Monday, June 4, 2012

not so perfect

As I sit here blissfully daydreaming about what it will be like to have part of the morning all to myself tomorrow (except for the dentist and hygenists helping to fill the painful cavity in my tooth..) I am reminded of last summer. Why? Because today was tough. The boys were coming down from a busy, no-nap filled weekend and decided to abundantly fill the day with arguing, fighting, and whining about EVERYTHING. Ella is rebelling against the six, yes SIX top teeth she is getting in. And I decided to not do ANY laundry last week, putting us in a bit of a predicament this week..

Today some of the same sense of despair I felt last summer started creeping back into my life.

A year ago I was more than beside myself with every emotion imaginable over Ella's diagnosis and everything else that was going on in life. I was hurt and sad and sensitive and denying it and I ended up emotionally isolating myself. From everyone. I felt like I couldn't connect with anything, like all of a sudden I was different, our lives were different, and I couldn't relate to anything "normal" anymore. I didn't fit in with the "typical" world, yet I didn't want to join the CdLS world. I didn't want to learn more about it. I didn't want to get to know anyone because this truly could not be happening to us.

I remember having a really hard summer, being home with all 3 kids, Ella being so gassy and fussy and us not knowing why, the boys being sick ALL THE TIME for some reason and crabby and fighting and every day was such a struggle. It was hard to get out of bed, to shower, to think of one freaking thing to make for supper that night..

And like so many of us do, during my free time I would log on to Facebook. And there I would sit, in my ratty sweatpants and sweatshirt, makeup-less face with huge bags under my eyes, my children coughing and sneezing and whining and crying in the next room, and I would see on my computer the smiling, happy faces of everyone else's kids. I would see the adorable craft projects I just could not muster up the energy to do with my own. The fun, creative lunches others were making while my poor kids got a slapped together pb&j. For the 26th day in a row. I would see the vacations others were taking, the sun and sand they were enjoying, while the only sand I saw was tracked all over my kitchen floor and clogging up the bathroom drain. I would see the "perfect" "healthy" babies being born and wonder what I did wrong? I would see the fun play dates and mommies getting together while I felt stranded in my house and could not think of a single friend I could call.

I felt like a completely incompetent mother.

Everyone else's lives were perfect. Everyone else's babies were healthy. Everyone else's houses were clean. Everyone else's barns were not blowing over. Everyone else's marriages were like their honeymoons. Everyone else's kids played nicely together all day.

Everyone else, except me.

I began to feel more and more isolated, and instead of realizing that Facebook time was NOT helping me, it became more and more of an unhealthy addiction. It was sortof like seeing a train wreck but not being able to look away. (I don't know why I used that old line.. Honestly.. how many people have really seen train wrecks??) I started obsessing about checking my Facebook every day, every few hours, the inadequecies of my own life piling on top of each other, weighing me down even more day after day after day.

It was like I wanted to prove how much better everyone else was than me. I wanted it to be some kind of competition where I always came in last. I wanted to make myself feel worse. I just couldn't stop.

Why? I don't know.. It sounds awful...

But eventually I did get past that. And the good that's come from it?

This blog! Right?? It's a good thing....... right.....??? anyone out there?

*crickets chirping..*

Anyways, I went through that whole unhealthy Facebook phase and eventually found myself reading everyone else's updates (without going into a mental breakdown), but was unable to post about ANYTHING in my own life for a long time. At first it was because I felt so lousy about myself, but then I started to realize that everyone else's lives are NOT the way they look on Facebook. It took me a really long time to understand that (apparently I'm kindof a slow learner). I was actually shocked when I was telling a friend of mine this and she said, "Yeah... Facebook's so fake," like it was no big deal. I didn't know what to say.. I honestly had not considered that before! I was taking everyone's posts and pictures and updates and blogs to heart and only seeing what was on the page in front of me. I wasn't thinking that this was only a small snapshot into people's lives. I was seeing that snapshot as representative of everything good that they had and I didn't.

When I really started to look around, everything just seemed so phony all of a sudden. Why would I post the picture of the 1 minute of fun we had that day and make it look like our whole lives were full of sunshine and rainbows? Why would I post the funny thing my kid said at supper when immediately after that he was sent to the laundry room for disobeying?

Note: Please don't think if you've posted anything "good" about yourself or your kids on Facebook the past year, that I think you're "fake." It was definitely more of an issue on my part than anyone else's..

But part of my honesty curse blessing comes into play here. If I'm going to share anything about our lives, I want it to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. With a tiny bit of sarcasm and hopefully witty-to-others-besides-me remarks.

I want to be super conscientious to not only blog about the ups, but also the downs. I never want to make others believe my life is perfect. I never want to give others a reason to be jealous or feel bad about themselves. We all have special talents and I love that about the world. There are so many things I wish I was good at: singing even remotely close to on key, picking up after myself and my projects, staying focused on one thing, homeschooling (wouldn't that be great??), running, keeping house plants alive, planning things more than one day in advance...

I've had a lot of nice comments lately on this blog about my adorable kids (true), my perfect house (ha!), my "talents".. And honestly? It makes me a little uncomfortable. I hope everyone out there reading this knows no one (especially me) is perfect. We all have things we're good at and not good at, and God made each of us special and unique and in his own image. What more could we ask for?? Sure, I could spend a lot of time dwelling on the gifts I don't have. But that would completely impair me from using the gifts I DO have. Like building Board Holders!! a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

We've gone through a lot in the past year to get to where we are today, and I feel so thankful for that. I feel thankful that we've been able to take painful, heartbreaking things that have happened to us and rise above, turning them into good. I feel thankful that I've gotten to the point where I can honestly be happy for people when good things happen to them instead of feeling jealous. I feel thankful I am a stronger, more compassionate person than I was before.

I just wish I could go back in time to last summer and give myself a big hug, look into my tearful eyes and tell myself what I know now. (Or maybe post it on Facebook since I might believe it more that way..) I wish I could tell myself that it will be okay. That it will be more than okay. That Ella will bring so many blessings and friendships into your life that you never dreamed possible. That the boys won't be sick forever. That you'll build a new barn. That you'll grow closer to your true friends and family.

And I hope anyone who might be reading this, struggling with issues of your own, knows that it will be okay for you too. More than okay.

As for me? Be thinking of me tomorrow morning when the only crying and screaming I hear will be my own... I really hate the dentist.. :(


  1. I love this post. My absolute favorite blogs are the completely honest (sometimes painfully so) ones. I think the wallowing and the hard times are important for each of us, and in no way should we hide them. They are part of our journey; part of our experience, and we should revel in them in a way to learn everything that we were supposed to before moving on. And clearly you have. Excellent post. Love it.

  2. We've all felt like lousy mom's; it's part of the territory. Good on you for posting such honesty - it shows what a strong woman you are. And take those good compliments since you deserve it!!

    Good luck at the dentist - I'm avoiding going

  3. I just came over from Deanna's blog. I think one of the things I love BEST about her blog is her honesty. I really agree with you. I am not on facebook for lots of reasons. I try to be REAL on our blog too. I know when I feel overwhelmed and like everyone else has the perfect life that we all have our struggles and God has brought us to this season for a reason. :) Our struggles are not all the same but we all have our good days and our bad. Hope your dentist appt. went well. I had one today too. :)

    1. Yes, I LOVE her honestly and finding her blog was literally one of the best things in my life. She was admitting things I'd never heard anyone admit before and I had thought I was all alone in thinking... Hoping I can be that inspiration to someone as well!!

  4. You were able to put into words "My Life", I have been exactly where you are/were and hated myself for it. Although, I didn't have the dentist/cavity going on- OUCH!

    I never understood why everyone seemed to be living this picture perfect, happy, fairy-tale life. I envied them and almost got to the point of resenting my life. It takes a while to realize that even with all the arguing, sickness, and awful days- I still wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. I may hate going through it at the time, but ask me a week or so later and I will be laughing all the way through the story.

    Thanks for sharing, it is refreshing to know that there are others that have felt the same way. Oh and I am a new follower from Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop.

    1. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone in those feelings! It can be so easy to feel depressed about yourself in today's world. Thanks for the visit. I will come visit you back! :)

  5. I love this blog Maria!!! This is exactly how I have been feeling lately, although with me, (and yes I sometimes am guilty of the good-feeling postings on facebook, especially the cute things kids say....then leaving out how much trouble they get in for it:)) I feel some times that if I write anything other than the good stuff, people seem to lash out, like it is only okay to post the "good" stuff. Thank you for sharing your honesty and your whole heart in your blogs. :)