Saturday, May 17, 2014

In the Throes

Most of the time when I look at myself as a mother, I focus on all the negatives. I see all the ways I am failing. All the things I am not doing. All the things I am doing that I said I would never do. As a parent you feel like since you have so much influence on other's lives, you should know what you are doing. And we should right? But we don't. So many of us are floundering in this sea of parenting. It can be terrifying at times. We don't like to admit it though. Just stick a new parent in a group of seasoned moms and watch as the advice pours forth with force. Even in the ways they are admitting they are lost, they have such confidence about it.

I remember when my oldest was still only an infant and not sleeping well at all. I felt like his sleep success was my sole responsibility, and I was failing miserably. I was exhausted and felt like a horrible mom. I talked with my mom friends who had 2 and 3 year olds. I remember thinking, Wow, they have this figured out. They told me what they did, and I tried everything. Nothing worked. I loved my son more than anything in the world, and yet I was really starting to believe I just wasn't cut out for parenting. A lot of people gave me a lot of good advice, but one friend during that time really sticks out to me. I don't remember her exact words, I just remember her telling me she knew how I felt. She had tried everything and nothing had worked. She didn't tell me what to do, in fact she admitted she didn't know. At the time I wanted someone to tell me exactly what to do. But now looking back, she's the one I remember giving me hope. That it was ok that I didn't know what to do. That I too would survive the sleepless months.

I was looking at my kids yesterday and I was just overwhelmed with how much I love them. Not because they are perfect kids. I mean they can be down right rude and annoying as crap. In fact, half the time I don't even know the "why" behind why I love them so much. And yet I love them so much that I want to be perfect for them. I want to know exactly what to do, how to raise them, how to teach them to grow up to be the amazing people I know they will be. My biggest fear is that I will ruin them. But the honest truth is, I don't know what I am doing. I'm taking it one day at a time and attempting to rest in the truth that they are in God's hands (in between my freak out moments). Because he's not just taking care of my left overs, picking up in the areas I don't have a hold on. He is probably the only being who loves them more than I do. Who cares more about their wellbeing. Who knows what He is doing. And that's the only thing that quiets my worries and lets me sleep at night. The God of the universe loves my kids. And he promises to take care of them, teach them, and never abandon them. When I think about that, I realize it's ok that I don't have it figured out. It's ok that I'm learning as I go.

Honesty doesn't always make us look good, in fact it rarely does. But it's what allows me to get back up after I fall on my face. And I fall on my face a lot. So here's to not having it figured out. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Facing Facts

The most given advice to me as a mother is to learn to let things go. Don't worry about your house being messy. You can't do it all.

But the only thing I hate more than cleaning? A messy house.

Ok, ok. I get it. I have three kids, five and under. My house is not going to be pristine. Yet I still find myself stuffing down a small panic attack each time I wake up and see the disaster that is my home. I JUST cleaned! I scream in my head. Seriously. How does one function in this kind of chaos? In fact while writing this I had to get up 3 times to stop my two sons from flooding our house. I told them they could play with their water guns outside. So they stood outside and shot the water into the house. "We're shooting the ants!" They say with this sweet enthusiasm that makes it hard to be mad. (Well, not that hard).

I work really hard to keep my house clean, and it's still a health hazard about 95% of the time. Kids are messy. And gross. Right now I have one child in diapers--she's three-months old and solely breast fed, AKA 'Blowoutville'. One potty training, who has decided his new thing is wetting his pants on purpose (simply hilarious). And another still perfecting his butt wiping skills. So yeah, despite my obsession with clorox wipes and hand washing, sanitation levels are not where I'd like to see them.

So what's the moral of the story? Have I learned to call my home "lived in" instead of "messy?" Am I putting aside my desire for cleanliness in order to cherish these years of adolescent chaos? Have I risen above my petty need for organization and sanitation? Um. No, not really. I still run around like a slightly deranged version of Mr. Clean, repeating #cantstopwontstop over and over in my head, screaming obscenities under my breath, and raising my bleached hands to the skies crying, "Why God?! Whyyyy?!"

But no matter my efforts, my tears, my hashtags... chaos prevails. So I'm simply praying for grace, ya'll. Grace to survive these years of poop, never ending urine saturated laundry, and anything but organized living. May the force be with me.