when sometimes love doesn't feel like enough

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

So...I've had a few experiences this last week where I've seen other moms struggling, daring to be open about their situations and share what's on their heart. I would sit there thinking, "Wow. I've felt those feelings, too." And I know how lonely it can feel when you think you're the only one going through it. I feel like I often write about the good things, the easy things. Because there really is a whole lot of it. But, the truth is, this mothering gig is the most rewarding thing I've ever done, but also the hardest and soul-crushing thing, too. There are certainly moments where I just sit on the crumb-covered floor and just sit. I shut my eyes and take a second to  For a second, I have to let myself just be me and separate myself from the mom I am the other 86399 other seconds of the day.

So, here's what I'm going to be open about.

I know I'm one heck of a mother. My kids couldn't go somewhere else and find more love than what I try to pour out to them every single day. I try to make them a hot breakfast as often as I can. I sit down and play round after round of games that I'd be happy to never look at for the rest of my life. I soak little clothes trying to get stains out. I volunteer at school because I know it makes my girl feel safe. I sit there and watch tricks repeated over and over again. "Mom! Did you see that?! Watch me!"

I know that I'm enough.

But, sometimes, love doesn't feel like its enough. 

I love all three of my children equally. I still don't know how it works mathematically, when I only have one heart and they each have 100% of it, but it's one of the magical things of life. Most times, I feel like I'm more than enough for Pato. He doesn't ask for much. Just let him tell you about Star Wars or basketball and you're gold. Oscar just wants hugs, attention, and food.

My Sof, though. She's trickier.

Sometimes being her mom makes me want to run away.

She always wants to be with the people she loves, and doesn't understand when I say mommy needs a little space. Whatever she's doing, she wants to do it with someone. And I hate saying no to her because I know this time with her at home is short, and next year she'll be in school all day and I know I'l have moments where I'll miss her. She's demanding of my time and my attention. And when I say no, I feel like she has no problem letting me know how I've let her down. 

She has so many feelings, and they're all big. It's truly one of the things that I love most about her, and has me convinced that this life of hers has a specific purpose and she will change lives. When she's happy, you can't help but feel it, too. When she's sad, her whole body is sad, and you want to move mountains to make her happy again. She's the same with all of her feelings, and I'm afraid she'd be a terrible poker player.  But, keeping up with all her feelings leaves me emotionally and physically drained.

She has strong opinions, and will already tell me when she thinks I'm wrong. Which feels like a lot. Sometimes, being her mother is like being on a treadmill. Just when I am able to keep a steady pace, she pushes me to the next level. And I'm running and running, begging my legs to keep up. "Don't fall. Don't fall." I tell myself. 

More often than not, I can scramble and find the pause button. Yet, once in a while, I stumble and fall so hard. It's then when I find myself going to a hard place, and I sit and cry and think, "She deserves so much better than me." For a brief a second, I consider how much happier she'd be with another mom. One who was more patient, more creative, could maybe actually draw more than a stick figure, and wouldn't care so much about shoes on the floor or an unmade bed.

But, Sof, you're outta luck, girl. Because you're stuck with me. So, everyday, I will keep choosing to hop on that treadmill. I will jump on there happily one day, and perhaps more tentatively the next. I will hit the pause button over and over again, and I will wipe out, too. But, I will never.stop.geting.back.on.

Because at the end of the day, love will always be enough after all.

hitting the re-start button at 4pm

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Because sometimes it's 4:00 PM, and everyone is a little cranky, and baby brother won't stop chasing you with a lightsaber, and you just need a chocolate brownie custard to re-start your day (even when its actually almost close to dinner.) 

Also- I can't even handle all these faces Oscar makes.

And yes, this totally ruined their dinner.

resolutions and a cup of tea

Late last year, I had a very good friend come visit us from out of state. During a late night talk, I had one of those "ah-ha" moments that quietly change your life. One of those moments you can look back on, and pinpoint a very real change in your being.

I walked away from the conversation with two new ideas. Ones that shouldn't be difficult to understand, but for me, things that are still very hard to put into practice.

1. It's not your job to make people happy. Tied to this is the simple fact that you're just not going to be everyone's cup of tea. As someone who in the past has felt like she needs to be everyone's cup of tea (and doing everything I could-- even changing what flavor I was to do so) this was a hard fact that I'm still trying to come to grips with. Furthermore, I'm learning to be okay with that. Because changing my flavor from person to person was leaving me exhausted.

2. The second thing I came away learning is that it's perfectly okay to say no. It's perfectly okay to follow my truth, and do what brings peace and joy into my life. (This doesn't mean trampling on other people along the way, of course.) I often find myself asking myself, "Does this bring me peace? Does it bring my family joy?" And if saying "no" is what does so, I'm trying to do that.

Which now leads me to two resolutions I've made for the new year. Last year my goal was to read a certain amount, and it felt so good when I surpassed my goal. This year, I'd like to have the same goal, but I'm doubling the number. Mind you, I was starting small! The second goal I have for myself is to strengthen the relationships that build me up. I'm an awful texter, and an even worse phone-person. I don't always follow up with a family member or a friend nearly as often as I'd like. But I want to do better this year. Reach out more. Listen more. See more. Stop more. Listen more. Ask more. Be available more.

And I guess the unofficial third goal is a whole lot more cuddles with my babies :)

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