I follow several parenting blogs and peruse others through articles posted on Facebook or Twitter. I prefer the humorous ones, the snarky, sarcastic, “let me say what everyone’s thinking” posts and the “I can’t believe my child just did that” stories. I read a few more serious blogs on occassion, and as I read and sympathize and chuckle, I also feel a bit guilty.
It’s not the guilt that is usually discussed in parenting blogs-it’s not guilt about my messy house (it IS messy, but I don’t feel guilty about it), or about my kids poor nutrition, or about wanting them to be less annoying or more grown up, or about fostering bad habits, or about a growing caffeine addiction or hidden candy stash… Many of the blogs I read seem to come from the standpoint of exhausted, wornout parents who are struggling through the daily grind but know it’s worth it. I read a lot about how hard parenting is. How sacrificial. How draining and life altering. And it absolutely is all of those things…but I feel guilty because for whatever reason, I love it.
I was complaining to Brian today because I felt like time was going too fast and I can’t slow it down and really hold on to the memories. Zane is already 6 months old, Cade will be 2 in 3 months! Every day is an endless round of dishes and meals and laundry and cleaning and playing and naptimes and diapers and nursing and it continues right through the night and blurs into the next morning.
I don’t have my act entirely together-the dishes pile up on dirty counters, I no longer sweep the kitchen floor as often as I should, the vacuum accumulates dust in the cornor of the living room where I left it instead of putting it away from the last time I vacuumed, I pointedly ignore noticing the bathroom needs cleaning, the clothing doesn’t always get folded right away-you get the picture. And I don’t always have a great dinner planned- I still haven’t mastered making more than one dish at a time. A good day cooking is one where I actually cook a lunch AND a dinner instead of just stuffing Cade full of summer sausage and strawberries and calling it a meal. But I work at it, and I’m getting better, and weirdly enough-more organized than I have ever been in my life.
And everyday I make my sons laugh. Every. Day. I get to wrestle and tickle and take walks in the rain. I play with sand and water and mud. I reread the same books over and over. I bounce on the bed, and flip over the couch. I play chase. I make weird faces and even weirder noises. I over exaggerate way too much. 😉 …and I witness developmental leaps before my eyes as my once snuggly firstborn has matured into a climbing, running, talking machine. And my tiny quiet secondborn boasts a sweet, flirty personality and regularily hoists his now substantial girth all across my floors.
I have more and more moments where I feel one hundred percent at peace with where I am in my life then I have EVER experienced. I even enjoy complaining about the frustrating aspects of parenting more than I enjoy complaining about anything else. I get more satisfaction venting about the trials of one year molars than I have ever gotten singing the praises of almost anything else. I eat this stuff UP!
It scares me, sometimes, because everything feels too perfect. How can I have so much GOOD in my life? I am too small a vessel to contain all this joy!
Sometimes, especially with small children, people seem to believe that kids are a blessing later, right now they’re mostly hard work. But I like work, and one of the best things about having small children is they don’t allow me to stay grumpy for long. As long as I keep an open heart, their cute little shennanigans and open faced happiness erases even the worst tantrums and the longest nights. It’s true, I don’t have much time to myself-but that just makes the precious moments of alone time more intense and gratifying.
Gratitude. Oh my goodness. I am grateful for EVERYTHING now that I have kids. I am grateful for our house, for carpet, for all of the wonderful household appliences, for AC and heat, for grocery stores, for cars, for pavement, for playgrounds… Some days I find myself caught up in being thankful for just being here. Alive. With two healthy children and married to my other half. I can’t not be grateful, because anytime something directly or indirectly makes my sons’ lives better, I appreciate it. Including being grateful for the quirky personality God gave me which apparently soaks this sort of stuff right up. 😛
I love “mom-ing”. Every night when I pray over the boys I thank God for another wonderful day, because the worst of my days with kids are a thousand times better than the worst of my days without them. I’m not saying all this to be pompous or humble brag-although I’m sure it’ll come across that way to some. I am trying, somehow, to spread the joy and wonder I feel at being a parent. It is awesome. No caveats- It. Is. Awesome.