Motherhood is messy, a beautiful imperfect mess. I am always trying to find the best way to explain this, and I found a photo to display the beautiful mess of motherhood. Sometimes a photo really does speak a thousand words or at least it does for me.
I always have Marc keep the family photos that would never be used in the Christmas card or on our social media, because to me these photos depict the reality of parenting and life. In my quest to be more real with my followers, friends and family, these photos are needed and offer the full picture of what life entails. And in these photos I find the beautiful mess of motherhood and parenting, it’s imperfections.
Being a mom and dad is messy. I don’t mean it’s a mess in the sense that our lives are a mess, destructive and destroyed but in another sense. Parenting / motherhood is messy: from the muddy shoes and feet, the juice spills, the sticky hands and fingers, the table crumbs, the spaghetti stains and faces, the frosting hair, to the poopy diapers, puke stained bibs, the dirt smeared walls and floors, the unorganized closets, the torn up clothes, the tantrums and screams, outbursts and missing toys. It’s imperfect.
I long for a crisp and clean house, children and me. But the reality is that I now live in a beautiful mess, a less perfect world. A at times crazy world, and this creates the beauty. Spotless and white, crisp and clean is not motherhood and for me it never will be. But I don’t mind this anymore.
This photos speaks it all for me. I look at it and I see a beautiful mess, imperfections. I see real parenting and real children, and the beauty they contain. The truth is, my new child screams almost daily. There is nothing I can do at times to make him stop. I have had to leave the room, put him down and leave the room, take a few deep breathes and pray.
He has some health issues, making life difficult for him. His conditions have seemed to worsen, even though I was told they would get better. He went from a fussy baby, to a baby I can’t soothe at times. There are nights all three of us, my young toddler, my new infant and I are all crying by 5 p.m. I am crying because I look at my son in pain and I can’t help him, no matter how hard I try. His painful cries make me feel I am doing something wrong, not doing enough.
I can’t walk enough, bounce him enough, sing to him enough, rock him enough, hold him enough. He won’t eat. He’s crying because of the pain of the reflux, the pain of the headaches caused by his strained neck muscles and the tensity of his body. He won’t relax and is stiff. His eyes blood shot by the end of the day. He’s lack of napping.
R cries because she woke up moody, needing more attention than I am giving, because I am soothing her brother, her hair isn’t braided, or I picked the wrong shoes. She cries because she wants snack, I grabbed the wrong snack, she’s hungry, her water bottle fell, her baby doll is stuck or simply because her brother is crying and won’t stop.
Social media rarely shows this side of parenting, but there’s no denying this is parenting.
In these moments I look around and I wonder, “how am I going to get through this? Make it all stop! Something’s got to give.” I have grown to tune it all out, woken to my little nephew saying L needs you to take care of him or my brother-in-love bringing me my crying baby. Somehow I leave my reality for a moment, only to be woken back to reality with a wailing son in my arms and a toddlers tantrums. My headaches worsening with each passing day.
In all this is my beautiful mess, my imperfect life.
As we go from doctor to doctor, try physical therapy, move to chiropractors, work on exercises I feel guilty of all the time I invest into my little son, while my daughter is dragged along to appointments or left at home while I go with him. I feel she feels neglected. I don’t want her to feel like she is in competition to her brother, and in my exhaustion I find myself saying I’m too tired for another book. I can’t sing another bedtime song.
I do know she loves her brother and she knows I love her. I silence the lies that say otherwise. I know this is part of motherhood. It’s messy, imperfect, exhausting, but beautiful. She confirms this as I whisper “I love you” and she replies “I love you more.”
It’s beautiful in those moments of tantrums and screaming, when for a split second L smiles or R tries not to laugh at my humor. L is a joy. He brings joy, even in his pain. He is always trying to smile. He loves people, there is beauty in our imperfect mess. When I feel I am going to lose it, he flashes a smile in the midst of his discomfort and I know this is motherhood. This gives me comfort I can survive it. It is all worth it. God whispers how much He loves me and how valuable I am.
They bring a beautiful mess or put another way beautiful imperfection to my life. Lord knows my selfish being needed it and everyday I need more of it. Imperfections make beautiful people, and somewhere in the mess of motherhood beauty stands out.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be fit