I'm not going to lie to you. Today is one of those days where I want to judo chop the people who post on Facebook things like "Love snuggling my babies!" and "What a great day at the zoo!" in the throat. (Yikes, that sounds kind of violent. And I'm not sure I'm flexible enough anymore to be able to reach my foot up to anyone's throat.)
But really, it's one of those days.
I'm not naive. I know Facebook is a skewed glimpse into the lives of your "friends." They post what they want you to see, and you compare the worst parts of yourself and your life to their best. It's not reality. But instead of "I wouldn't trade this job for the world!", I would gladly work at McDonald's today if you offered me the opportunity. In fact, I would probably skip to work.
You know what? I already feel better. And tomorrow is a new day that does not forecast 100% rain for 12 hours. Actually, all three kids were napping at the same time for half an hour, during which I was able to clean the kitchen and sit down to start this blog post (I didn't finish before they woke up; Lorelei is awake and sitting in the armchair watching "Frozen" and drinking apple juice). Sometimes all I need is a naptime break to make the day feel new, and to give me a bit of perspective.
On days like this, I literally write down things I accomplish, otherwise the negative thoughts and feelings win out (Satan is real, y'all). Here's what's written down for today:
1. Showered before kids woke up
2. Made all three beds before noon
3. Washed four loads of laundry; folded one
4. Made dinner
I realize that all those things are pretty hefty accomplishments when you have three kids at home, but when your girls are whiny and the baby only naps for 40 minutes at a time (when you know he needs a longer nap than that) and you find yourself saying, sarcastically, to your 4-year old, "Really, Sydney? Really? Why do you think it's okay to rub your parmesan-cheese covered hands all over the back of the chair?!"...you know you need to get a hold of yourself. Get a hold of yourself and focus on the things you have accomplished...and then remind yourself that domestic accomplishments are not your purpose in life in the first place.
Parenting is a hairy business. For me it is frightening because I realize that I am an imperfect being (yet, a perfectionist) whose job is to shepherd three imperfect little people in an imperfect world. Perfectionists tend to be really hard on and expect a lot of themselves, as well as others (especially the ones they love the most). Most of the time I feel so unqualified to teach my children how to do things and how to behave and how to love...because I haven't perfected any of it myself. I hate when my children mirror my flaws and less-than-stellar behavior; how can I possibly act "good" enough so that I can protecting my children from said flaws and behaviors?
Grace. It is God's grace that saved us, and it is grace that will save our children from our imperfections, and fill the gaps when we mess up or have no idea what we're doing. That's pretty much the long and the short of it (what does that mean, anyway?). But, for me, sometimes it takes writing out a blog post to remember that.
And, just for the record, I still think working at McDonald's for the rest of the day would be a nice break. But tomorrow I would (hopefully) gladly turn in my apron and trade hair that smells like grease for taking care of these ragamuffins: