I have a confession to make…I go through phases when I am really overwhelmed (and frustrated) with trying to be a happy mom and good wife, all while trying to build a successful career. I have good days and tough days. I am well aware that life is filled with peaks and valleys. It is hard to be perfect, upbeat, and happy ALL the time. And I am learning that it’s ok if I am not. I am also learning that it is important to teach my child to ride the waves of life’s highs and lows. The good and the bad. It builds character. It will prepare her for the challenging road ahead. I am finding that motherhood especially is filled with highs and lows.
Here are some examples:
High – There are times when I am able to provide a healthy home-cooked meal to be enjoyed by all.
Low – We have frozen chicken fingers, fish sticks, and take-out practically every night during the week because I don’t have the strength or volition to cook.
High – Those glorious mornings where the sun is shining, birds are singing and I am up early. A delicious lunch is prepared for all with plenty of time to get to work. My child is in an adorable, clean outfit, her hair brushed, and teeth cleaned.
Low – Those gloomy days when I am running an HOUR behind. There’s hardly any food in the fridge to make lunch because I have not grocery shopped in days; my daughter refuses to wear anything but the blueberry-stained shirt she has worn the past three days; her hair is a disaster and she won’t let me brush it; and whoops forgot to brush her teeth despite the fact she had a lollipop for breakfast!
High – I love reading books and playing games with my daughter for hours and do so with patience and understanding.
Low – By the tenth reading of Green Eggs and Ham, I want to tell that guy to just “Grow up and TRY the fucking eggs you big baby!”
High – I feel like I am balancing this working mom gig perfectly. I enjoy the work that I do and can accomplish any challenge thrown at me with ease and confidence.
Low – Sometimes I am exhausted and stressed, wishing that I had stayed home under the covers.
High – I love to blog and enjoy writing about motherhood.
Low – There are spells when I have writer’s block so bad I once contemplated writing about my daughter’s brief bout with bad gas because that’s all the blog material I had at the time. (Unless you are interested in hearing about that?)
High – I look presentable to the world. My hair turned out ok and I am wearing a pretty good outfit.
Low – Late for work, I throw on a skirt and it’s too tight. It also has a stain but I don’t know where it came from because I can’t remember the last time it was drycleaned.
This is my life. This is motherhood as I am experiencing it. It is far from perfect and things rarely happen as planned. Sometimes fear stops me in my tracks, but then I realize I am not in a race. That my little family loves me no matter what. That I have SO many wonderful things for which to be thankful.
And to quote the beloved Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Places You’ll Go!:
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
This reminds me that having a beautiful daughter, amazing husband (who supports me no matter what!), and a great job are BIG wins! Yes, they can be the cause of my stress, but they also me bring me much satisfaction. And sure, there is no better feeling than that sense of accomplishment when things go great – but I also savor those moments of achievement after rising through the tough times. Those highs and lows? They are what make us human and life worth living.
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Editor’s Note: Mary Grace is on blogger maternity leave so we’re sharing some of her older but still fantastic posts.