Goodbye, 2014

As I sit here, on the eve of a new year, the memories from the last 365 days come flooding in.

This year has been bittersweet. We have officially lived in our new state for one year. One year we have lived away from our family support system. One year we have spent adjusting to a new area. One year I have missed my former home with every inch of my heart.

But along with the heartache came hope. New friendships were made and are growing even as I type this out. Our house on the farm feels more like home than it did at this same time last year. Our family grew again this past summer, filling a hole I didn’t know we had.

The kids are growing and learning and changing so fast. Much more quickly than I would like them to. I am so thankful for the time I have at home with my six children. Our days are spent exploring with each other and enjoying each other.

Looking onward to next year, I am anticipating great things. I’m setting a goal to daily journal my life at home with each of the kids in order to attempt to preserve these sweet memories. The things my kids say, the things we do together, the fleeting moments we can’t get back. These really are the best days of our lives.

And so, goodbye, 2014! It has been a year of growing and changing. I’m thankful for all of my blessings this year brought, and I’m hopeful for many more blessings to come!

Hey you! Stop complaining about my complaining!

Source: meinlilapark.blogspot.com

Source: meinlilapark.blogspot.com

Sitting in bed, wide awake before my family gets up for the day, left alone with only my thoughts. This might come out as rambling, but it is something I want to share.

Being a mom is hard. It is the only occupation in the world that you can’t simply run away from and hide.  There is no “two week notice”, or moving up a corporate ladder, or transferring to a different department. You have to stare it down, right in the eyes, every. single. day.  Whether you want to or not.

Sure, there are moments that are bright and cheery, fun and colorful.  The first cry, every new milestone, discovering the world around them. It is pretty safe to say that motherhood is rewarding.

But overall, motherhood requires that we make sacrifices of our own wants, needs, and self.

Our bodies are not our own.  Our thoughts are not our own.  Our future plans are not our own.  Sometimes our very menial choices of the day (what to eat, what to wear) are not our own.

And you know what?  In the American society there exists a stigma that says we don’t have a right to complain about the hard-ness of motherhood.  Because we chose this role in life, we are entitled to exactly ZERO complaints.  There was a viral blog post about this not too long ago (although pertaining to SAHMs, it can also be drawn out for all moms in general).  You can read it HERE.

I’m here to call out whoever thinks that way.

I’m sorry, but not really.  Mothering is hard.  Complaining about, talking about, discussing what we are going through is not akin to hating where we are at in life. Not talking about it does not make that fact disappear.

In any other occupation in the world, there are certain levels of challenge.  Co-worker drama, over-powering bosses, heavy workloads, overtime, etc.  In any of these cases it would seem socially acceptable to complain to friends and family.  To blow off steam.  Or to find solutions to better our situation (transfer, apply elsewhere, etc.).

But in motherhood, we are made to bite the silent bullet, because we made our bed and need to lay in it.  Because raising kids isn’t supposed to seem hard. Because this is what we chose so of course it must be endured with smiles on our glowing faces. Because if we complain we will somehow turn our kids into bitter, resentful adults.

Wrong.

Choice does not equal easiness. Stress does not equal discontentedness. The challenge of today does not equal regret in choosing our path in motherhood.

Sometimes we have hard days, plain and simple.  Sometimes the ages and stages of our children are not easy.  Sometimes we need to voice our struggles to find others who are going through the same thing.  Or to hear from the “alumni” of this stage of life, that “this too shall pass”.

Complaining about the events of the day/week/month does not mean we love our children any less.  It simply means we are human and are having a hard time.  As any other human being on the planet can attest to. Sometimes the darkness of the hard days can make us blind to the brightness of the future.

And so we vent.  And that is okay.  Until you’ve walked a mile in that person’s shoes, you really have no right to tell them how to behave or think.

And so we can all mommy on, taking comfort in the fact that the hard days will pass. And when we are in the thralls of it, it is ok to talk about it.  No stones will be cast from me.  You aren’t alone!