Warning * Warning * I am interrupting regular happy posts with one that contains thoughts, feelings and opinions. The following will be just that and is not entirely accurate or true for everyone. Please know that while you read and …. read at your own risk. :)
It's summer! Beautiful, glorious summer! And my heart is full as is my house. Summer is certainly my favorite time of year. It's the laid back and adventurous side of the season that excites me. Sleeping in without a schedule. Travels to and fro. The kids trying something new at art camps or summer sports like tennis. Days spent on the open water, the wind whipping your hair and the water spraying your face while the boat races across the lake. The sparkling blue pool and hot sun overhead, top 40 tunes blasting over the speakers, kids laughing (and sure, sometimes yelling).
And even in schooling, I wish that we could be more fair. That we wouldn't go ahead and share something like, say … public schools are a horrible mess or influence on our children when, well, that's a grey area. We all know or are the product of a public education and are spectacular, intelligent, God loving individuals who have awesome memories to share along with the yuck. And that's true for private schooling too. Homeschooling as well, I'm sure. There's not a right or a wrong there ladies. There just isn't. I see silly posts about it all the time. (This is where you say, "Stay away from Facebook if it bothers you!" and yes, you're right. It's abhorrent).
I think it was the line about going to a doctor's office and not allowing the kids to play on iPhones to allow for quiet. The message that sent across to our kids. If I went to a doctor's office with all my kids and did not give them something to keep them quiet, well, we'd have a circus. If they didn't start giggling loudly about something or other, they'd set into full on flag football practice right there and then. Just happens, they're wiggly worms. I understand what she was getting at. That we need to make quality time with our children a priority, that face time with our children is of the utmost importance (and not via iPhones ha!). And I agree, it certainly is. One on one conversations and interactions are priceless and cannot be forfeited. But do I want to talk to my kids all day long? Noooooooo. Balance right? I can't spend quality time with my kids all day long. I can't. I'll become a vicious red eyed monster and they will not like it. Though yes, taking time to focus on your kids and play with them or talk to them, hug them and snuggle with them, blast music and have dance parties with them, read with them, paint with them, play cards with them, well, those are beautiful moments in my day.
In South Africa, the expectations of how a mom should raise her children is wildly different. I am often reminded by my best friend that "it takes a tribe" to rear a child. A mom has much more help over there, as did my mother with us. Chika, you are one lucky girl!
I'm not perfect. I share the things that I love most here and photograph the best of my day and my life. I don't photograph my kids crying and my hair stringy, face ragged. That wouldn't be much fun would it? Ha - or maybe! My kids have added to the wrinkles (but let's call them laugh lines) on my face and grey (nay, silver) in my hair. I have a completely flat chest (can wear a J Lo dress without looking even remotely sexy or inappropriate). I have grandma hands and calloused dancer's feet. My kids get pink eye sometimes and my couch has horrible stains on it from years worth of drinks spilled. Dirty floors make me really grumpy and sometimes I get mad enough that I yell. And finally, I have no patience for people that worry for a living. Can't.stand.it.
That's me. (Though there's much, much more.) Pleased to meet you. I'm completely imperfect.
So this is for all the moms who sometimes feel like me, a little guilty for not being perfect (I feel like I have a microphone in my hands and you're supposed to wave your arms and say "hey - ay"). It's okay. I think you're perfect, perfect in every possible way. Perfect for your kids and for your family. Don't do something because someone said it was the best for your kids. You're making the best decisions for your family and your kids love you for it. You don't have to live up to any expectations. Just relax and enjoy. Be happy. STOP WORRYING. About your now and about your future. Trust God. He's got your back.
Strive for balance. That might be a good place to start.
There. Done. Promise I won't complain again for another 6 months. :)