Wow! I stopped writing. I stopped writing everything a few months ago. For the past few months, I have been annoyed. I have been primarily annoyed at my children; however, I have also been annoyed with others too. I have not been pleasant to hang out with.
Over the past week or so, I have asked myself the question of why I am so easily frustrated. First, this feeling of annoyance creates incredible guilt. I have a wonderful life. I love my family. My husband is seriously the best man I know. My kids are mostly well-behaved and adorable. My life is full of gifts I do not deserve. I want for nothing.
So, my first revelation in processing this feeling of annoyance was that it is circular. I feel tired and annoyed then I feel guilty and the guilt creates pressure to be less annoyed which makes me more annoyed. Silly really, but true none-the-less.
Then, I started reading "Dad is Fat" by Jim Gaffingan. This has been the best therapy. I hit on the solution and the cause of my annoyance problem in one of Jim's chapters.
"The blurbs are meant to be (hopefully) funny, silly, and/or insightful. Some of these observations will lean toward a dark, sarcastic take on the prison sentence that is parenthood... Occasionally I receive comments that associate my musings with being anti-family... This could not be further from the truth. I love being a parent and enjoy finding the humor in parenting... You joke about it. That's how you deal. If parents don't like being a parent, they don't talk about being a parent. They are absent."
As I have dug into my faith: reading the Bible, going to Bible study, trying to be a Biblical wife. In doing those things, I lost my sense of humor. I stopped talking like myself. I started trying to emulate someone else. The Proverbs 31 wife maybe? I don't know. But at some point I decided that I needed to be more mature and serious. The problem is I just don't work well that way. I cannot write without being honest. And I think parenting little children is ridiculous most of the time. I am like a fish out of water as a mom. I am just flapping around trying to get back in the water.
Yes, I have rainbow and butterfly moments. But mostly, we are a hot mess. There are the occasions when I look at my children and my heart melts. Of course there are. Sometimes we all eat healthy, and go to bed on time. Sometimes I even do crafts or school work. I have days where I feel like a superstar.
Yet, there are many, many moments with my kids that I do not like. For example: waking up to a crying three-year-old at 2 a.m., my five-year-old putting his sister in a headlock in Target, kids refusing to go to bed in a way that makes me want to hunt down Super Nanny. These moments do not make my heart melt. Instead, they make me want to bang my head against a wall.
I lost sight that this is not failure. This is just parenting. Whose kids do not drive them nuts? What mom is perfectly happy when their kid poops in the pool?
My children have humbled me. Especially when there is an audience for the chaos. Recently, we spent a week with family at the beach. I have always prided myself on being a successful, self-assured girl who gets what she wants when she works hard enough. I felt like an utter parenting failure when each night on this trip everyone else was trying to rest quietly in their rooms for the night, and my children were fighting and crying and refusing to go to bed.
So, instead of trying to focus only on the rainbows and butterflies, and writing nothing. Or worrying that what I write will not be taken as comedic survival, I am just going to write what I feel. I am going to share the good and the bad. Because, do you know what? Parenting is ridiculous. It is love and fun and poop and chaos. It is a love so deep and strong I am suffocated by it. But it is also frustration so strong I want to punch a hole in the wall. It is life. I can love it and still want to run away to a secluded island with a stack of books and a comfy pillow. That feeling doesn't make me (or you) any less faithful or any less in love with my family. It just makes us human.