Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reflections on iMoms

"If there were such a thing as a perfect mother, our kids would not need God." 
- Elizabeth Murphy

Oh, did I need to hear those words yesterday morning, friends.  If you've been around here long enough, you've seen me work through some stuff.  And by stuff, I mean some STUFF.  The kind of stuff that makes me want to use a different word that starts with the same letter.  I think back to the days when Micah would be getting out of bed over and over and over again for hours upon hours.  I remember how he would absolutely demolish his room rather than take a nap, emptying dresser drawers, ripping pages out of books, peeing on the floor just to avoid sleeping.  He would scream and rage and I would respond by screaming and raging because I am a grown-up who can keep her cool under pressure, right?  I think of all the times I have had to give Isaiah the stink eye because he launched into a high holy fit because his meanie-pants of a mama dared to serve him the wrong shape of pasta for dinner.

I remember the days I would go to the grocery store in an over-sized T-shirt covered in spit up stains or the time when I didn't notice until supper time that I had been wearing my shirt inside out all day.  When Micah was a newborn, I once went for 9 days in a row without showering.  Thomas' socks rarely match and I have caught myself swearing under my breath as I pluck him from atop the kitchen table for the fourteenth time in a day.

Make no mistake, mothering is serious business.  I love to laugh about it both in "real life" and here on the blog because sometimes, let's face it, we need to laugh just to keep from crying!  I know that held true for me on the day that I licked the remnant of a chocolate chip off the back of my hand, only to discover (to my horror) that it was NOT CHOCOLATE.

Ahem.

At our iMoms (faith-based group for women of small children) gathering on Wednesday, the speaker really spoke to my heart because she addressed the many voices that we hear that are battling for our attention.  She discussed the ghosts of our past that stick around to torment us along with the competitive voices that convince us that we are not measuring up to the standard of the other moms and their kids around us.  One of the things that really sounded like it was meant just for me was when Elizabeth Murphy made a point of mentioning all the "Mommy Blogs" out there and how dangerous it can be to get sucked into the world created by these blogs. 

Well, since I write a Mommy Blog, my little ears perked up and I made sure to pay attention.  I know all too well how easy it can be to read all about the Mama who feeds her family homemade meals every day where everything is organic and every vegetable was harvested from the garden in her backyard.  I understand what it is like to feel like I can't possibly measure up to the mom who gets a monthly craft kit in the mail to supplement the regular felt crafts she is making with her kids to teach them how to count to 500 in Spanish, French, and Mandarin.  I mean, I'm plugged in to this world so I get it.

I try not to be that mom.  I try so hard to be authentic and to write what is real.  I want to share my triumphs along with my struggles and trials, but I want to make sure I am not creating a false impression of perfection nor do I want to make my posts nothing but a list of ceaseless whining.  As we all know, some days are harder than others but I think we can all agree that every day that God graces us with another sunrise is an exquisite gift.  For that reason, I think it is my responsibility as a blogger to write honestly, but also with a tone of encouragement and optimism.  I struggle with this sometimes, so I hope you who are reading this will be willing to extend me some grace on this one while also keeping me accountable for being a positive voice.  

Nope, I am definitely not the perfect mother.  But for the first time, I think I can finally start to see that as being a blessing rather than a curse. 

So even on the days when your three year old gets a hold of a marker and colors all over his face so he looks like Adolf Hitler.....


...you can smile and be encouraged.  And then, if you're like me, you'll thank God for washable markers and snap a photo before you hand him a baby wipe.

Perhaps instead of wallowing in the imperfection, it is instead time to embrace it.

9 comments:

  1. FYI - I totally appreciate your "realness". It's one of the reasons I read your blog (religiously) and follow you on Instagram. Those other mommy blogs where everything is perfect make me feel bad, so I stopped reading them. I'd much rather read one that I can relate to. And I totally relate to you!!

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    1. Laura, I really appreciate that! There are so many blogs that are truly wonderful, but end up leaving me with that "not enough" feeling just because I end up creating that idealized image in my head. I'm so glad you're here!

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  2. I am right there with you Sarah! I catch myself saying in my own head "how do they get their child to listen like that" or "is my kid the only one who will climb up to the top slide at mcdonalds, knowing I have already told them its time to go three times already, and refuses to come down?" I have close friends who can ask their kids one time to get ready, yet my kiddos want to ignore my request making me feel like the WORSE mother ever. I tend to ask myself, am I screwing this kids up? Yet those moments can be squashed the one time my kiddo says "I love you mama" or "please or thank you" or Finally listens the first time. :) And I supposed on another positive note I haven't yet had someone refuse to babysit them...so maybe, just maybe, we are actually doing something right?! I love your honesty Sarah...its comforting to know we have passengers in our same boat... :). Tiffany

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    1. Woohoo! Thanks Tiffany! And you're an AWESOME mama. :)

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  3. I love your blog. I love how you keep it real. This post was great. I just had to share it!

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    1. Great, Leanne! I'm so glad you think so. So happy you're here!

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  4. Thanks for this Sarah. I agree with the other commenter that your blog makes me feel better. There are so many mommy/organizing/diy blogs that make're all not really that perfect- ha! There is one topic that you haven't touched on in a long time that I was wondering about. I know that you and your husband had success with Dave Ramsey and TMM. With moving and a new home and all that comes along with it, I was wondering if that system is still working for you. We adapted some of his ideas (a somewhat modified envelope system)but really need to buckle down again and I was hoping for some of your real life advice :)

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    1. Ok Audrey. In the name of being authentic and real, I'd like you to picture me right now uncomfortably wringing my hands and fidgeting as I read your comment. Why? Because there is a very good reason I haven't been writing much about our TMMO lately. We have SUCKED recently. The move completely derailed us and we are actually in the middle right now of trying to figure out the repercussions on our taxes before we basically hit the "restart" button and get our heads back in the game. Thank you for keeping me accountable. Need to post on this ASAP. Let's get back on track together!

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  5. Ahhh, good to know we're not alone. There's always a "restart" button right? Those big life changes, like moving and new babies, are what makes following any type of strict system difficult I think. We've done really well with avoiding credit cards and only have one with a very manageable balance. But we ran into an issue with taxes (that is coming back to bite us from 2 years ago) and we're in the process of refinancing our home and paying off a line of credit. blah, blah. I'm really good at tracking our spending and staying accountable with our household finances, but the big stuff is too big for me and my husband isn't quite as Type A as I am. Looking forward to following your journey to get back on track :)

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