motherhood: when I just want to give up.

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This morning I posted a picture from last night on my instagram – it describes the magical feeling we had while sitting on our neighborhood beach with our littles watching the fireworks all around the Sound as we nestled into each other in a peaceful spot.

Ah.

We walked back late in the night with tired kids who wanted nothing more than to be home snuggled in their beds.  As I tucked them in and hugged and we smiled content smiles, my son informed me he would most likely sleep in very late.

Then morning came and the sleeping in did not materialize and I have not dealt kindly with any situation that has come up.  I have snapped, shouted, and said things I immediately regretted.

This is not the graceful, peaceful way of being a mama I want.

This is not the tone I want vibrating through my home.

This is not who I have been in the past.

I used to be so. much. more. calm.

So what do you do when everyone is screaming and crying and you are pretty sure you have made things escalate more than necessary and it seems like you can’t come back?

You come back.

You stop.

You breathe.

You keep people safe.

You hug.

You calm your voice.

You start over.

You say you’re sorry and ask for forgiveness and start over and come back to love.

You ask for help.

Whether thats from them or someone else or in a prayer.

And you try again.

Something I tell myself very often is that just because I made one (or two or five or twenty) wrong choices in a day, does not mean my day is doomed down a bad path. My next choice does not have to also be a bad one.  You ate two pieces of cake, you don’t have to eat a third (or in Jim Gaffigan’s case, the entire cake). Maybe – OF COURSE – it could have been better if I had made better choices, but the fact that I didn’t does not disqualify me from future better choices.  I can reclaim my day.  I can reclaim the peace and the love and use it to patch up the tears.

Mothering is hard.

It takes a lot of surrender. It takes giving up and trying things and energy and some times you want to just quit, but you can’t really. And I think there will always be gaps, because how can we be so much to so many people in so many different capacities?  Some of us work or are trying to bring in some income to survive, or going to school to make things better but in the meantime, it’s a struggle.  Or we feel stuck at home with young kids and barely know what to do to get through each day, just waiting for our spouse to get home, and each day feels so similar.  And at times it can be hard to see what other families are able to give their kids and we want to be so much more.

And it can just kill our joy, and we in turn can suppress and strangle the joy out of those around us.

But.  I think more important than focusing on what our life situation is or what we have or don’t have is remembering that our kids are watching us.

They are watching the grace with which we live in this world.

And mornings like this, I shake my head, because I have not displayed grace.  I have not displayed an ease in accepting others (their) flaws, I have not been generous with my kindness, I have not shown them that being unselfish is worth the effort and a good thing to do.

I admit it and know it is true – sometimes I am not a pleasant person and my standards are higher for others than what I hold myself to, and my kids and husband see the worst version of me that exists.

And it is very easy to get fixated on the negative moments and forget the many times that as siblings they worked things out between each other, or the times when they do make good choices and show kindness and compassion to others, the times when I know I am doing my best and being a solid and safe place for them to land when they are struggling with something or bubbling with an abundance of happiness.

Today is not my everyday, but I don’t ever want it to become that.  This is just a real and honest struggle, but many times, it is hidden within our home.  Although, I am certain we have all seen struggling moms and dads at parks and stores when we and our kids are at our best, and we are thankful it is not us in that moment, or perhaps a little too judgmental about their lack of grace.  So many times I have been that parent, but many times I have been the other, also. Isn’t that just all part of it?

But, grace. Whether tantrums are being thrown or no major event is happening, displaying and being a person who lives out grace is what I am longing for these days.

I love my kids, I am glad I get to be with them as much as I do, and I want so desperately to continue to grow as a person and a parent.

-b.e.

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full of summer ’round here

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summer blooms / growing garden / abundant squash / new chicks / sweet girl / dandelion / boy on car / looking up / fuschia / hula hoop / sibling love / blue / tiny

My heart is full today.

– b.e.

rest

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I took these the other day when Hailey fell asleep on the couch.  She doesn’t sleep much during the day anymore, so it was a surprise to walk in and see her passed out.  I was thinking about how good and necessary it is sometimes just to stop everything and rest.

I was sick all last weekend with an infection and high fevers for three days straight. After a trip to ER and getting my meds sorted out, I felt 100% better and my symptoms went away. I have had so much energy, have been eating better, and feeling so much more normal than I have for the past few weeks, even before I was sick.  I think this is because I got so much sleep and was able to break up some bad eating habits I had started.  I stopped drinking coffee and haven’t had much desire to drink it again.  Sometimes you just need a rest from everything. Even if it meant feeling sick and awful in the meantime and I definitely am not asking to experience that again, I am thankful for the rest it brought.

– b.e.

life as told by my phone

I love to look back through my phone and remember simple little moments from our days. It gives me some perspective and reminds me about all I have to be grateful for.  For a long time I always wanted to be someone other than who I am, and I am happy to finally be content – more than content – with just being me.  I don’t really use Instagram that much, but here is what it would look like if I did:

essay writing on my back porch on a sunny day with a glass of wine // feeling fresh after a workout and shower // Indianola sunshine // outdoor boy // stuck in bed in the morning // at the hospital waiting for a new baby // woke up from a nap headache free // girl deep in sleep // mother’s day // wild children at the beach // grain free pumpkin pancakes for lunch // making math fun // morning selfies and snuggles // we snuggle a lot in the mornings.

warmth

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Blessed with an amazing day today.

We spent it close to home.  It was everything I hope a normal day to look like.

I am enjoying this place we live more and more and how good it feels to be outside and working in the dirt; breaking ground for the coming spring.

So thankful for these little ones and days like this where you forget the hard parenting moments and remember the joy and peace that can be found when you slow down and begin to be actively present with the life around you.  Amazed by how my children are growing and learning so much, so quickly.  Hoping and praying for the focus to have many more days like this one.

-b.e.