(Fathers of young children, learn from my fantastic husband... Your wife probably wants a day off and now, possibly, a tropical vacation...)
i walked out of the house and did whatever i felt like doing. My day might have included a long run in the woods (i found woods in Cleveland!), wandering Marc's, Starbucks and sushi, writing and feeling guilty that on the day that is set aside for celebrating the miracle of motherhood, i spent fleeing the responsibility of the four young humans who make me a mom.
A responsibility many women long desperately to have... Or to have again.
But the feelings are feeling right now in my life. And i find that even in the joyous, and definitely in the normal, i feel on the verge of suffocation... and space allows a deep breath to inhale.
So today i expanded my lungs and my thoughts cleared enough to look at the imaginary suffocation threat... And i discovered that when my nerves are raw from blessings and struggles alike, this is a time when i'm thirsty for Titus 2 women...
i need someone to teach me how to love my kids.
When the feelings don't match the happenings... And especially when they do. When my insides feel worn out and all the solutions to energize fizzle out upon real life returning. When insecurity is relentless and comparison feels involuntary...
i need to hear from you...
i need to hear...
- that your kind, functional, God-fearing grown children made you want to run and hide at times.
- that it felt like your special needs child was literally never, ever, ever going to communicate without howling frustration, the very moment before something clicked.
- that sad days where you still found moments to smile were counted as victories.
- that you were just making this whole parenting thing up as you went, too...
- that home school was as all consuming, never ending and hard for you... Even maybe just sometimes.
- that fast food was a part of your children's diets and they grew up healthy in spite of that.
- that overwhelmed is just a feeling. One that is allowed to be felt regardless of how much "more" other people are handling.
- that grown ups still are thankful for the skills that childhood chores taught.
- that there are tactics to quieting the lies and choosing truth.
- that school decisions are not terminal.
- that amazement at who your kids are resided in the same place as the shock of their ridiculousness in you too.
- that perfectionism does not have to be passed down from me.
- that sometimes home school felt like choosing which age group you would presently neglect.
- that you took time away from your kids and they were benefited because of it.
- that fights are often necessary to improve communication and deepen intimacy.
- that the comparison game is one worth refusing... Regardless of how much of a struggle it may be to reject.
- that sometimes feelings are thick and sticky, but that doesn't change love.
- that this is maybe just what parenting is supposed to feel like sometimes...
i need to hear this. Because sometimes "knowing" isn't loud enough. And from the outside most of y'all look like you are rocking this mom-thing. (For instance: i know people who have graduated from home school (with younger siblings even)!!! i'm completely mystified how that could happen...)
Maybe my sadness over our recent move makes my feelings less permeable to my knowledge. And the "unsettled" feeling makes us all a little more prone to tantrums. i don't really need the feeling to go away. i just need to know that it felt this way for you, too. So please, in this moment, feel free to share all the yuck that you survived. Even though your perspective proves how quickly it passes, some of us are in the long days of it all.
And there are words we need to hear...
"In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children..." Titus 2:3-4