On giving and forgiving
I could go on and on about how my kids have all cried and tantrummed so much this week. I could go on and on about how I’m tired and my husband has worked long hours and I just want takeout forever. But as I was mentally composing the most whiney mom first world complaint post ever, it hit me. I’m the problem here, not my circumstances.
My kids have had a rough week, every single three of them.
That’s developmentally normal. It’s spring; they’re squirrelly.
But what’s not normal is that I’m not handling it well. I scream. I shout. I really really lose it. Over little, normal things.
Yes, but Nell, you seem like this is just hard all the time. Didn’t you just write about this a few weeks ago, this hardship thing? That’s what happens when you have three young kids. And you really want more?
That’s either the devil on my shoulder or what I think every person in my life thinks about me and my life, my wheel of un-changing fatigue and depletion as a mom. And I’m not even nursing or pregnant right now! How do I have cause to be so crabby? So short-tempered? Maybe because I think I’m not supposed to have hard times–I’m supposed to be bouncing through a field of daisies with my sweet little kids in tow. Because if I say it’s not like that, I am afraid of the criticism above.
Instead of writing a post sharing the legit annoyances and difficulties of long days with young children, I wanted to say to anyone out there struggling with these cyclical feelings of being overwhelmed, being under impressed that your life consists of screaming & poop:
It’s OKAY to be here.
Even if sharing that your list never gets crossed off makes you look like an irresponsible person for being open to having more kids.
Even if your friends or family think you don’t have the right to complain because you asked for it by having lots of kids, or by not not having lots of kids. Or if you don’t have lots of kids but you work and have a few kids, an incredibly hard dual-job life in its own right.
Even if you think you’re beyond being ignited by the protest naps, and then you’re not, and you’re protesting the toddler who won’t sleep.
Even if you dread pregnancy or dread trying again for another month of no-show on the pregnancy test.
You can share your burdens. You can say this life is hard. You can. And when you know you can, if you’re like me, maybe you’ll scream less at your kids in frustration for the life you are “supposed” to be leading.
Maybe you’ll be okay with just being right here. At the foot of the Cross. Because it’s almost Good Friday. Unite that suffering, friends! And know you’re not alone.
I want to forgive my kids for driving me semi-batty and I want to give more of myself. So I’m shedding the expectations of the world that this should look pretty and just diving in. See you at church with my toddler ripping my glasses off in the back!