such a mess.
i've been wanting to write this post for a while now... normally i try to be as honest as possible whenever i post, because otherwise it kind of detracts from the point, but this *should be* a very honest post.
brutally bluntly honest. purposefully more so than usual.
sometimes i gloss over the uglier parts, and concentrate on the pretty stuff.
not this time.
because my life can be a real mess. it often is. our house is constantly about the level of fairly neat, but rarely really clean. and there are usually one or two rooms that are just horribly unkempt. if you look closely there are often clumps of dog hair hiding under shelves, or in the corners. keane usually only gets a bath about once a week. we don't change our sheets and towels as often as we should, and our bathroom is often the very last thing that gets cleaned since we are the only ones who ever go in it.
right now i rarely change out of my pajamas until i need to get ready to go coach soccer practice. ironically i pretty much only get dressed in a "regular" outfit on the weekends. [the funny thing about this is that when i do get dressed during the week i normally have a better day because i already feel more productive... hmm...]
when i leave my house i usually look pretty put-together, but the truth is, my outfit is probably the only thing that's put-together.
most days i have moments where i feel like a terrible mom. at some point every day i feel like a terrible person.
a few nights ago i had one of those moments where i had to put the baby in his crib and walk away. i was so very frustrated with him because he simply would not go to sleep. he had eaten for the last time at 9:30, and he usually falls asleep almost immediately after his last feeding. but at 11:05 we were both still awake, and he was fussy and tired, but would not give up and sleep.
i was exhausted, but still needed to take care of a number of things before i could go to sleep.
with keane still upset in his crib, i woke peter up and asked him to take a turn. and then i started crying. what kind of mother can't comfort her own child? WHY wouldn't he go to sleep?
peter hugged me and let me cry, and told me over and over -- it's okay, he's going to be okay, you're a good mom.
but i didn't feel like a good mom. i felt like a crappy mom. because good moms don't get frustrated like that, right?
i've chided myself for that feeling each and every time i have felt it. both the initial feeling of frustration, and the subsequent feeling of guilt.
there are so many times when i feel guilty. so many times when i feel less than okay, and certainly not good enough. it seems i hear about, or read about a new study on a weekly basis. a study that says we've found out that not only do we need to do tummy time for "x" amount of time everyday, and read at least one book, and stimulate our babies with different shapes, faces, and colors, and get them on a set schedule, feed them 5-6 times a day, give them solid food - but not too early, allow him to put himself to sleep, but make sure you're there to comfort him, hold him enough that he feels loved, but not so much that you can't put him down, talk to him, but not in a baby voice, teach him sign language, don't let him look at any screens because that will delay his development, make sure he has time to play by himself, and on and on and on it goes...
oh, and make sure you look presentable, have a clean house, and clean laundry, and a home-cooked meal every night.
the pressure can be maddening, and my job outside the home consists of coaching a soccer team. i don't know how working mamas do it.
and i really don't know how single mamas do it.
when am i supposed to sleep? or workout? or shower??
okay, yes, i'm being a bit dramatic, but seriously, there is far too much to feel guilty about. there is far too much to "do wrong" and frankly, far too much judgment when it comes to the decisions we make for our kids and our families.
i may be convicted about breastfeeding my child until he's a year old. another mom may be convicted that it's best for her situation to switch to formula, or to give formula from the beginning.
and that's okay.
i may not be convicted that my child needs to change out of his "pajamas" into a "real outfit" every day. where other parents may think that is necessary.
and that's okay.
at the end of the day, God is in control of this crazy, spinning planet, and the rest of the universe. and while there are studies out there that will show this, that, and the other thing, when it comes down to it i really believe [when i peel back the layers] that if a child has parents who love him/her and do their best to make good decisions for his/her life that child will end up being okay.
perfection is unattainable. and yet we chase it constantly.
i am nowhere close to perfect. i mess up all the time. but i usually try to hide that for fear of judgment from those around me, because we all judge. consciously or subconsciously.
yet life is so much better when we can be vulnerable.
vulnerability is scary.
but what if we all held out our arms to one another, and supported each other through difficult times and situations? what if we were willing to come alongside each other, and remind one another that "this too shall pass"?
what if we withheld judgment and loved one another, instead of withholding love and judging?
what a difficult thing that is. it is utterly difficult in the day-to-day little things, and so much harder with the big things.
life is messy. life is hard.
and it's so much harder when you feel small and not good enough.
but none of us are good enough. none of us are good.
i have been made good enough by the only one who is. i can't earn it on my own. i didn't. i haven't. so why do i live like i have to earn it? why do i treat others like they have to earn it?
"to whom much is given, much is required."
i know i don't normally look at the above statement in the context of grace, but i have been given so. much. grace.
thus, how much is required?
MUCH. MUCH grace is required.
and that is hard.
but isn't it worth it to try?