I’ve been absent lately…or for the last month…but who is counting? I’d make excuses, but there’s no need. My family needs me---and that right there is why my computer gets left closed sometimes for days in a row lately. (Thank goodness for an iphone that still allows me to be “plugged” in for email & facebook while nursing Jack..)
I’d love to say it’s been just peachy here & that we are all well rested and adjusting to a new family member quite well. But that wouldn’t be true, and exhaustion just somehow forces honesty in me…so to be quite candid, it’s been chaos here for the last month.
We are living in a home that looks like laundry (and my pantry) threw up in it, dealing with a baby who may have colic, reflux or both, trying to love on a toddler who is entering that independent & defiant stage, struggling to find time to nurture our marriage, working on plans to deal with financial burdens, hoping for rest & healing for Jack & myself and mostly just trying to “survive.”
I desire for my husband to be greeted by happy kids, a picked up home & a put-together wife. But most days I’m passing one (or both) kids off in order to clean puke off myself or wipe fresh “mom tears” from my face. Thankfully, he doesn’t have set expectations like I do…or if he does, he isn’t sharing them with me. J
But that brings me back to the point of this post. I, like my most mothers, have to fight against the comparison game every single day. Most of the time I win that battle, because quite frankly, my husband and I are convinced that we are parenting in the ways we know best. But exhaustion sets in & I quickly find myself frustrated, discouraged & often angry that I don’t have it all together, that nursing is a harder road for us than some, that my kids have no idea what a “schedule” is, that I can’t seem to love my husband well “enough”, that my daughter has spent more time watching Word World in the last month than I’ve spent reading books with her, & that despite my best attempts---I’m not, and never will be, June-stinkin’- Cleaver.
And so I fold. Or that’s at least my metaphor at the moment, and honestly, a common theme in my blogging. And not in a “I give up” sort of way, but in a “I’m going to be REAL honest and admit that I can’t do it all, & shouldn’t even try” sort of way. Part of that is recognizing that when I attempt to love my husband & my children relying solely on my own strength that I fail miserably…the other part is knowing that God is faithful to not just help me “survive” through these days…but really thrive through these days.
So, when I see the box of unopened Easter Egg dye because Mommy had an “Oh! Easter is TOMORROW???” moment, or my daughter’s laundry basket full of pj’s only because we never got into “real” clothes at all last week, or when I painfully follow the doctor’s advice and lay my screaming kid down in his crib just so I can have a break….
I remind myself that I’m not being compared in His eyes to the mom down the street that can “do it all.”
I remind myself that my husband loves me, whether or not I’m covered in spit up.
I remind myself that my daughter won’t remember whether or not we dyed easter eggs when she was 21 months old.
I remind myself that I’ll be a better mom when I lay my son down and “take a break”
I remind myself that, it’s ok to cry….and it’s even more ok to be totally real about a situation.
But mostly, I’m working really hard to remind myself that His grace is the ONLY way my husband and I are going to be successful in marriage & successful as parents.
And that might be the hardest reminder of all.