Tag Archives: motherhood

Day 21: The Hard Days (31 Days of Simple Truths)

31daysOfSimpleTruthsSo, I read this post from Lisa-Jo Baker tonight and promptly dissolved into tears.

This has been a ROUGH parenting week. And it’s only Wednesday (Lord, have mercy on my soul!). It’s one of the those weeks where I feel like I’m screwing everything up and utterly failing at motherhood. How on earth will I ever prepare these little humans (who I so fiercely love and who are so fiercely making me want to pull my hair out right now) for life? How can I possibly do this when I feel so unprepared myself? When I mess up on the very thing I was just trying to teach them?

There are a lot of moms in my life who make me feel insecure, but really it’s my own fault for falling into the comparison trap. What I want more than anything is to be fully confident that we are doing the best we can for our kids, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. We’re not responsible for their families, only ours.

I am the worst about admitting when I am un-fine. And I am definitely guilty of finding something to criticize about other mothers so I can feel like I’ve got some edge up on someone, somewhere. I try really hard to reserve these thoughts for strangers, not friends, as if somehow that makes it better. (Um, no. I promise to encourage the next stranger-mom I’m tempted to criticize in my head.)

Sometimes I am afraid to voice the struggles because I’ve heard single or newly married friends say that all the honest, tell-it-how-it-is mommy blogs out there have made them terrified to ever have children. I get this. I have kids and it scares me that some day I might refer to them as chaos-causing little monsters who are turning our home into a frightening, trashed-out wasteland. At what point do we lose our minds and cross that line? Please, God, don’t let it happen to me!

But no, it doesn’t have to be that way. Because my kids most certainly aren’t monsters and they are most definitely treasures. Still, it’s hard right now. Really, really hard.

But first I am reminded that I am not alone. And then I’m reminded that suffering in silence is no good for anyone, ever. And finally, I’m comforted by suddenly recalling a conversation I had at the beginning of September with a sweet couple, now retired and in their 70s. They raised a few kids and lived to tell about it. I shared with them about our upcoming move and other changes on the horizon, and the man smiled at me, eyes twinkling, as he said, “This is a season for surviving. Some seasons are just like that, when surviving doesn’t mean you’re failing and barely scraping by, but it means you’re do something right and pulling the family through a hard place. There will be time for establishing standards, raising the bar a little, but right now, you just have to survive and keep loving each other through it. And that’s ok.”

So I take a deep breath, maybe shed a few more tears, and maybe a few more tomorrow too. But it’s ok. Because we are surviving, and this too shall pass. And we’ll be a healthier family on the other side of it.

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Filed under 31 Days of Simple Truths, Family, Parenting

The Depth You Never Knew

Motherhood took me by surprise in so many ways.

There’s the very literal aspect because neither of my children were really planned.

I was never the type that just loved kids or was really great with kids, so I spent most of my first pregnancy in silent anxiety, crying tears alone, ashamed because I should have been excited but instead I was terrified.  Not because I didn’t want her, but because I was certain I would fail her.

But there was that last push after 24 hours of working on her delivery, and I could not believe that miracle had just come out of me.  They laid her on my chest, and I fell in love.

Today I am sharing on a dear friend’s blog as part of a series on Creativity & Motherhood.  Join us?

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Filed under Creativity, Motherhood, Parenting

Perspective on Failure

For weeks and weeks now, I have lived in a constant state of dealing with failure.

That moment when the neighbor unexpectedly drops by on the day the children pulled out all their toys, the dog peed on the carpet, the laundry was started but not finished, the dinner dishes still aren’t clean (only to pick the top four areas of disarray).

That moment you decide to eat the bowl of queso because it’s only a small one and it’s your favorite guilty pleasure and how many pounds can one smallish bowl of queso add when you normally eat so clean and healthy? (3 – in case you were contemplating the same thing.  And they don’t come off as easy as they went on.)

That moment when your child publicly decides to air his grievances and all the other parents are staring at you as if none of their children ever pitched a fit in all their born days.  And all the people without children have that smug “This is why I’ll never have children and if I do, I’ll be so much better of a parent than you” look on their faces.

That moment when you look at the to do list and even though you’ve been working frantically all day, there are more items still unchecked than checked.

That moment when your patience runs out and the sleeplessness takes over and you snap at that precious child, walk away from the exchange knowing that even though she needed to be disciplined, you’ve handled it all wrong.

That moment you make a snarky comment to your husband and you know you shouldn’t have said it as soon as it leaves your mouth.  You feel the wall go up, but the apology won’t come because you’re too overwhelmed and exhausted and sad.

Big sigh.

As a recovering perfectionist, I daily wrestle with the acceptance of my humanity.  And the more willing I am to become vulnerable and admit this, I discover I am not alone.

And here is the truth, tired mama, exhausted student, discouraged employee (or un-employee), weary dreamer:

You will fail.  But you are not a failure.

Even if it is through a veil of tears, even if it is only one plodding step at a time, even if it is with literally only a mustard seed of faith left in your clenched, trembling hands – as long as you keep living, you are not a failure.

I whisper this to my own heart as much as to yours: He’s got you.  And when He’s got you, He won’t let go.  So don’t you let go now.

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Filed under Parenting, Perfectionism