It ain’t all roses…but there’s beauty in the weeds

Folks, it wasn’t a pretty morning. Actually, it wan’t a pretty 24 hours but it seems to have built up to an especially awful morning.  I will spare you all the gory details but some highlights include a raging migraine, the oldest reverting to toddlerhood (think whining and screeching at everything, punctuated by periods of uncontrollable sobbing), food being thrown, poop in places poop shouldn’t be, being asked the same question over and over and over, and the toddler teething and freaking the fuck out over every single thing.

Again, it wasn’t pretty. And here’s the thing. It often isn’t pretty. Or cute. Or Instagram worthy. Fuck you Instagram with your perfect lighting and perfectly placed props and filters that fix our imperfections and pictures we share of only the good moments, the moments when they are smiling and our house is clean and the kids appear to actually like one another. We never post the moments when they’re screaming. Or throwing food or biting their sister or hiding their brother’s favorite toy just to make him cry. We may post the baby streaking down the hall fresh out of the bath and everyone will comment “how cute!” and “save that one for the senior yearbook!”. But what we leave out is that it was a long day and that toddler took a crappy nap and mom has a headache and dad is working late and there is now water all over the floor and the older kids, who should know better, are also streaking and screaming and generally not doing what they’ve been asked, and about five seconds after that picture was snapped mom lost her fucking shit and yelled like a crazy woman and then one of them cried and said “please don’t yell at me” and now mom is full of guilt and beating herself up but also still, somehow, mad and feeling insane.

Here’s the thing. Every single one of us – moms and dads, doing it alone or doing it with help, those that stay home and those that go to work – all of us have these moments. None of us are perfect and neither are our kids and we all have bad days and you know what? That’s ok. Truly. Sometimes we all just need a good cry or a good yell or to punch a pillow. It happens. Sometimes we get hangry. Lord knows that if my oldest or I don’t get enough sleep, we are grumpy. GRUMPY. Sometimes the toddler has a tantrum because HE’S A TODDLER! Sometimes the three year old and the five year old have tantrums too and you know what? That’s normal too. Hell, sometimes I throw a tantrum and I’m about to be 36! We have bad days and we try our best but sometimes you just need to throw your hands up in the air, go to bed early, and try again the next day. And even though our bad day was followed by an even worse morning, something seemed to have clicked in all of us by mid-day and it’s not so bad now. Maybe we just needed to get it out of our systems.

But one thing I am learning, slowly (because I am stubborn like that) is that there really is beauty to be found even in the not-so-picture-perfect moments. When my youngest was screaming at the top of his lungs for who knows what reason, his sister very sweetly kissed the top of his head and said “it’s ok, brother”. It was such a genuine and sincere gesture. Of course I didn’t have my camera, but it’s a moment I wish I could have captured, red face and all. In fact, I wish someone could have captured the whole scene: the disshevled room with toys thrown in rage, the even more disheveled, unshowered, and frustrated momma, the little girl who looked weary from listening to screaming and crying all day, the big brother, who was also having a rough day, curled at my feet with his lovie. It wasn’t pretty, no, not at all. But it was real life and it was beautiful in it’s own way. It is us, stuck together and sticking together, even when it sucks.




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