Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#thestruggleisreal

After I put my last post out there onto the world wide intraweb, a friend of a friend left a comment saying he hopes my posts aren't to be taken seriously because I make having kids sound "horrifying." Then our mutual friend told me this friend was kind of flipping out because he is expecting his first child. I laughed my head off and then messaged that he should probably steer clear for a couple of years.

Seriously, I don't want to make having kids sound horrifying at all because it is my absolute favorite thing about life. But the struggle is REAL, to use a cliche hashtag. (My BFF's mom gets "hashtag" and "chevron" confused. Something about thinking it was really a pound sign and a gas station or something. I don't know.) My brother (the childless, stellar realtor one) told me this blog is "a great insight into you guys' world." Because you just can't know or probably see the humor in some of these things if you still think babies are adorable little people who smell freshly bathed all the time and never do things like have exploding diapers, rub mashed sweet potatoes in their hair or eat snails and dirt just because they are right at their eye level.

If you are a parent, I bet you identify with something I have posted. Or really, if you have been around babies much. If you are not or you haven't I can see how you could be afraid of this blog. It is meant to be entertaining and let you know there are others

I am so fortunate to have a really great group of women friends, some from age five, some from the past five years, and some from the past five months. I love women who can be real, and God has placed so many of these precious women in my path. I love when my phone whistles, indicating I have a text, especially if it is from one of these ladies I adore. They are the picture of solidarity. They are no holds barred. And they are full of grace and in love with Jesus. They all told me I could publish our texts here, and they even said I could say their names. But I won't. Because someday, their children will read this and be all Mommy Dearest. Here are some examples of how we encourage one another:

"I never dropped the F bomb until stepping on a Lego barefoot"
Now this is so encouraging to me because I do NOT drop the F bomb. My word of choice starts with "sh" and that isn't nearly as bad as the F bomb. Especially in Jesus' eyes. Says so in, uh, Proverbs. 

"I cannot go see a movie that starts at 7:35 because I can't stay up that late."
I love this because I actually panic if it gets to be 9:00, and I am not in my bed watching Friends yet. 

"Last night I hit a new low and dipped the kids' goldfish crackers in a stick of butter. Did that about 20 times."
This is from one of my all time favorite people whom I have adored since we met in kindergarten thirty years ago. It should also be noted she is pregnant with her fourth child. I love love love her. She thinks she's on her way to the 200 pound threshold which makes me love her even more. 

"My kid refused all supper except for the condiments. He ate a whopping dollop of sour cream and ketchup for dinner."
He got a serving of veggies and dairy. Way to go, Mom!

"The WHINING that is going on over here is about to make me LOSE it!"
I texted this to one of my dearest when we made the girls have a chore day, which is, of course, everyone's favorite. It was like we were asking them to chop down the whole forest when we told them we would be getting a load of firewood. "Stay strong!" was the encouraging response I got. If you let them see weakness, you're done. 

"I just finished an entire bag of chips which is both an accomplishment and an embarrassment. And it's about to happen with a bag full of mini-oreos."
I have achieved those goals myself a time or two.

"My kids ate Eggo waffles for dinner."
Better than ketchup and sour cream.

"Kindergarteners are a pain. So are second graders who try to read texts over my shoulder."
Amen and amen. 

"If your children are alive at the end of the night, you can claim success. If you are alive - bonus points!"
This is just common knowledge, especially among moms with travelling husbands as two of my dear friends' husbands do several nights each week.

"I've given up. Baths aren't happening."
Americans are way too obsessed with cleanliness. That's what we tell ourselves on nights like this.

"It's not even 6 pm and I'm already contemplating chocolate...or wine."
This kind of discouraged me a little because I usually only make it to about 3:30 before I begin this internal debate.

"Coffee at my house tomorrow after drop off. Anyone is welcome."
There is no encouragement better than coffee and conversation with sisters.

"I don't need to go visit the zoo....because I LIVE in a zoo."
You know you have wished you got some monkeys instead of kids at one point or another.

"Most of the time I feel like burning the playroom."
One time I snuck down in the middle of the night with a match fully intending to do just that. Ok, I didn't but knowing someone else has that fantasy sure made me feel a little more sane.

"Wish ya'll could see my house right now. It looks like Hiroshima. And the kitchen is ground zero."
How does this happen every single day? Right now, the kids are gone, I cleaned the kitchen, but earlier it looked like this: 

Hiroshima. And why is there a power drill on the counter??

"Can I use this pen to gouge out my eardrums?"
Now this is a common question for parents everywhere when "Let it Go" comes on or whatever song is the current rage among 4 - 8 year olds. I have repeatedly looked at a pencil trying to decide if it was sharp enough for this exact thing. 

"I just ate a handful of Pirate Booty for dinner."
Of course you did! Some nights, who has time for more between indoor/outdoor soccer, parent meetings, making condiments for your kids' supper, Wednesday night church, baths, homework, piano, mowing, making lunches, and on and on and on and on. 

"I literally rolled out of bed and put on yesterday's clothes."
See number 3 on this post.

"How do you organize ALL THE SHOES in your house?"
I was able to respond to this with the encouragement that the girls just kick them off wherever and then try to remember where they kicked them off when my voice reaches a decibel level only dogs can hear. It's super organized. 

"Rocking in a fetal position and going to my happy place now."
Yes. My happy place is in front of Friends reruns. Is anyone else paralyzed by the awesomeness that all ten seasons are on Netflix and feel that until you have watched all ten seasons you are incapable of accomplishing anything? And also that Chandler, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross are your close personal friends? No? Me neither. 

"Why do they have to eat dinner again?"
Again, I offered much encouragement when I told this mom my stand by plan: cereal. Ain't no shame. 

"All three of my children are in time out."
As they should be! For at least half the day.

"Cappuccino spilled inside my cupboard. Don't even ask how it got there."
This made me feel awesome, seeing as we have only lived in this house 8 months and the inside of the baking cupboard would feed our family for a week. Cleaning cupboards just is not real high on the priority list.

"Ya'll might need to come check me out of the psych ward."
This has been texted more than once, and we are all reassured by these texts:
"Would love to do that!"
"Happy to help!"
"I am totally willing to do that!"
Because we all just know. (And actually these three texts were in response to whether or not we could help another mom with child care. So sweet to have instant responses offering life to a busy, tired mom.) 

"Approximately 78 hours until girls night!"
I had actually started counting down at 120 but was too embarrassed to admit it.

"We just spent 30 minutes inside Barnes and Noble and when we came out the van door was open."
This was me. I was a little disappointed no one took the van. Others concurred that this had happened to them as well. How hard is it to push a button and close the door? It only takes ONE FINGER!

"My husband accidentally gave NyQuil to one of the kids before school."
It's ok. It's the teacher's problem now.

"I'm trying to make all those Christmas ornaments and ran out of glue! My husband just suggested looking up a recipe for homemade glue. I may or may not have threatened death."
We all encouraged this husband to immediately get his tail in the car and go to Walgreen's for some glue. Like, IMMEDIATELY.

"One of my children threw a fit because I put butter on her waffle."
Now, I had to defend the child on this one. I mean, if you don't want butter and your unthoughtful mother butters it anyways, that is just criminal.

"I really need to take up drinking."
We have a teetotaler in our group and sometimes she gets jealous of these texts.

"Do you think our mothers talked to their friends like this?"
Gosh, I hope so.

"Jesus + nothing = ENOUGH! But wine, coffee and great girlfriends help A LOT!"
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

"I soooo look forward to and love our texting conversations that pop up during the week. I WILL MISS THAT. In a short amount of time you each have made me laugh, tear up a bit, laugh, love my kiddos better, laugh, turned me toward Jesus and laugh."
This friend was leaving on a girls trip to an EXTREMELY exotic location, so I don't really feel bad that she misses us. But I feel the same way. She is supposed to be getting us name key chains. She better come through!

"We ARE praying. And He is in your mess. Praying that WE BELIEVE He is in all of our messes."

"We had an awful night and a miserable morning...Sorry, praying"

"I am thankful for you. Within a matter of seconds I had some sweet sisters standing with me in prayer."

"Oh, how I try to do this parenting thing on my own. But we need Jesus."

"You are awesome sauce!'

"You are some of the best mothers I know."

"I vow to take us all to the throne of Jesus in prayer."

"I love you and you crack me up!"

These women are the hands and feet of Jesus to me.

"I love these texting conversations. My norm does not seem so crazy." 
And this is the point of this blog. Not to discourage you in your parenting or encourage you not to have children - but to let you know that SOMEONE out there is feeling what you are feeling. And enduring or has endured the day you are having. No, I've not had any parenting crises of real merit. But I have had days where the crazy threatened to overwhelm. But I know my children are a gift, entrusted to me by the Lord Jesus, and will be on their own in a few short years. Please, please, please, Lord.

I pray for everyone who reads this blog. Let me encourage you to leave your crazy comments, especially if you don't have a group of crazy girlfriends to text. Put it here. I will laugh with you. And pray for you. Because otherwise we'd just cry all day. 

Savor it, people. 

With any luck, someday they'll have their own yard apes and read this blog for comfort.

Grace for today and all crazy days,
Martha 

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