Thursday, June 27, 2013

Status Update Fine Prints

One of my last posts was about how people think that the good life is published and talked about a little too much on Facebook, and it bothers them.  Then I mentioned how I like to, personally, talk about the good things so that I don't focus so much on the bad.  Well, I wish Facebook worked more like my brain.  Because sometimes I get stuck focusing on the bad, and it can be very easy to do sometimes.
I tend to spiral.  Usually some kind of event triggers it.  A few weeks ago, I discovered some disheartening news about my dad.  Nearly 15 years of sobriety gone down the drain, just like that, in one day.  It's partly chemical (skipping meds for 4 days when you have a mental illness isn't good), but I know it's also very spiritual.  Sometimes I just want to shake him and say, "Can't you see what you're doing?!  You're supposed to be the parent and somehow, I know more than you."  I just can't make any sense of it, but then again, I've never resorted to drugs or alcohol when depressed.  In fact, I've avoided it like the plague because addiction runs in my family.
Then I got to spiraling myself.  I started thinking about my own childhood.  I know forgiveness is a choice, but it's not just a one-time choice, it's a daily one.  I get really angry sometimes.  I really don't know my dad because he wasn't there when I was a kid, and now he's chemically altered so I don't know the person he used to be.  But my reasons for getting angry today have less to do with my past than with my present...
How do I know how to be a good mom if I didn't have that kind of secure attachment with my own parents?  This weighs on me every day.  Remember the Disney analogy, how I somehow made motherhood out to be this wonderfully amazing thing that just came naturally to everyone?  Some days, it's really easy.  When both my kids actually sleep well and I feel half sane.  Or when I get that random "I love you" in the middle of the day, unexpectedly.  Other days, when my three year old says, "I don't like you" because she doesn't want to eat anything resembling food for breakfast, it's not.  Motherhood does not come naturally on those days.  Acting like a child always comes easily.  I sometimes wish I could throw the eggs on the floor and say, "Fine, don't eat anything, then."  But, instead, I respond by saying, "I'm sorry you don't like me, that hurts my feelings."  Then I put the plate down and walk away.
Little does my three year old know that when she uses this new and exciting phrase to express her disapproval, it really hits me.  Why?  Because I work so dang hard, sometimes I feel like I work harder than I should have to, because of the absent example.
But then it hit me the other day.  We're all lacking an example.  How do we know how to be good people?  How do we define good and how do we know what love is, when, let's face it, we've all been hurt by the people who say they love us.  I believe we know because God put the understanding of his love in all of our hearts.  No, we don't get to see him face to face here on Earth.  But imagine how much easier being a good person would be if we could!  So easy.  To see perfect love being acted out before us every day would make  even driving easier, at least for me ;).
I feel like having great parents is like having training wheels.  It gives you something to lean on when you're unable to ride without falling over on your own.  It gives you a sense of security.  Knowing you won't hit the pavement so quickly if you loose your balance makes riding a whole lot easier.  But just because you never had training wheels doesn't mean you'll never learn how to ride a bike.  It just means you have the opportunity to learn to ride while only trusting the invisible hand.  Training wheels can be removed.  Sometimes they break; sometimes the wheels get jammed.  But we all have God holding onto us.
It sounds so nice, and easy, just saying it.  Ha.  They say when you write something, your brain believes it more than if you just say it out loud.  Today, I hope that's true because my brain is struggling to hear and believe the truth, when there are disappointing memories replaying like a broken record.  It's slowly becoming the background noise, though.
Though I have plenty of moments that literally bring me to my knees in tears as a mom, sometimes a few tears of joy are mixed in with the frustration.  When I focus more on what I'm actually seeing instead of the broken record, I have nothing else to say but, "Thank you."  Thank you, God, for sparing me from drugs, alcohol, and an abusive spouse so that I can have the beautiful family that I've always wanted--the one you provided.  Even though Mirabel may have her, "I don't like you" moments, she also has her, "I love you" moments, and I didn't have either of those with my dad. Progress, we're making it, slowly but surely.
Since becoming a mom, I've been able to let things go a whole lot more.  Maybe it's wrong to say I've been able, more like I've been forced ;).  I've always been a neat-freak, my way of providing order amidst chaos, I guess.  I'd like to think that by leaving toys on the floor for 24 hours and clean clothing in the laundry for 3 days, I'm proving that I no longer need so much artificial order, since my life is not quite as chaotic.  Here's the evidence:
see, I even mixed whites and colors!  Just don't tell my husband ;0).

playroom

guest room, after a horrendous sewing experiment.

....ok, so maybe I decided to sew some dresses instead of clean.  But in order to get this done, I had to let things go.  (And lose sleep, these were made on the nights Juliette decided it was partytime at 2 AM.)

Progress requires letting things go.  I need to let go of the fact that I can't re-do the past.  I will not be the perfect mom, even if I do/did have an ideal childhood.  I will not have cutely dressed children in homemade dresses AND a clean house and wrinkle-free clothing ;)...
But my children are happy, on the days that they like me (when I give them fruit snacks for breakfast instead of eggs ;).  That's all I ever really wanted for them, even before they were born.

**And I finally wrote a post!  But my kitchen is covered in pancake crumbs and I've been asked for a treat about 5 times.  I got up to clean someone's bottom and change the song on the radio about 10 times, for the serious music critic under 4....but I wrote a post!!**

1 comments:

enjoyingnow said...

You wrote so many wonderful and wise things in this post. But most of all, I love hearing your heart.

You are so right about the training wheels analogy. The way we are raised gives us tools but doesn't define what choices we will make. I guarantee you will always be a wonderful mother to your sweet girls. I know your heart Sophie and it is simply beautiful.

I also relate to the letting go thing... I have always strived to keep my car clean, my house clean, my yard perfect, etc. just to give myself some feeling of control over my life (which originated from the time that my dad died). But thankfully my kids (our kids) our helping us to see the fun in life without perfection.

I vote for more pancake crumbs on the floor (shhh don't tell jose) which will mean more blogs! Love you friend!

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