Sunday, May 15, 2011

You can eat off my floor......

......there are crumbs everywhere!

This is, perhaps, the perfect title for my blog. Or maybe it should be something like, "Send in the Clowns," complete with circus music playing when people log in. Most days this is how I feel.

I had to take a bloggy break. I haven't really posted lately and I really haven't kept up on reading any of my favorite blogs. It wasn't necessarily a conscious decision but I have to say, it has been a much needed break.

It's funny....the "famous" blogs that I frequent are written by amazing women whose goal and desire is to help their readers feel good about themselves. For me, however, the opposite has happened. Instead of feeling better about myself as a mom/wife/friend/person, I began looking at myself and only seeing all the things I am not doing. I began comparing myself to these incredible women and feeling completely inadequate. After all, I don't sew, craft, sing, create fantastic art work, keep my house spotless or cook gourmet meals. I am not always patient. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. (Okay, who am I kidding? Sometimes I DO lock myself in the bathroom.) I'm not a perfect mother or wife. I have low self esteem. I don't always shower. Sometimes I don't comb my hair. I don't quilt. I won't buy my kids Play-Doh because I hate the mess it makes. I'm not particularly good at anything specific. In other words, I'm nowhere near as amazing as these other moms. They do awesome things with and for their families. They bake, they sew, they grow their own food, they leap tall buildings in a single bound. They cook full course meals. They host fantastic parties. They go on fun family outings. They take hundreds of pictures so that they don't lose any memories. They enjoy every single second of parenthood. How do I know? Because despite how incredibly busy they must be, they are kind enough to blog about all of these things.

Don't get me wrong.....I'm not criticizing these amazing women. I love them. I have spent days/weeks/months/years attempting to be more like them. Wishing my life was more like theirs. And instead of realizing how amazing my own life is in its unique way, I eventually began comparing myself to them and only seeing my shortcomings. This led to my unplanned but very much needed bloggy break.

And then it hit me. DUH! I am not these women! My family life is nothing like theirs. My children are not like their children. I am me! My world is not their world and that's okay. Not only is it okay, it is amazing! I reminded myself that this is the life we chose. We chose to parent kids with special needs. We chose to take on these extra challenges, believing we were capable of doing it. And I have to say, for the most part I feel like we do a pretty good job.


Did I bake bread today? Nope. Instead I changed a colostomy bag. I cheered because even though he is almost four years old, Nate said "momma" more clearly than he ever has. I got a bit frustrated that even though he's nearly seven, Tyler still likes to throw his food on the floor when he's finished instead of just pushing his plate aside. I laughed so hard that I cried when Tyler tried to wink at me.

Did I sew a quilt today? Nope. Instead I watched a home video of Tyler as he was going through chemo and said a silent prayer of thanks that that chapter of our lives is over. I did some research on Autism and attempted to learn how to better help Nathaniel. I listened to Emmalee read a story to her brothers and marveled at how amazing she is with them. I sat through Nate's CPSE meeting and explained why he needs to be in a full day program next year so that he gets enough therapy in his day.

Did I host a fabulous party? Nope. Instead I prayed no one came over unannounced because my house was pretty messy and I hadn't taken a shower. I did some research on colostomy surgery since Nate is scheduled for that in June. I worried about how I am going to coordinate help and childcare for when that happens and we are faced with yet another hospital stay.

Did I cook a gourmet meal? Nope. Instead Brent and I researched Behcet's disease in an attempt to understand more about his illness and it's symptoms. I emailed a new mom whose son was unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. I took great pride in my sweet little Emmalee as she set the table for our very simple dinner.

Did we have a perfect family outing? I suppose. Perfect for us, anyway. Our perfect family outings generally consist of taking a drive in the van and going through an automatic car wash. The kids love it and Tyler is always sad when it's done. We don't do restaurants because the noise and stress are too much for the boys so we got take-out instead. And then we had to cut it short because Tyler pulled his colostomy bag off and Nate had a meltdown. That's pretty much par for the course on our family outings. (I can't even imagine trying to take a major trip somewhere. Maybe someday!)

Is our life perfect? Nope. But in a way I think it is perfectly un-perfect. Our life is unique. After all, our family is unique.

Am I a perfect mom/wife/friend? Not even close. But I am me. And I am slowly but surely beginning to realize that I don't have to be anyone else. I don't have to impress anyone. All I have to do is be the best me I can be.

So this is my life. Is it glamorous? Nope. Is it sometimes crazy? Absolutely! Would I change it? Not for anything in the world!!


Anonymous said...

Oh how can I relate!!!! Love you tons.......... JUST THE WAY YOU (and your family) ARE!!!!! xoxo Britt

Life with my BOYS! said...

AMEN!!! Jodie, I don't have half of the differences in my family that you do, but some days I feel EXACTLY the same way! Acting like w shrew because Mike wants to invite friends, but the house always need a major cleaning~are they going to look in my linen closet~doubt it, and if they don't like what they see, then invite us to their house!
You are a great Mom to your kiddos, your perfect for you kiddos! Hope you have a great evening! Loved your post, made me cheer~YOU go GIRL!

jkribbit said...

I've always thought you were amazing, just the way you are! Love you, my friend! :)

Amy said...

I know how you are going to manage childcare for Nate's surgery. You are going to call me.

And we had turkey sandwiches and cottage cheese for dinner last night. Gourmet is overrated.

lisa said...

I love reading your family doings! You are one of my favorite mothers & I look up to you & I want to be more like you. I compare & put myself down as well. Blogs are great too but they are filled with the best foot forwards!! Keep writing. You make me laugh. Enjoy your beautiful babies & we should get together.

Maria said...

OH, Jodie! I love you and your family so. You and Brent are amazing parents and partners.... you are role models for me and so many families. I have to admit it I am looking forward to seeing you in June! Sorry =)!

Jean said...

What a great post Jodie, you are who God made you to be. Perfect! I got such a laugh out of the trip to the car wash, you have a great style in your writing I wish I had that, my blog is boring... Oh well we can't be everything right? Hugs and Blessings with Nate's upcoming surgery!

Anonymous said...

This post is so incredibly beautiful. I miss you guys so much and the way that we are so similar in so many ways! I just read your comment on my blog and clicked on your blog to catch up and read this! It is like we planned it or something. I love your wonderful life, as crazy as it may be. I am constantly amazed at you and Brent. You are really something else. Lots of love to you.