Monday, 2 December 2013

Real life is harder than you want it to be

Image Source: Pinterest, taken from Etsy

After last week's parenting post, I spent a lot of time thinking and feeling confused about how on earth to keep writing about this wonderful and incredibly hard thing called being a parent. A friend suggested that perhaps writing in a storytelling style keeps things from sounding braggy or boastful. Which was stressful because I definitely do not want to sound any of those things! And I think she is right, the posts I benefit from the most have been personal stories, admissions of failure, of confusion, of the struggles involved in motherhood. I have actually found the "10 steps to being a better parent" posts hard to swallow, with a very small amount of exceptions.
I struggle with storytelling, because on the one hand it's something I really really want to do. On the other hand, I feel that a lot of my history that informs my life isn't my story to tell. It would be an invasion of other peoples privacy. So how do I tell some of the story, without telling the whole story, while still being authentic. Vulnerability Yet I know that it is the path forward for me in a lot of areas of my life. Don't you just love how God does that. Humph.

So this week I'm just going to lay it bare a bit, by saying that good intentions are so often just that: good intentions. We can write lists, make plans, write family purpose statements, have beautiful "We say we're sorry, we hug, we love" artwork on our walls, get up each morning determined to not say one mean thing before breakfast - and how often does it all just go to pieces within a few minutes. Lots of times.
Because - sheesh! - it's so tiring being a parent! Sleep deprivation is a killer and when you are exhausted it's so hard to follow through on anything other than to just survive. For everyone to be breathing at the end of the day.
And you know what? I think we deserve a medal every single day by just managing that.
Out of bed, clothes on everyone, food in mouths (mothers always last, if at all), lunches, out the door on time, car seat tantrums, I-don't-like-shoes/those-pants/hats/sunscreen/jackets tantrums, sign-in's, working out what to feed everyone, laundry: dear sweet Jesus help me, work, did I do enough hours, does my brain even function anymore... and that's only by about 10am.

It. Is. HARD. Really, really hard. 

So if you feel like your brain is made of cotton wool? Me too.
Feel like just quitting sometimes but know that just ain't an option? Me too.
Feel like you can't just admit any of this because people give you that look or stop talking or there's an awkward silence where you wonder if they're going to report you to someone for admitting you're having a hard time? Me too. 
Feel like every other mum has it together? Me too.
Feel like it's groundhog day and you just cannot see an end to the repetition? Me too.
Feel like just going to bed for like a whole day and a whole night without talking to anyone or having anyone touch you or ask anything of you? Me too. (Let's face it, for longer than a day).

You're okay. I'm okay. Our kids are OKAY.
You love your kids, you're trying, you're being a real person and you're doing it, you're doing parenting, and you're awesome and amazing and a superstar for it.
Go and feel GOOD about yourself. Go and tell those condescending, bullying voices in your head to SHUT UP for once while you have a cup of something that's your favourite and a plate of something else that's your favourite.
Because you will always look back on this time and be amazed that you made it through. And you're going to make it through. And so am I. And our kids will be just fine. And there's no point worrying about the "what if's" because they steal our moments from us.

Love and grace and peace and happiness from me.

xx Sarah

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