Firstly, thank you for your kind words and Facebook support for yesterday’s post. If it isn’t already obvious, I’m a fairly open-book person but despite my openness to talking about my imperfections (of which there are many, and I don’t say that to fish for compliments) it still makes me nervous to share some things.
One thing I’ve learned in life (mainly since having kids) is that you are never the only person who has gone through something – while every detail of a situation may not be exactly the same – we are not alone. If your kid is having pooping/eating/sleeping issues – someone else has been there. [And if you discover your kid has stored his boogers on the wall next to his bed – someone else’s kid has done this, too.] If you are frustrated with your husband or suffering from a lack of communication in your marriage – guess what? You are in good company. If you are struggling with insecurities and loneliness – just look at the person next to you and know that they are (or have), too. And knowing that you are not alone makes a world of difference. Just because it sounds cliché, doesn’t make it not true [I believe I’ve said this before – apparently that also makes it really true.]
In talking about our struggles and being honest with other people we are giving ourselves and those we know a great gift. We are being authentic (which Heidi once referred to as being a hot mess, but same difference; I’m quite partial to hot messes myself, I find them to be the best sort of people because they are the most real.) We’re not putting on a show and glossing over the hard times so people only get a pretty, watered-down picture of what our lives are like. We’re embracing the parts of life that are hard and hopefully learning from them and taking the good bits along for the rest of the ride. Authenticity is real but it’s not always pretty. And that is life.
My friend, Vicky, sent me a message on Facebook and I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing part of it because it was so nice to be reminded of something I ultimately know IS true: “Someday you and Simon will be “old” and Jack and Liam will be grown, and you’ll be looking back at this time (and a couple dozen others) and you’ll be saying “that was a really hard time…” but part of you will be wishing you were back here at THIS time.”
And I need to remember that despite the frustrations of the previous day, each day is a new day, a new start and the old day cannot be repeated or gone back to, for better or worse. Each day is a chance to start over and do things better, or different. Those days go by so quickly – which is good and bad – because we will miss them a decade from now; we will fondly recall the days when our biggest worry was about how much we yelled at our kids because they will be more out in the world and less under our control and our yelled words are probably a whole lot kinder than the quiet words of some of their classmates. [The teenage years – I fear you greatly.]
I will just continue to pray that my kids start to pull it together, that I start to deal with it all better and that together we make so many happy memories. Happy memories that far outshine any of the bad ones. I know that I certainly have happy memories from my childhood – though I know it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows (though I can tell you, my dad’s stern, hushed voice was much more fearsome than anything he yelled).
And here’s a reminder for everyone: you are a good parent. As in anything, there is always room for improvement, but room for improvement doesn’t mean you are failing or even close. YOU are a good parent. I am a good parent. We love our kids. We’re in this together. We are not alone.
Please feel free to remind me anytime.
And just so you don’t fear I’ve gone into the deep, here’s a humorous nugget from my spam comment folder: “My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog. He used to be totally right. This publish actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!”
The use of “possibly” in the first sentence made me laugh… what a solid recommendation. And the mis-translation of “He was totally right” to “He used to be totally right” completely changes the the meaning and rather implies that the “reader” didn’t like my blog though the next line contradicts that line of thinking. I love spam when it makes me laugh, which might make me a word nerd. So be it.