Thursday, September 17, 2015

When Reality Sucks


This quote hit me hard tonight as I was scrolling through some old posts and crying my swollen eyes out.
Because crying is apparently my new thing.
Just kidding---kind of. 

My car wouldn't start tonight. Actually, it started acting funky this morning but I prayed that it was just a fluke.

It wasn't. 

I cried the entire drive home {in my mother's car that she so kindly offered to let me borrow} because I was stressed beyond belief. I had an emotionally exhausting day---and then this.

Really?

My kids asked why I was crying so much and I voiced my feelings briefly about money and wanting to be the best mom for them and feeling like every time I try to get ahead, I get punched in the face. They were both so empathetic toward me and reminded me that it would be ok.

Because cars are just cars. It will get fixed and all will be well again. The car breaking down doesn't determine my happiness or my goodness or my worthiness. It is just a car.

But my goodness, if I could just CATCH A BREAK, that'd be super great. Most of the time, I feel like I'm drowning, like I'm stretched so thin that it wouldn't even be possible to fit in one more second of "life". I know that isn't true. Single mom life might be hard but there are so many reasons that it isn't hard. There are so many positives to the life I'm living now.

There has been so much growth. 

But with that growth comes questioning and doubt---it always seems to do that. I question if I'm really a good mother or if I'm just depicting myself that way on the internet. I question whether this is the real me or if the girl who heads straight to the couch after work and sits there for a while doing practically nothing is the real me---which would make me lazy and selfish. Is that really me? Or is there a greater amount of goodness that resides within my bones that once in a while needs a break after a long day of providing/school/homework/bills/parenting?

I think tonight I'll try to see myself in that second girl and not count the minutes I spend on the couch each afternoon while I tell my children to do their homework.

I always envisioned myself to be this super involved mother who sits at the kitchen table with a homemade snack for the kids and reads through every homework assignment with them. I envisioned the amazing talks we would have and the laughter that would accompany the conversation..

And reality is far different than the vision in my head of the mother I am "supposed" to be. Reality is telling the kids to get themselves breakfast in the morning or dinner at night when I am feeling too overwhelmed and tired. Reality is mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and answering random homework questions as they come. Reality is fast food and dirty clothes on the floor and not taking the time to shower for a few days because I'd much rather just sit---just sit and breathe and thank God we are all still alive.

Sometimes reality sucks.

But most of the time, the reason I think it sucks isn't because I am truly unhappy but because I have this vision in my head of what I'm supposed to be doing every second of every day. I have created this vision in my head of what the perfect mother would be doing.

And I have to remind myself that I am not the perfect mother nor will I ever be her. Part of that has to do with my current relationship status but let's get real here---I wasn't an amazing homemaker before my divorce. I struggled with cooking and cleaning and making sure everything was always in order.

But the kids? I didn't used to struggle with that. I didn't used to need so many breaks or accept the fact that independence would be coming much sooner for them than it would for most children their same ages.

I had help almost every day. I could rely on another adult to come home from work and be present in our home. I could go to the damn grocery store by myself!
Obviously these things are small and seem insignificant but they make a difference.

Sometimes I wish this wasn't my life but every time that happens, all I have to think about is the woman I am now versus the woman I used to be and then I remember that I wouldn't trade the person that I am for anything---not even for a husband.
And maybe that's weird. Maybe that seems confusing because had I not gone through all of this, I wouldn't have known any different. But the fact is that I do know different. I have learned things that have enabled me to teach my children things I never would've thought to tell a 5 and 7 year old. I look around at the people in my life who are all struggling uniquely and I can recognize that every single one of them is going through something that is hard for them.

We don't get to decide what is a hard trial and what isn't.

I might feel like a failure a lot of the time but during the small moments where my children are curled up in my arms or I witness them showing kindness toward others, I remember that I am getting some things right.

The next step is remembering those small victories during these exhausting and hard times.

I'll get there eventually...

1 comment:

Yours Truly, Anything But said...

I truly enjoy reading your posts and find you so inspiring. Thank you for putting yourself out there into the world, the good, the bad and the everything's in between. I hope you catch that break soon, but until then, I hope you can stay as positive as possible and continue to see your blessing.