Browsing Category: Life Lessons

Honesty Is the Best Policy

 

Earlier this morning, I had a guest post go live on a blogger friend’s website. After the post was published, I was praised for my humorous look on the challenges of mothering and for my honest style of writing. I was pleased to hear the praise, but it also left me wondering…why am I being praised for my honesty? Why isn’t everyone being honest about how they feel?

Honesty is the best policy.

Why aren’t we all honest with each other about motherhood, or life in general?

I feel like so often, people are so busy trying to “keep up with the Joneses”, that they don’t realize the “Joneses” have a failing marriage. Or children they have difficulty keeping in line. Maybe a husband who isn’t always as nice as he could be, or very few, if any, devoted friends.

Now, there are some things about my life I don’t share. I don’t divulge personal aspects of my marriage. I won’t gossip about my family or friends, and I won’t purposefully engage in mean spirited talk about other people (ok, not in public…maybe just to my hubby. I’m not perfect!).

Hearing this praise for my honesty isn’t a first time occurrence. Before I became a blogger, I heard positive responses from friends when I aired candid complaints on Facebook about my rotten toddler, or colicky baby.* I didn’t pretend like life as a mother is always glamorous, happy, and easy, while posting only picture perfect holiday photos. I posted status updates about the ins and outs of motherhood, just like I do on my blog now.

(*Disclaimer: I also heard negative responses a time or two. Mean people who like to kick a dog when it’s down. And to that, I just have to say…Be nice, people. Support, don’t judge. You’re not perfect either.)

We all know life isn’t perfect. So stop pretending like it is. You only make the rest of us feel like crap anyway.

sad depressed mom

Today, I want to tell you, it’s okay to let your guard down. You don’t have to pretend like everything is hunky-dory (for lack of a better word, lol!). Make sure you confide in a close friend or two at the very least if posting on social media is not your thing.

I love to laugh at people’s misfortunes, though, so please, humor me! Next time your kid spits up on your brand new shirt, or you leave your fresh latte on top of the car and drive off…please, share it with me so I can have a laugh! I need something to brighten my day while my toddler cries at my feet over yet another ‘owie’ (which, by the way, is fine the minute I kiss it, or cuddle with her.).

If you liked this post, please, make sure you subscribe to see new posts from me! (You’ll find the form in my sidebar!)

And if you want to take a peek at my candid guest post published today in the “Real Mom: Real Challenges” series, please head over to Called To Mothering and check it out!

Great Expectations

great expectations

Do you have Great Expectations? No, I’m not talking about the book. I mean do you have great expectations in life, for holidays, for the kind of behavior you expect from your kids? I am all for finding the silver lining in any cloud, but sometimes, I expect too much from people or situations.

great expectations

I recently read a post called, “Expectations Ruin Reality” from Jennifer at Heaven Not Harvard. The article said, “Our expectations ruin reality because we build up inflated expectations and life can’t measure up.” Referring to her husband and holidays, Jennifer realized, “When I quit having expectations…[it let us] live in the joy of the moment.”

It made me think.

When my husband proposed, I was mad at him. I was angry because I had this ‘great expectation’ that ‘tonight might be the night!’. But we went to dinner, and we walked around campus, and whatever else we did that night…and still no proposal.

So I thought, “Well, that was stupid of me to think he would propose tonight.” And then I fumed, “NO! He’s stupid for not proposing! Tonight would have been perfect because…[insert my reasoning]”.

(Yes, I started our marriage with these thoughts, lol!)

Then, as the clock tolled 10 (hours after our date had begun), he dropped to one knee. But I was still angry because I’d built up these great expectations in my mind. I wondered why he didn’t propose earlier in the evening so we could have enjoyed the whole date night as an engaged couple. I had to battle my feelings for a (long) minute or two while my boyfriend looked up at me from the ground where he knelt, waiting for an answer. Part of me wanted to say no, just to be irritating, but I was also afraid he wouldn’t ask again. 😉

As my husband would say, I obviously have issues. Ha! But this is the kind of thing that happens when you dream and fantasize about how things should go in life. So what am I saying, should we not dream?

great expectations

I am not sure what the answer is, exactly, but I think it has to do with choosing happiness. In Philippians, Paul was hunted down, arrested, beaten, imprisoned, whipped, stoned…and he learned how to be content in all circumstances.

Philippians 4:11-13

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Paul wasn’t perfect- he despaired, and he was depressed, but he chose happiness.

Like Jennifer at Heaven Not Harvard so wisely said,

“Don’t let the darkness of envy and materialism steal true joy from your grasp.”

I need to remember these things every day of my life.

  • When I expect a quiet, happy family relishing the dinner I lovingly cooked, but instead I get whiny kids with noses turned up at my meal…
  • When I expect a quick, easy trip to the grocery store, just for the basics- and instead have needy kids wanting in and out of the cart, multiple potty breaks, “boo-boos”, requests for yummy looking things not on our list, and stops at every sample spot (ok, that last one is not so bad!)…
  • When I expect getting most, if not all of my to-do list done, and instead have ‘nothing’ to show for my day…
  • When I expect pretty much anything in my life to go a particular way…
  • When, for some reason, I expect my husband to do the dishes for me (which he has done once in the last year- at my request- on Mother’s Day)….

I need to stop and remember, it’s ok. I can still be happy. My life doesn’t revolve around my perfect little plan. Stuff happens.

If everything went exactly as planned, life would be pretty boring, right?

 

My (Revised) To Do List for Today

My Revised To Do List For Today

My revised To do list for today

My Revised To Do List Today:

  1. Clean kitchen Gaze at my children’s sweet perfect faces.
  2. Pick up the living room Listen to my girl’s imaginative stories and swim in the pretend swimming pool she made on the floor out of packing supplies.
  3. Make dinner Appreciate the humor in daily life-wherever you can find it! Sometimes this includes what happens when your toddler tries to ‘help’ you and all your ingredients go flying…
  4. Strip the sheets  Enjoy watching my kids play, dance, and laugh.
  5. Make produce run Listen to the delightful concert coming from the backseat.
  6. Wash the floor  Remember that dinnertime is soon and the little one will just dump whatever she is eating on the floor again anyway so ya might as well forget it.
  7. Vacuum Appreciate the moment of peace and quiet…when you have kids, the roar of a vacuum drowns out all the crying and arguing, so make sure you get every speck of dirt and dust out of that carpet!
  8. Sit down and take a break. No strikethrough here-just stop for a minute!

Moms work hard; we all know that. But I often get so caught up in all the things I need to get done, and I forget to appreciate those sweet little giggles, the 3 year old humor, and the cuddly, sweet baby who just loves her momma. Sure, I would love to accomplish everything on my to do list once in awhile, but realistically it’s probably not gonna happen. Not now, while the kids are small. Not now while they need me every minute of every day. I am only one person- I am not required to do and be everything. I just need to be my girls’ mommy (and their daddy’s wife- but that’s a post for another day!) and love them like no one else.

My to do list will be there tomorrow, but my girls are getting bigger every day and soon enough, they will no longer cling to me when they fall. They won’t look to me to solve their problems (And who knows what solutions they might come up with on their own…!!). They won’t think I know everything there is to know, so they won’t bother to ask, “Why?” incessantly, and I won’t be able to guide them the way I can now, while they’re still young and impressionable.

It’s okay to put some things off until tomorrow. But not the most important ones.

 

My wise friend told me, “You never know the last time your child will do something…whether it’s holding your hand, or sitting on your lap…There will be a last time, and you won’t know when that last time is until it’s already come and gone.”. So stop and smell your children…Wait- that may not be something you want to do, especially if they’re still in diapers, haha! But be still for a moment and look at your kids; look at their sweet faces, and their sweet innocent spirits and appreciate the gift you’ve been given.