Coldplay – The Scientist (from A Rush of Blood to the Head). :
Nobody said it was easy,
No one ever said it would be this hard…
(Swiped from being enough)
I've been thinking this over recently, after I read a comment in another blog that talked about me. The post in question talked about how I (and one other mom with a similar amount of children) made it look so easy, raising so many kids, and she was struggling with her smaller amount. She questioned her ability, and a comment was left that said something along the lines of "What's up with these women with freakin' bluebirds on their shoulders, and I can't deal with my kid's grinding of his molars?" Total paraphrase, but I distinctly remember the part about the"freakin' bluebirds on their shoulders", cuz it made me cry.
Cry, people. (As in, literal tears coming from the eyes on my face. For about five whole minutes. Which is a long time, if you really sit down and time it out.) And obsess over it for at least five weeks.
The thing is, I don't have it together. My kids fight, whine, cry and complain more than just about any kids I've ever seen. I certainly don't think that I'm doing any great shakes in that department. They are, for the most part, well behaved and obedient in public, and that's good. To me, they are less so. But, when I see and hear other families whose kids don't fight, it hurts me to see what I'm screwing up.
Last week, I decided not to sign my daughter up for ballet classes - an art at which she is very good. Not because she couldn't do it, but because I couldn't do it. I've not gotten anyone late to any soccer practices/piano lessons/school/games/scout meetings, but I know it's only a matter of time.
This week, one of my kids ran out of asthma medication. A simple remedy, really, just a quick phone call and a trip to the drive through pharmacy. I forgot to sign one kid's test folder. I forgot to check and sign homework. Dinner on Tuesday night was sandwiches. I frequently yell at my kids, and call them by the wrong name. I am often exasperated and annoyed, and I've misplaced my very favorite piece of jewelry - next to my wedding ring, of course. I am totally SICK that I can't find my ring.
Each night I count down to the time after dinner so that I can put my little people to bed. My laundry is always behind, I've always got some piece of clothing soaking to remove some nefarious stain, and there are ALWAYS at least one set of nails in need of trimming.
I made a pan of low fat brownies, aptly named Light Fantastic. I ate six of them the first night. My daughter forgets a book for homework every.single.night, and I am no longer sympathetic. One night, vocabulary, one night science, one night spelling. For the first two weeks of soccer, my son wore his father's black work socks over his shin guards, because I couldn't find the brand new black soccer socks I bought in the summer. One of my girls was wearing a pair with the entire heel cut out. Now I've remedied that by stocking every single thing that we could need in their bags.
The thing is?
I think, for the most part and in some fashion, we are all this way.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but not one of us has it all together. We're all doing the best that we can. I'd venture to say that any one of you could fill a post with the same type of stuff. Why do we all insist on comparing our insides to each other's outsides?
Raising children is H-A-R-D work. If it's one child, it's your first shot at it, and you don't want to screw anything up. You try your hardest at that. It's all new, and overwhelming. You are just learning to exist on a lack of sleep, and how to deal with a personality that may be completely different than any you've dealt with thus far - namely, your own. When you have your first, the flashbacks of your life pre kid, and the trials with which you dealt, seem miniscule.
If it's two, then you have to learn to split your time. It's not always even, it's not always fair. Sometimes it's really cockeyed in terms of balance. You are learning to be there for two people at the same time, usually both polar opposites in terms of needs, wants and desires. When you have two, you can't IMAGINE how one ever felt SO hard.
With the third, you begin to move into a tag team defense. No longer can you use the one on one method, now the
criminals darlings outnumber the rulers parents. So you divide and conquer, and two seems like a so long ago piece of cake. More than four babies in your life, you are into zone defense.
And so on and so on. I don't think that I've been a "mom with a bluebird on my shoulder" here. I think I've been pretty vocal on this site about the difficulties that I have with my family. The 20+ loads of laundry, the 6 gallons of milk and two of orange juice, the five loaves of bread and the 2 30 gallon tanks of gas in the van each week. The arguments, the frustrations, the foibles. The thing is, it's hard for all of us. Even those of us who say it's not, who say that they never have any problems, never struggle with insecurity - they are flat out, bald faced liars. I might look like I have it together, but, really, that's smoke and mirrors. I am pretty organized and spend lots of time trying to get that way. But, that's because I know what I need to be, in order to be able to carry this heavy of a load. And I grew into this family. The children came one by one and I was able to stretch slowly to fill the needs. If I'd been dropped into a family of eight, I'd more than likely be dead right now. I APPEAR to have it together, but I've been doing this for 15 years and I've learned a thing or twelve about shortcuts.
I have a friend with seven, one with eight, and one expecting her ninth. They impress me. I can't imagine how hard they work. But I've got a friend with one child, and she's not exactly a slacker in the work department. She impresses me as well. We ALL work hard.
So, let's kill the put downs, the comparisons, the bad feelings, shall we?
And if you need me, I'll be hunting for my ring and trying frantically to sew up the holes in the soccer socks.