I’ll start with a few confessions: it always seems to break down any walls between writer and reader and sure as heck makes it easier to dive into some deep stuff. So please bear with me as I shed some layers. It’s not easy…
Confession 1: I am incredibly insecure and battle daily with the need to people please.
Confession 2: Being a mother has been one of the hardest, loneliest, confusing, and utterly exhausting things I have ever done. It has also been the most rewarding. And there lies the anomaly.
Its funny how painstaking it was so admit the first confession and bare my soul like that, but then while typing the second, I came completely undone.
Guys, this journey is not for the faint of heart.
I’ve always considered myself a bit of a wimp. Like, not tough at all… that’s actually what lead me to the problems surrounding acceptance and people pleasing!
Being a mother has made me rethink everything I thought I knew about human existence. These tiny humans are needy, and scrappy, and strong-willed, and energy-sucking and wild and wonderful and curious and loud and amazing, and slightly needy. Wait, did I already say that?
I’ve always been on the emotional side, but this, my friends has turned me into a full fledged hot mess.
I find it absolutely insane that you have to hand over your licence, and sign away your life to get a box of Advil Cold& Sinus at CVS, but the hospitals just GIVE us babies. We leave with them in our cars. And take them home. And have to try to keep them alive.
Are we ready? Do we have the temperament for it? Are we perfectly planned and prepped for all things that will come our way? Nope. Not in the least. I don’t care how many baby books you read or classes you take. Or even how cute that nursery is. ( And those are some strong words coming from me…) But being a parent is pure insanity. And NO ONE, not even your closest friends and family can truly prepare you for that.
You will never know what journey your children will take you on, either. Just when you feel like you’ve figured them out, they are in a new stage in life and their needs and feelings, likes and dislikes have completely changed. Without a single moment’s notice. And where you once felt in control and in charge and sufficient, you now feel weak, ineffective and useless.
That is tough.
I know wise ones around us try to tell us that we will be going through hills and valleys, and that Motherhood/parenting is all about seasons.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel like there’s been a cold frostbiting forever winter in my house that just won’t go away.
My mornings are chaos, my afternoons are mayhem, and bedtime is a huge fail.
I feel like I’m drowning, but yet swimming so very hard.
Where am I going wrong?
I feel like I’ve dedicated years to raising these little people with more love, than yelling. And I’ve try to model kindness, and self control and gentleness. But they seem to be picking on the bad parts of me: my nit-picking, my obsessiveness for perfection, my exasperated ” UGH” when things don’t go my way.
But then there are those other days. When you catch them helping a friend, or packing a lunch without being asked, or even giving you a hug for no reason at all.
Those are the time I want to remember.
But as I write those words, I realize how unreal that is. We will remember the hurt, and chaos and confusion. And the complete feeling of being so out of control that you might find yourself walking around your house clutching a barbie shoe, a soup spoon, and some scotch tape. And you have no idea where you picked them up or where they belong.
I have screwed up, forgotten dates, turned in things late, missed parties, and disappointed those around me. Constantly.
But I have loved my children.
At the end of the day, I may groan at heading up the stairs for the 14th time, for “one last kiss and hug,” but I pray my heart softens as I think of those who will never be asked that request, either for the first time or heartbreakingly never again. So I kiss them and hug them a little tighter.
Yes, my friends, we are in the trenches.
We wear our scars, and we are fighting on what seems to be nothing but hills. The valleys are no where to be seen.
But meanwhile, if you have lived your life with love at the forefront- it doesn’t matter how many times you and your children have fallen down in the day to day battles. I pray you all have the strength to always get back up. Because that is how wars are won.
I beg you to pour your love into your children day in and day out. They may roll their eyes at you, push you away, or even respond with silence. You may flop down on the couch over tired, unappreciated and ready to give up.
But isn’t that all proof that you are trying?
And at the end of the day, they will know they are loved.
And you, a job well done.