I think we can all agree that life is hard. It’s overwhelming and sometimes it’s just all we can do to get through the day.
Maybe it’s kids, maybe it’s work or perhaps it’s a whole bundle of things all coming together to make you feel like you just might not make it through the day today. I think if we are being honest, we’ve all been there at one time or another.
Sometimes the most wonderful parts of motherhood are stained with the most difficult.
Sometimes the things our hearts long for the most and the moments that fill us with joy, also bring stress and fears that we never expected.
This is what life is made of, The beautiful and the imperfect. Somehow entwined to create this difficultly wonderful thing called life. Called motherhood.
From the moment we announce our pregnancies people start in with the advice. They start saying well-meaning things that somehow come off as judgment. “Enjoy every minute,” they say as we cringe and inwardly roll our eyes. Feeling like this older woman is so far removed from us, clearly she doesn’t understand that every moment was not made to be enjoyed.
No sleep for approximately 6 years? Not really enjoyable…
There are countless things that each of us deal with on a daily basis that are not even in the same time zone as “enjoyable”. And yet, these more experienced moms and grandmas always turn to us with regret in their eyes and say, “Enjoy it, every last moment of it.”
Truly, it’s frustrating. When I’m neck deep in a bad day, to be told by some one, regardless of how well-meaning they might be, that I am doing it wrong because I’m not enjoying it, sometimes it feels like a slap.
But sometimes, on good days I can’t help but think about it. I remember the regret and the longing that I’ve seen in their eyes and I wonder what it is that they are trying to say.
I try to imagine how it might be that these days that seem to be passing by me at half the normal speed, somehow slipped away from them as they barely blinked. Sometimes, I can see what they mean. When my five year old crawls into my lap and starts telling me about the latest invention he’s planning, I wonder how it is that we got to this moment, when just last week it seems I was up all night feeding him and wondering why he wouldn’t just fall asleep.
It does pass by too quickly.
And I’m sure I don’t enjoy it enough.
Seeing things from different perspectives does a lot to change and even improve our lives. When I began to see motherhood from the perspective of my single friend who doesn’t have kids, a lot changed. And now I wonder what I might do differently if I saw my life from the perspective of me, 10 years down the road. I wonder what I might tell myself. I wonder what I’d give 10 years from now to have another night carrying my son to bed, or snuggling with my daughter when she wakes up crying for no apparent reason.
I don’t want to feel guilty, and I’d never want to make you feel that way either. But once in awhile, on a good day, I like to stop and think about all the not-so-enjoyable parts of my life, and realize how I can see them as fruitful and somehow find the good in them.
Maybe I can see in my daughter’s tantrums that she’s not afraid of her emotions, and perhaps I’ll find a way to teach her that emotions are good, but tantrums are not.
Maybe when I am so very tired of cooking dinner for my family and wishing for a chef, I’ll remember to be thankful that we have access to fresh fruits and vegetables to help us stay healthy and strong.
Maybe, when I can’t quite seem to make it through the day without being exhausted I’ll find a way to think about how temporary this time is, and hug my kids a bit tighter as I wish for more coffee and maybe an extra 10 minutes of sleep.
It’s amazing the things that can be made beautiful when you see how they are all tied together with love.
The most difficult situations, the biggest challenges and even the broken moments of time laced with regret can be fixed, healed and made into something beautiful when viewed through the lens of love and family.
I’m trying desperately hard to view all of life through that lens. To see each imperfect moment as a chance to choose joy and find love. It’s difficult and it’s messy but we’re doing it together, my family and me, and that’s what makes it lovely.
Realizing the beauty of life, is always an encouragement for a healthier lifestyle too. Both in your emotions as I frequently talk about, but physically too! A healthier lifestyle for your body is something we don’t talk about here too often, but it’s such an important piece! February is American Heart Month, which is something very important to me!
We lost my dad to heart complications when I was just 14. As difficult as it might be to talk, think or even write about… it’s something I think about a lot! I don’t want my kids to grow up without me, the way I’ve had to grow up without my dad. While I always try to find ways to see the beauty in every moment… I want to continue doing that WITH my kids, not teaching them how to do it before I go.
Healthy living wasn’t something that was talked about growing up in my family and it’s quite honestly not a topic I bring up with my kids much because I simply don’t know how. But I know that we need to, and that it starts with mama.
I love that we can all work towards healthier lifestyles together, in even the most simple of ways. Extra fruits and veggies (which my kids love anyways) and maybe more frequent trips to the playground with the kids! I know they wouldn’t complain about more fruits or extra playtime, but it’s a way we can all get a little healthier together, while we also see the beautiful moments in the midst of a harder season of life.
Have you noticed how hard it is to be angry when swinging on a swing? It’s practically impossible! The same goes for moments spent watching your kids giggle and play.
If today is a hard day, I want to encourage you to find something pretty in it. Create something beautiful if you have to…Like maybe a trip to the park and a ride on the swings for all of you, with an apple or some baby carrots for a snack. You’ll see smiles, you’ll hear giggles and you’ll know that your family is working towards happy and healthy all together, which is worth more than all the bad days in the world put together.
Remember that Life Is Why we keep trying when days are rough and nights are rougher. It’s why we keep going and we keep laughing even when the old ladies in the store are driving us nuts and we feel like we just might break.
You are stronger than you think mama! Keep on going!
Don’t forget to follow the American Heart Association on Pinterest, it’s a great resource to help you live a healthier life. You can also use the Life Is Why photo booth to create some really fun images to share, like the one I posted above! I’d love to see yours, share it with me on Facebook!