Friday, August 12, 2011
Wow, it has been a long, long time since I have posted. I've been busy this summer with sewing camp, a wedding at the beach, VBS, and everything else that summer brings. It has been an amazing summer full of good times and great friends.
One special friend has been battling cancer this summer. She has fought courageously and with tremendous faith. Her battle is nearly won and we are all praying for a full recovery and many more years to share in her sweet spirit. Throughout her battle she has "kept it real". She honestly and openly voiced the uglier side of cancer treatment. It made it easier to be a friend, knowing what she needed and what trials she was facing day to day. If nothing else, I knew what specific prayers she needed.
As I talked to my cousin this morning, I realized that moms aren't very good at keeping it real. We want to be super heroes and have it all together. In an earlier conversation, she had mentioned what a challenge it was washing her 4 year old daughter's hair because it was so thick and she screamed and my cousin got frustrated. Today she said "I don't want you to think I'm always frustrated with my daughter over her hair." I laughed and told her that it's part of being a mom. Children can be frustrating.
Perhaps that's our problem though. On the outside, in the outside world, we have it all together. We never yell at our kids. We are always calm and we never get outwardly frustrated because people are watching and they will find out our dirty little secret...we are not perfect mothers. In the comfort and security of our home, when we let our guards down, we allow ourselves all the ugly, yet real, emotions and we hate ourselves for it. It confirms our worst fears, we are not super heroes.
I try to be the voice of honesty when talking to my friends with young kids. I tell them my horror stories of my oldest that screamed from the moment she was born until she was 1. There were days I wanted to run away. There were days I wanted to sell her to the gypsies. My house was a mess, I was a mess, and there was no pretending I had it all together.
There have been days I have snapped at my kids, not often but on occasion. I use it as a life lesson. I sincerely apologize and tell them that I am tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, whichever emotion fits the scenario. I tell them that I should not have gotten angry with them or snapped at them. In my weakness, I have humbly shown them that I am still a work in progress. In recent years this has born compassion. They sense when I am tired or sick and rather than pushing my buttons, they offer to help.
Moms, let's do a better job of keeping it real. Let your family and friends know when you are struggling so they can help you and pray for you. Don't put on a pretty smile and clean clothes when your husband comes home and you have had the worst day imaginable. God gave us a spouse to help us and love us. He cannot help us if he does not know we need help. Take some time out of your day just for you. A time to sort out your thoughts, dreams, and maybe take a shower. Raising kids is the hardest job you will ever love. God knows we are not perfect so stop pretending that you are and accept the help you desperately need.