April 25, 2013

Because Hard Things ARE Hard


This is in response to a post from Mrs. X...

Hard things are indeed hard…and there are days that really, truly, epically SUCK…that’s the honest, brutal truth. Potty training is messy, gross, frustrating as hell, especially with a boy (I know, I thought Captain would be heading to college in Depends!!!!)…and sleeping children are such a HUGE blessing. There are days that being on the hamster wheel of parenting with an obnoxious squeaking at the axle make me want to run screaming to the nearest spa or bar, or spa with a bar…
But then, there are those moments – those utterly amazing moments where Littlest One climbs onto BB’s lap (she’s 3 now, like Rex) and snuggles up under his chin and says “I have a secret!” and he says “what?” and she looks up at him, big blue eyes shining, and simply kisses his bearded cheek and says “you’re my best daddy and I love you!”…and somehow, all the countless loads of laundry, and diapers, and wet sheets, and spills, and dirty dishes and sticky floors melt away.
Those moments are few and far between…I have the added double-edged sword of being at-home…so there’s no break from the squeaky wheel it seems, just different tasks in front of me…
Find those moments of joy – they are there. Know that right now, they aren’t frequent because there are 2 little people who still NEED so very much from you and Mr X. And the animals will need you, albeit on a lesser basis, forever…but each day, each load of laundry, each load of dishes, each diaper changed, each attempt at pooping in the toilet…it all brings you one step closer to the end game of raising amazing adults that you know will be better than you and Mr X are.
For now, hang in there, work with Mr X to find a balance so you can both have some needed refueling time with the whole family, with just each other, and most importantly, alone…because, to use a cheesy quote “tomorrow is another day”

I know this isn't my usual self, but I'm needing to be a bit more raw today...I'm sort of trapped in this place where I'm trying to soften things - that hard things aren't really hard...that somehow, the crucible of parenting is this wonderful thing, and that I'm happy, at peace, and LOVE every second of it.
The truth?  Psssshhhhtttt...as much as I love my husband and children, there are indeed days in which I kind of, sort of, just for a little bitty bit, wish that I were single.  Or at least that I could have more than 5 minutes first thing in the morning to myself, with no one else to answer to on earth and no demands upon me...

Believe me - I know in my heart of hearts that this is NOT what I really want - to be single again.  Having a husband and children has changed me, expanded me, grown me, opened me up...in countless ways I can't even describe.  Only another person that is has a spouse and children can understand that...

I just know that I'm tired of sweet elderly ladies and men telling me in the line at the grocery store that these days will be gone before I know it, when I'm standing there with a belt full of groceries we NEED, 2-3 children that are either whining, crying, screaming, taking things off the impulse racks, or climbing up my leg as I'm praying that my math skills were accurate and that I'm not over budget, praying my coupons will be accepted and that they counted my bags correctly for my bag credit, wondering if what I'm watching get scanned and bagged will be enough to nourish my family for the next 2 weeks or not...and all I can think as I try to smile kindly and gratefully back at them, is that there are times I WISH these days were done - that I was in the days of all of my children being able to tie their shoes, wipe their noses and rear ends, sit still for longer than 2 seconds, and that every response from them wasn't met with whining or more questions...

I met a mom in the store yesterday with 4 kids, ages 4 years to 2 months, no twins...and she was impeccably dressed in cute workout gear, with this ridiculously flat stomach, perfect makeup, manicured nails, children dressed in coordinating GAP Kids clothing, perfectly coiffed, with 2 carts full of groceries, every child smiling and giggling, as she navigated the aisles, stocking up for their summer trip in the RV - loading as many goodies as she could so they'd only have to buy fresh items while on the road, with 24 DVD (yes, 24!!) for the kids to watch, coloring books, crayons, markers, all sorts of craft items...and my girls were simply DONE - whiny, hungry, tired, looking as though they'd crawled through barbed wire over mud, me with paint on my pants, shirt, hands, lucky to have hair that was brushed and makeup on (it was a very off day for me!!!)...and she gave me this look of pity as she breezed by...

And it made me realize that there are days I do that...the days that I pop into Wal.mart for heaven only knows what reason, and see the lady in threadbare sweats that are 2 sizes too small, with a string of children, and a cart or two full of Cheetos, soda, Little Debbies and the like, and I inwardly sneer at her, thinking how much better I am.

And I realized I don't like that person - I don't want to be snotty and judgy...I don't know anything about these people...

For all I know, Mrs Practically Perfect from yesterday could be going home to a failing marriage, or could be drowning in debt and her husband is stressed to the max, one blink away from a heart attack at working to keep up....and the lady in Wal.mart could be facing a situation of caring for her grandchildren on Social Security, with medical problems while her kids are in rehab or working out of state on an oil rig somewhere, trying to make ends meet...

Basically, it all boils down to choices - I have to choose each day, to find the joy, to find the rainbow after the storm...otherwise, all I see are gray skies and mud puddles.

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