And if any of you had a day yesterday like I had today--you know, where I tried to play with my kids in the back yard until they were fighting over the favorite bike and who got to throw the ball and yelling my name over and over so I finally ran inside, locked the back door and watched them through the window while I watched Parenthood on Netflix and drank the closest thing I can have right now to sugar (a smoothie with lots of cocoa powder, probably NOT Whole30 approved, but I'm not looking it up)--THAT kind of day--well, then I don't blame you if you threw up on your computer screen after reading about our cute little micro economy.
Motherhood involves the best of times and the worst of times. But I often post the pretty stuff because it's there often and it feels good to share it. We need to be able to share with others the awesome stuff we do every day as moms. We deserve to have an outlet for that and feed each other uplifting comments. At the same time, I feel the need to be REAL and share the not so pretty stuff with you too.
Like how sometimes I want more. I get bored. I feel stuck, trapped, lonely, and under-stimulated. I got so excited this morning about an activity for the letter "U" that I left the kids with my husband, who was working, and went to the Idaho Map Supply store. I bought everything I could find for the state of Utah. I came home with a huge BOX full of new paint, bee stickers, a state flag, a U.S. flag, a road map of Utah, a state coloring book, and even a Utah state puzzle. I chatted excitedly with my husband about my plan to frame this gigantic map of Utah in our front room and have a picture of our van that moves to all the places we'll go see in Utah this summer. He smiled, eyed the puzzle, and said, "Sounds great. I hope this stuff was cheap."
It was like I was on drugs. I had provided Idaho Map Supply with their biggest sale of the day and I hadn't even put a bra on yet. I cut out some brown construction paper in the shape of Utah and we decorated them with bees and seagulls and sego lilies. I set out some honey for them to taste and found a plastic bee on our stairs (kismet) that I named Buzz and he asked them questions about what we'd learned about Utah history from our library book. I took pictures. I felt smart. (Did you know that our state animal is the Rocky Mountain Elk? Did you know the pioneers ate Sego Lily bulbs when food was scarce? I know these things now).
As I pinned our states to the wall, I felt good. I taught my children something new. I was present. We had giggled a little bit. It wasn't anything big by the world's standard--or really anyone's standard--but I felt in that moment that I was magnifying my role as a mom because I was putting forth effort.
It was only a few hours later that I was hiding inside instead of joining my kids in the yard and jumping into a hot bath during the fifteen minutes my husband was home. I burst into tears after he left and I was faced with a poopy two year old with a dirt-stained apple in his hands, a fussy baby, an inquisitive and repetitive three year old, and two other kids in the mix there. I might have cried while I changed Ed's diaper. I might have cried again when I tried to nurse my baby and my milk didn't come in again, as it does with all my babies at about this time, although I'm denying it.
I share all this because I know at some level you can relate with me. And we shouldn't feel alone on days like these because we've all been there. If all we show are the rainbows in our lives, they don't mean as much as they would if we'd sat through the rain together.
And I did get a little rainbow at the end of my evening. I pulled that inquisitive and repetitive three year old out of her bed to join us in the big girls' room and we read a book together. As I was reading with Ellie in my lap and my two older girls on either side of me, Charlotte started scratching my back, just like I often do to her. Then they got to tickle me for raising my voice at bedtime and I got to squeeze Ellie's legs and arms and say "squish."
I don't have a side business that is popular and I don't get invited to speak at cool conventions or share my talents with people abroad. I don't have a lot of followers on my blog and I don't make any money for posting my ideas. The age of my daily audience does not exceed the age of seven, but I believe that I am the perfect match for my kids, as you are for yours. I can be a little crazy and feel the need to break OUT of my house sometimes, but I am so glad I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. No matter my talents, my popularity, or my income--my kids want ME. And I want to give my best version of me to them.
That's why I write on this blog. Keeps me centered and sane. I'm human and imperfect and I'll never try to convince you otherwise. Social media has it's masks, but I also think it's a wonderful way to share those not-so-pretty drenched in the rain moments that lead to our most memorable rainbows.
(That metaphor is cheesy, but I kind of love it.)
(Eloise flipped her state over:)