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I imagine a lot of us feel this way but then feel guilty for feeling this way! In my opinion, it's normal to feel this way, but it's nice for someone to say it out loud!
Loved that one... this one by his wife really made me tear up:
I am in a season of my life right now
where I feel bone tired almost all of the time. Ragged,
how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted.
I have three boys ages 5 and under.
I?m not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I
know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of
laughter & chaos. I was that person for years and years; the pain of
infertility is stabbing and throbbing and constant. I remember allowing
hope to rise and then seeing it crash all around me, month after month,
for seven years. I am working on another post about infertility that
will come at a later date.
But right now, in my actual life, I
have three boys ages five and under. There are many moments where they
are utterly delightful, like last week when Isaac told my sister-in-law
that ?My daddy has hair all over.? Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, ?Daddy! I have a beard just like you!? Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, ?Daddy and Ben time.?
But there are also many moments when I
have no idea how I?m going to make it until their bedtime. The constant
demands, the needs, and the fighting are fingernails across the
chalkboard every single day.
One of my children is for sure going
to be the next Steve Jobs. I now have immense empathy for his parents.
He has a precise vision of what he wants ? exactly that way and no other way. Sometimes it?s the way his plate needs to be centered exactly to his chair, or how his socks go on, or exactly how the picture of the pink dolphin needs to look ? with brave eyes, not sad eyes, daddy! He is a laser beam, and he is not satisfied until it?s exactly right.
I have to confess that sometimes the
sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will
neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips
and/or dark chocolate.
There are people who say this to me:
?You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!?
I usually smile and give some sort of
guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a
minute or so. Just until they panic a little.
If you have friends with small children ? especially if your children are now teenagers or if they?re grown ? please vow to me right now that you will never say this to them. Not because it?s not true, but because it really, really doesn?t help.
We know it?s true that they grow up
too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn?t feel
like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and
right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a
parent; it wasn?t for you, and it isn?t for me. You just have obviously
forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy
every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.
If you are a parent of small
children, you know that there are moments of spectacular delight, and
you can?t believe you get to be around these little people. But let me be the one who says the following things out loud:
You are not a terrible parent if
you can?t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your
friend?s children do. She?s obviously using a bizarre and probably
illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if
you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in
your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they?d be put in
You are not a terrible parent if
you can?t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in
real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively
You are not a terrible parent if you?d rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can?t wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You?re not a terrible parent.
You?re an actual parent with limits.
You cannot do it all. We all need to admit that one of the casualties
specific to our information saturated culture is that we have
sky-scraper standards for parenting, where we feel like we?re failing
horribly if we feed our children chicken nuggets and we let them watch
TV in the morning.
One of the reasons we are so exhausted is that we are oversaturated with information about the kind of parents we should be.
So maybe it?s time to stop reading
the blogs that tell you how to raise the next President who knows how to
read when she?s three and who cooks, not only eats, her vegetables.
Maybe it?s time to embrace being the kind of parent who says sorry when
you yell. Who models what it?s like to take time for yourself. Who asks
God to help you to be a better version of the person that you actually
are, not for more strength to be an ideal parent.
So the next time you see your friends
with small children with that foggy and desperate look in their eyes,
order them a pizza and send it to their house that night. Volunteer to
take their kids for a few hours so they can be alone in their own house
and have sex when they?re not so tired, for heaven?s sake. Put your hand
on their shoulder, look them in the eyes, and tell them that they?re
doing a good job. Just don?t freak out if they start weeping
uncontrollably. Most of the time, we feel like we?re botching the whole
deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will
never want to be around us when they?re older.
You?re bone tired. I?m not sure when
it?s going to get better. Today might be a good day or it might be the
day that you lost it in a way that surprised even yourself.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
You?re not alone.