I PREPARE ALL THE MEALS FOR MY FAMILY, AND THEY ARE NUTRITIOUS AND MADE ENTIRELY FROM SCRATCH.
MY CHILD SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT, FOR 14 HOURS STRAIGHT.
MY BODY MADE IT THROUGH PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH WITHOUT SCARS, MARKS, OR WOUNDS.
Now let’s get real.
Are any of these things I’ve listed actually true? No. Or, rather, Heck No. You know, you shouldn’t always trust your narrator.
I’ll admit, I’m a happy ending kind of gal; maybe that’s why I like sappy movies, or can sing along to most Disney movie soundtracks. There’s a reason why one of the categories you’ll find to the right of this page is called Triumph and Encouragement instead of Oh Crud, I’m Struggling with Something Yet Again. I don’t write often about struggles I’m having while in the thick of it, partly because I don’t run to my computer when I’m knee deep in stress, but also because I don’t want to come crawling by my fingertips, typing to you, having failed. I’d rather deal privately with something, and then come out on top, a Champion of Motherhood.
Here in BloggieLand, it’s so easy to give the impression that I have it all figured out, that my child is perfect, and that all I do during the day is crochet, sew, and cook. But man, is that anything further than the truth. I read a few months ago on a blog (a professional blog by someone I don’t know personally) that they felt that all the blogs they followed were written by perfect, creative, incredibly inspiring people – everything they wrote about showed how perfect they were and had everything together. This specific blogger, in turn, hoped to be More Real to her readers by sharing more of her struggles and quirks. So, instead of coming to you saying Woot, Woot! I Have Succeeded! I Solved All My Problems! I come to you, saying:
I Have Struggled. I Am Struggling. I Will Struggle.
I’m human, I’m a stresser, and we all know I’m a bawler. I can’t do it all, and I don’t do it all. And because I can’t do it all, I want to share some of these struggles so I can be More Real to you.
Body Image. Once a week I seriously consider shaving my head. Gone are the luscious waves of golden hair, strong and thick, that I enjoyed combing my fingers through when I was pregnant. Here (seemingly) to stay are the weak, easily broken strands that cling to my scalp, awkward, fuzzy, and ornery.
And the scars etched in my skin?
They are a reminder of the battle my body has gone through (cue Pat Benatar’s Love Is A Battlefield), while my slow recovery after having a child is yet another reminder that mental scars can carry so much more weight than those that physically mar our flesh.
Coffee Vs. Water. Most of the time I still drink decaffeinated coffee (confession: I do also lean on caffeine after having a rough night or Zombie Mommy lurches around my living room), but I honestly drink more coffee (decaf or otherwise) than water most days. Yep, it’s the best way to dehydrate yourself, leaving you weak, tired, and woozy. But, it tastes so good, and the feeling of that hot mug in my hands, the smell of the steaming liquid – it’s such a comfort. How could I pass up another cup?
For meals, I’m trying my best to feed Quincy well, and yet I leave my own nutritional standards by the wayside when it comes to filling my own belly. As someone who has low blood sugar issues (any other Hypoglycemics out there?), I try my best to eat every two to three hours and lay-off the sugar, but it’s still a struggle – I miss getting food when I need it most, I munch on something sugary that only exacerbates a low blood sugar spell, or I let the crabbiness of said spell guide my attitude for the day.
Nighttime. Quincy is now ten months old and I still nurse him during the night. Most times, it’s just once during those early morning hours, but it’s still getting up. Is Quincy sleeping through the night? That’s everyone’s favorite question these days, and sometimes I mentally hang my head, wishing I didn’t have to say, Well, no, he’s not.
I know in my heart that he does better when he eats once during the night – he wakes up happy instead of agitated, he eats a good breakfast because he’s not overly-upset from a barren belly, therefore he naps and eats well throughout the day from having a good start at breakfast. But still (don’t you love that phrase?). But. Still. It’s an issue of pride – my own silly pride -, because the Sleeping Through The Night Badge is not something I have tacked onto my motherhood belt yet.
Inadequacy. Hello. I’m a Perfectionist. I think too much about what other people think of me. I try to be casual, calm, play it cool, but I worry. As you can see from the issues stated above, I have times where I feel inadequate. Inadequate as a mother, a wife, a woman, a friend, a follower of Christ,… the list continues. Feeling that twinge of inadequacy can be good at times – it tells you that you have things to improve – but you shouldn’t let it consume you as I do.
This post will still be categorized under “Triumph and Encouragement”, because I want you, as readers, to come away from this post feeling optimistic. Despite these struggles, there are great things to be thankful for (case in point for me: my family below). I think it’s easy to get caught up in the Perfectness of other people’s lives (are we still trading lunches like in grade school?), instead of knowing that everyone struggles with different things. No one is perfect, and if they are, they’re probably bored out of their mind.
Don’t get me wrong, BloggieLand is a great place to share so much, but don’t be fooled. Correction: Don’t let me fool you; I’m still figuring it all out like the next person.