I read a lot of blogs. The bookmarks neatly lined up on the top of my browser boast names like “I Should Be Folding Laundry” and “The Pioneer Woman” and my favorite, “Enjoying the Small Things.” Most of the blogs I read make me wonder if these women EVER have a bad day. Seriously. They all seem so with it. And they blog almost daily. Daily? Seriously? Who has the time? And they all seem to cook beautiful meals and take their kids on fun adventures on a daily basis and shower every morning. Every morning? Seriously? Who has the time? I just had a conversation with my friend Stephanie about this. We agreed that at times, these women make us feel a bit inferior. Where are the blog posts about burnt toast and disobedient children and carpet stains? But what I have to remind myself is that they have those days too. They just don’t write about them. They choose to decorate the walls of their blogs with pictures of only happy moments, fun days, beautiful meals, clean houses and well rested mothers.
My blogging is a little different. Yes, I love to write about perfect days when I’m patient and the kids are compliant and there is a sense of peace over our home. But I often feel inspired to write about the hard times. (I tend to post pictures about the fun days.) It’s when life feels melancholy that I have a desire to put word to pen (or keyboard) and sort through all the ick of the day. As I’ve said before, it’s therapy. And it’s free.
This morning I fell apart. Totally fell apart. By 10 am I had already cried, yelled at the kids and expressed to Stan how unappreciated I felt. Can I tell you what set it off? Hmm, not sure. It might have been Avary saying some very mean things to me. It might have been Ashton arguing with Avary at the breakfast table over her version of rock, paper, scissors. It might have been Grant complaining for the umteenth time that I wanted him to brush his teeth. Honestly, it probably had nothing to do with any of those things, and more to do with a lot of worry and a long mental to-do list that I was fretting about. Whatever it was, I totally lost it. I wanted to close my bedroom door and crawl back into bed for the day. My wonderful husband did the breakfast dishes, had a talk with the kids and then left, probably thankful that he had a busy day away from home. (I’m pretty sure the kids were wishing they could have gone with him.)
Then the guilt came. Guilt from yelling and not dealing with disobedience well. Guilt from unloading my frustration on my husband. Guilt from falling apart in front of my children. Guilt because I felt selfish for wanting to be alone. After a hot shower and a good cry, I had a talk with God. And He had a talk with me. (Ok, don’t let me lose you here–I’m not crazy!) I strongly believe that God’s spirit can speak when we are silent. And often it is just through a reminder of a scripture. All at once I remembered this verse:
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. –1 Corinthians 10:13
I no longer felt alone. I remembered that what I was dealing with wasn’t unique. It didn’t make me a terrible mother. Others have faced these issues and temptations. (Even those happy go lucky bloggers…and better yet, even my Savior.) And not only that, God was not going to provide ways for me to endure this day. If I sought Him, I did not have to chalk this day up to awfulness. I could overcome and make it good. I did not have to waller in self pity and guilt. I could, with His help, make it a great day. And so, that’s just what I did.
And here is the evidence.
A trip to the library:
A backyard picnic and story time:
Many photo opps with my own beautiful kids:
A nature hunt, by request of my oldest explorer son:
And just time to enjoy my kids.
So I guess the whole point of this post is to encourage other moms out there. You aren’t alone. On those days when it’s only 10 am and you already feel as if the house is crashing down around you, remember me. I’m probably doing the same thing. And if I’m not, I’ll have my turn tomorrow. Have a conversation with God. Let His Spirit lift you up and remind you of what you need to hear at that moment. Then let go of the guilt and make the day great! (And don’t, for any reason, read any of those too good to be true blogs. ) 🙂