for dinner on a daily basis to what gets done and when. We both thrive on schedules. I guess it should be no surprise to me then, that we are thinking of further ritualizing our D/s- even right down to using recitations for certain moments of our day, like our check-ins.
So I have been assigned the task of gathering whatever examples I can find of recitations/ rituals for us to read about and think on when we have our bigger check-in (usually referred to as our date night) at the end of the week. So, we'll see what happens. Perhaps we'll find something we like, something that fits. Or perhaps we'll come up with some of our own ideas. I will share here once we decide.

One thing is clear to me, I definitely feel more satisfied when we are deeper into a D/s headspace. I'm not sure what it is about it either. Perhaps it's the ritualization of how we function together that makes me love it, perhaps it's that the practices themselves don't seem dormant as often as they do as simply a DD couple.
 I love J's dominant side and as a couple that practiced solely DD in the beginning, it had become too vanilla- does that make sense? Not that there's anything wrong with practicing DD alone. Just for me, simply a male-led way of life wasn't always potent enough. I crave J's dominant hand and I don't want to push to get it. It seems like as a DD couple I had to misbehave in order to experience his dominance to the degree that I needed to. I mean, he did things that made him the dominant leader in our home- he paid the bills, made the decisions, gave me direction, was in charge of discipline, that sort of thing. But that's as far as the dominance went. If I needed to feel his strength there wasn't much there unless I misbehaved. Sure he was dominant during sex but I needed more. I needed him to be in charge in a deeper way- of who I was to him. I needed him to make me his- I needed to feel his dominance in the core of my soul- to get lost in his dominance over me, to belong to him down to the very core of my being

So, I've begun researching a bit. I did find a submissives prayer that I
 like a lot and may ask him if he likes it.
Do any of you use ritual or recitation? Can anyone offer advice or some examples of what they do or what they've heard of?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Submitting with Distractions

It's been so long since I've posted here. I keep meaning to write but have just been so so busy lately. It seems whenever I think I might have the time something comes up - even as I write this I am being interrupted one after the other. I know it's the way it is- I'm a mom and a wife and I'm needed. It's an important calling, one that I chose and love, and my family needs to come first. It's important to find a proper balance between family, work and self- care.
This leads me to something I've been wanting to blog about...

I'm sure I'm not the only submissive out there that has trouble submitting at times when there is a lot going on. So much has been vying for my attention lately it has literally left me depleted when it comes to performing within my submissive role to my husband. Truth is- I am happiest when I'm in my submissive place. It's that headspace I'm in when the flow between me and my Dom are connected on all levels- mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. When these connections are healthy between us, certain characteristics are present. We are on the same wavelength and we understand each other, I am able to be vulnerable with him and he with me, I feel connected to him on a soul- level. All of this combined makes our connection on a physical level that much more meaningful.
There are times though when the ability to achieve this level of connection becomes harder. Situations arise that cause stress, children and familial needs get in the way, schedules don't allow for the time it takes to foster the connection, emotional issues are present, illness takes its toll on the family- there are so many things that can get in the way. It leaves me feeling depleted physically, mentally and emotionally.

This past week I struggled with distractions that affected my energy levels. Some of these distractions were good things (my mother moving back to our state), some were worrisome (my son had a meltdown at school).
It's times like this I've learned over the years that I need to let my husband take the reigns and follow his lead. This is the very core of our lifestyle.
My husband asked me recently," Am I still Daddy to you?" 
That question broke my heart. "of course you are," I said.
"Outside of these walls," he asked.
I got the message. "I want you to be," I replied.
Truth is when we are outside of our home my submissive nature often takes a break. There are kids to watch, items to purchase, teachable moments to grasp, people to socialize with and my submission to  J is temporarily forgotten. Worse, at times I sometimes take the opposite role with him and try to steer him instead of following his lead.

Yesterday we were out and I began to bicker with him. I was worked up and stressed and we were at a social gathering with our children. After a previous day of shepherding them at two events, solo, because my husband had to go into work and previously spending more time out of the pew at mass than in it- kids needing to stretch their legs, bathroom breaks, etc- I had pretty much used up my quota on energy and patience.
J looked at me and asked if we needed to take a side trip to one of the other rooms to chat and I shot not to even go there with me, our kids needed us and we couldn't leave them. I'm sure he could have made arrangements to the contrary but he didn't push it.

At times when it seems submission to J is at a standstill, it helps me to first identify the reason why. Is it related to stress, emotional baggage, physical illness or fatigue? Figuring out the reason that things happen has always been important to me because doing so makes it possible to find the solution. J is not nearly as interested in the "why" as I am. He expects obedience and adherence to my role regardless- though he does note some exceptions. However, for me to be in union with myself, I have a need to understand why I do what I do.
After spending some time processing all this I have come to a few conclusions...

First, when my submission is halted because of stress, sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day is knowing that J expects things from me. He expects me to do my best at all I set out to do. When I don't I not only let myself down, but one decision to cut corners affects all the other things I need to do that day. Before I realize it, everything has been neglected to different degrees. It is very hard for me to reign in my day once I have lost control of it.
My priority list and tasks are one way in which I show my submission to J. Being responsible and making the decisions he'd want me to make in any given situation where I need to rely on my intuition rather then his commands are another. It's important to me to do well in these areas to acknowledge his leadership in my life.
If I know I have to answer to J at the end of the day I am more likely to make the right decisions, the healthy decisions and succeed, in spite of how I feel. I am more likely to let the negative emotions go (or whathaveyou)  and focus my brain on what it needs to be focused on.

Another thing I've learned is that when J acts as my accountability, it connects us. He is automatically concerned with every part of my functioning at every interval of my life. He wants me to succeed. He knows that if I succeed I am making decisions that are not only healthy for me but in turn for our family. If I am doing things for myself that grow positive fruit in my life then fruit will spread to the rest of my family and they will be nourished by it through their connection with me (whether it be to make the decision to exercise and eat healthy, to care for myself physically, or to sit down and flesh out the next chapter in my current writing project in order to succeed in my goals) . If I merely cheat myself, in the long run, I also cheat them and my connections with them will suffer because of it.
That is why J expects me to wake up and exercise, to eat healthily, to have a morning quiet period before I begin my day, to get to bed on time at night, to take medications and supplements that my body needs to function well, to remain on task with my duties, and so forth.

I've heard the opinion recently that it is unfair to expect a man to be his wife's accountability. That she is meant to be his partner and that putting the expectation on him to be her authority is unfair to him with everything else placed on his shoulders as a man. I have heard that a wife that needs to be reproached like a child is not a good wife.  I agree and disagree here on many levels.
 I feel that a man's responsibility when he decides to marry is to lead his wife. When he decides to put a ring on her finger he is pledging to be her leader, her protector, and her provider. Within those roles come some very specific job descriptions, one of which is to be the authority in the family. There are those that argue that a man's authority is over his children and his partnership is with his wife. I agree and I disagree on this point.
Yes, a man and his wife are meant to be partners. But as a man's role consists of being the one to lay his life down for his wife, to protect and provide for her, it puts her under his authority. I have argued this point before in previous posts (before my blog was erased) our roles are equal in value but not in authority.
Furthermore, we all need accountability as people. What citizen is not under the authority of a national leader and it's subleaders. What driver is not under the authority of set rules regarding safe travel. What employee is not under the supervision and direction of their employer. We are all therefore subject to being managed and disciplined. We are all in need of that as human beings. To say that a wife isn't a good wife to need accountability is to say that a citizen is not a good citizen for needing laws, a driver is not a good driver for accidentally speeding or running a red light or having that fender bender.
Now, I'm not talking about being reckless or irresponsible. That kind of behavior should not be tolerated and would make a person "bad". A "bratting" wife is not a good wife. Her role is to be a helpmeet and take the pressure off her husband, not to add to it.
 However,  because a man has the influence as the authoritarian, discipline is needed to back that up. Many don't recognize that order today and I think that's where the breakdown of the family begins.
(Just a note I am not referring to all marriages here. I understand that other types of unions operate differently and don't wish to offend. Nor am I implying that in a male-led family women shouldn't be given equal pay or equal rights. Just saying so there aren't misunderstandings here.)

However, when I chose not to worry and let J take the reigns I show that I trust him enough to "do him" so that I can "do me" and we both grow in our roles.
Through the trust I give him,  J is able to grow as my leader and the leader of our family and I am able to grow in my submission to him. His leadership is a position he's been given that he shouldn't have to fight for. He deserves my trust because he's earned it. Furthermore, the only way that I can fulfill my own role in the family is by letting go of things that aren't mine to carry, submitting to his leadership and focusing my strength in the areas that are mine to handle.
In spite of letting him lead it can still be difficult not to give in to the habit of worry. Old habits are hard to break and sometimes I still have trouble letting go and just trusting him and trusting the process. When this happens, like last week, it impairs my ability to function at my full capacity. Worry takes over and the energy I have begins to diminish. I begin to shut down, not performing in my tasks as efficiently as I had. If I'm not careful this can spiral down even further leaving me in an anxious state which can further lead to depression because of my failures to achieve my goals. This is a hard cycle to break if you don't know how to identify it and get yourself off the cycle of worry.
I know I'm not alone here and my best advice is just to keep pushing. Fight for your submission. Talk to your husband and tell him what you need, tell him what you have discovered, tell him what's wrong. He's not a mind reader, ya'll. He needs you to speak up- in a respectful way- but speak. Don't expect him to know it all. We can be very complicated creatures- us submissive wives.
After you communicate with him allow him to lead you. Take his advice, try it his way. Stop arguing with him. Let him lead. He's earned the right of your trust so give it. Really!