Ok–so my ambitions were BIG in writing on the blog this week…..and then LIFE happened! Birthdays, and pneumonia (for Charlie), schoolwork, and practices swallowed me up.
And guess what I did? I felt guilty about not doing what I had said I would. Felt like I kinda set myself up for failure..and that everyone would judge me.
I recently passed on a link on FB that was so powerful, I now see it being spread amongst many of my mom friends. It’s called “Don’t Carpe Diem” and it is such an insightful article..and SO NEEDED!!
Read it HERE
…and then come back!
I have a tendency to look on the bright side of things…remain somewhat unruffled by kid stuff…and to keep things cheery…at least to the outside. I cannot TELL you how many times I have been told while out with the kids…minding my own business…
“oh you must enjoy having all those kids around”
“So many reasons to be happy”
“What a blessing they are..enjoy them now..it goes fast.”
“What an incredible person you are”
“You are a saint!” (at this I literally laugh out loud…)
And I ALWAYS give the answer that they want to hear….
“Yes…our house is SO much fun!”
“Oh they make me smile everyday!”
“I am SO enjoying every minute..I’ll be sad when they’re gone!!”
as for the accolades about me being a great person and all….well I always respond….”these children have blessed me waaayyy more than I them.”
And I actually do mean everyone of those responses..I truly do.
Just not EVERY day.
And why is it that we can’t, as human beings… just tell the truth?
Why, instead of giving wanted answers…can we really say how we feel? Maybe not to the cashier at Target…or the well-meaning grandma…but how about to our friends?
What is it…Fear of being judged?
Fear that you might come across as…I don’t know…normal???
Fear of breaking the perfection illusion that you have created?
Or in us adoptive parents..fear that people will think you regret your adoption? Or that you have gotten yourself in way too far over your head?
Because, as I posted that link…I got thank you’s from my niece who is caring for her first infant…and feeling guilty when she just wants to scream from her baby screaming. But she’s afraid to say it because she should be grateful she has a beautiful healthy infant .
Or the private message from a friend that has many kids that feels like she’s drowning some days…and won’t fess up because she got herself into it in the first place.
The email from my friend who is navigating her way as a single mom..and doesn’t want to give off the impression that she’s struggling.
WHY?? Why can’t we share??
I know that when a mom tells me of any kind of trouble with her kid, personal life..whatever…I am so happy to hear that I am not alone!
When someone lets you in…you feel closer to them..and it can have a great impact on the quality of your friendship. I know that I LOVE real people. The kind I can dish with over coffee…and that I can tell about the craziness at my house..and all of the sudden be laughing so hard I can’t stop!
I think it is WAY healthier than keeping it all bottled up inside…so on that note…I will share. I will give you (in bulletpoints) an honest look at the past few weeks.
I will promise you that all of the following statements are fleeting feelings…that we all have…and I DO LOVE MY KIDS….really I do……
Here are some things that I could have answered to the above statements….
“Oh you must enjoy having all those kids around!”
My “real” response:
“You think? Yes I really enjoyed waking up to 4 kids, two dogs, and 10 matchbox cars in my bed this morning. In addition, I enjoyed discovering that my 4 year old wet the bed..again..and I have to wash all his sheets….again. I also enjoy seeing that as I go downstairs in my hazy fog..I discover that someone has drawn smiley faces on my white spindles..in red….with a sharpie. I also enjoy the mad scramble of feeding 7 kids..5 of whom are always running late for the bus..and all of whom argue about everything that I prepare.
Now THAT, my friend…sure is enjoyable…especially before 7:30 am!!
Yes..having all these kids is a daily joy-fest. Have a nice day….”
*Kind..usually elderly person: *”What a blessing they are…enjoy them now, time goes fast”
(this would be the carpe diem comment)
My “real” response:
“How fast does it really go? Because right now my dreams consist of being able to have one nano-second to myself..like for the luxury of peeing in peace. Yes—please tell me it goes fast..I would like to go into the pantry for a pretzel, and eat it without hiding in fear… of the “seagulls/kids” that will swarm me if they see me having a morsel of food.
Yes, dear kind person…I would like to watch something besides the Disney Channel..and I do NOT want to know all the words to every Justin Bieber song. I would like to watch movies without 3D glasses, and go to restaurants that don’t have a kiddie menu. Fast, you say? Yes, fast will get me through the day…thank you very much!”
And the best…of them all..as I tote around my adorable Chinese children..from all kinds of people:
“you are an incredible person, saint, Mother Theresa..whatever..”
My “real” response:
Well, thank you kindly…but I seriously doubt that saints, or the dearly departed Mother looked forward to a beer at 5:00 pm to get them through to bedtime.
I also don’t think those of a saintly status had times where they lied to their kids and told them it was 8 pm…time to brush their teeth..when in actuality it was 6:30.
Or I am quite certain that saints don’t second guess themselves…thinking that if we had only had two…we would be doing this, that and the other….(usually quite frivolous things..like trips, and the like…)
I also know that the Holy do not throw temper tantrums worse than a two year old at times when their kids don’t listen. So ….thanks for the compliment…but…..
The saintly would also be quite calm and patient when kids do things like….
hide mom’s car keys..so well that the car has to be towed to the dealer for a new set
stuff 12 juice boxes down the toilet…mixed with applesauce..for fun..
take food from the pantry..and when they have eaten half of it..just stuff the remaining half in the couch..to be found..quite awhile later…
carve their name in the kitchen table…
YES..these things would NEVER ruffle a person with “holy” describing them.
So, that’ the REAL truth…and nothin’ but the truth…so help me God!
And at the end of the day, I would never, ever, trade this life for anything. No life of leisure could compare to the love that I feel for every single one of my kids. No amount of money could replace the amazing experience of having this family. And quiet, perfect, houses make me a tad nervous.
I’m just saying’….it aint perfect ALL the time. And it’s ok to let it all out. Tell a friend, sibling, partner, your dog…anyone….how you REALLY feel at times. It gives such a sense of freedom.
And to be honest…..I think it helps you to appreciate your life on a whole new level, because when youREEAALLLY picture your life without all “this”(whatever “this” entails to you”)……..it just seems empty.
SO vent away my friends….take a load off your shoulders and your heart…and your tomorrows will take on a whole new meaning.
My name is Amy, and I have been married to Darrin for almost 16 years. We have 4 biological kids (Hannah 12, Joseph 8, Caroline 6, Charlie 5) and two children from China (Hope 5 and Samuel 3). Both of our blessings from China were born with limb differences. We are incredibly blessed by the miracle of adoption and would love to talk to anyone about adopting a child with a limb difference. I am a stay-at-home mom who also is a volunteer for Love Without Boundaries. I am the Fundraising Coordinator for their Orphanage Assistance Program. It is an incredible way to remember those children still waiting for a family! I am just happy to be living an amazing life with my family and sharing a bit of our continuing story on our blog.