Okay, so I realize that I post a ton of photos on my blog but don’t post very many updates on how we are actually doing. Several years ago when I started my blog, I had time to really sit and think and write and revise, and well, I loved it. I got hooked on blogging in the first place because I loved to write. I only owned a point and shoot camera at the time, so there was more writing and fewer photos. And poor quality photos at that. But I loved it. I do not consider myself a writer; just someone who enjoys the therapeutic effect that writing can have on the mind and emotions. I enjoyed blogging. I enjoyed jotting down everyday things or talking about more profound things, like what God was doing in my life.
Now, with kids, I find that my blogs are very image-driven rather than text (content) driven. Sometimes I am fine with that, other times it really bothers me. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m not using my blog in a really productive manner, but then I think about the fact that documenting my family’s everyday life IS productive.
Okay, so I might not have time at this stage in my life to use my blog for a profound platform, but for now, that’s just how it has to be. Most days I feel the pressure of many responsibilities and I feel happy just to take care of the kids, keep the house in order, shop and cook meals, and keep up with the books for the business. I’m usually content to snap a few photos of the girls once or twice a week, edit them quickly, upload them, say a few sentences, and call it a blog post. Writing anything beyond a cursory overview has started to seem unattainable.
Then there are nights like tonight, when I am more reflective, and decide to stay up too late blogging and will pay for it tomorrow. Thinking about life. Thinking about this crazy world that we live in. Thinking about how I have so much to learn and so far to go.
Parenthood is so much more difficult than I give it credit for. We had to discipline Alana tonight, and it really hit me. Having a newborn is the super duper easy part. No, believe me, I get it, it’s very difficult in it’s own way. It’s physically draining. Babies are so dependent. But honestly, this second time around, I’m learning that for me, Sierra is the easy one. It’s coming face-to-face with the reality that I am training and molding a 3 year old human being that REALLY gets me thinking about what “difficult” can truly be. My flaws seem to glare at me in a way they never did before. I worry that she will be less than the her best…because of me. I look into those amazing eyes and I worry.
I feel so unprepared some days. I feel so inadequate. It’s the notion of the mom who has it all together…this person who, in my head, is a much better mother than me. She wakes up early, before her kids do, so that she can spend quality time reading her bible, praying, getting ready for her day. She prepares a home cooked, healthy breakfast for her kids, and goes straight into some reading time with them or curriculum or something educational. The TV stays off all day. She purees organic vegetables for her baby while her toddler munches on carrot sticks for a snack. When aforementioned toddler disobeys, she always handles it with patience and grace. She has a perfect balance of authoritative presence and love. She plans meals for two weeks so that she only has to grocery shop bi-monthly. And she’s a fabulous couponer…she buys $350 worth of groceries for $67. She cooks healthy, delicious dinners that everyone enjoys, gives toddler a bath, then baby, then puts them both to bed and has a reserve of time and energy for her husband. She exercises and stays fit. She loves people well. She has many friends because she has been a good friend to them first. She’s not selfish.
The problem is that I feel like I am all of those things above…SOMETIMES. I have been ready for my day before, but I am not always. Most days I wait until the last possible moment, when I know Sierra will want to nurse, and I peel myself out of bed to get her. I love having my quiet times, but they are not consistent. Some days we leave the TV off and read, play and learn. But there are many days when she watches more Curious George than can be healthy. Many evenings I prepare healthy home cooked meals…but then there are the days when I didn’t even THINK about what we were having for dinner until 4pm. Sometimes I feel so triumphant to have handled a difficult situation with Alana with patience…and then there are many times that I feel at a complete loss as to how best deal with her. And I certainly need God’s help to love people and to serve them.
Since I really need to stop this stream-of-consciousness writing (lest I type all night), I will post a few random observations about my life as of late.
1) Having two kids is very manageable most days, but some days I actually think I will go insane.
2) Sierra is a very sweet, very smiley, very pleasant baby and we all love her very much. She brings laid back balance to Alana’s unparalleled energy.
3) Time is flying by faster the older I get. The newborn stage didn’t fly by at this rate the first time around. This strikes me as both good and bad.
4) Now when I go somewhere with only Sierra and Rich is watching Alana, I always feel like I’m missing or forgetting something because having only one feels so easy.
5) I can nurse anywhere this time around. I have my shawl, which I’m much more comfortable with now, and because Sierra is a rapid nurser, it’s a piece of cake)
6) I am so blessed and so thankful for the friendships in my life. God has given me a wonderful family and beautiful friends.
7) The bible study that I attend for moms on Wednesday mornings might actually be keeping me more happy and sane than I am even aware of.
8. Trying to run errands or shop can be masochistic in a way that having only one child could not have been. At the mall recently, shopping for a friends’ birthday gift, I literally gave up, in tears, and headed home, complaining to Rich on the phone about how difficult having kids is. I was annoying even myself with my whining.
9) I want to complain less and be CONTENT with everything in my life. The hard wood floors that I want, wanting the house exterior painted, etc. I want all of my wanting to subside. I want to be content in all things. I have so much to be thankful for. Life.is.so.not.about.stuff.
10) I want for God to make me who HE wants me to be. Not my own version of the story. I want His. But I’m often very scared about what that might mean – what kind of sacrifice it might involve. I fear way too many things.
And because every blog post is better with photos (even wordy, overwhelming ones), here are a few photos of my sweet, sweet little Alana, who is so much like me it’s scary. She’s easily frustrated, she’s impatient, and she’s gonna have ME to thank for those character flaws. Thankfully, God created her with about a thousand wonderful qualities, so we will take the imperfections and pray for parenting wisdom 🙂
If you have read this far, you must be a true friend. Comment so I know you’re here 🙂