I called one of my friends the other day. She lives several states away and I like to touch bases with her every once in a while. In the course of the conversation she revealed that she and her husband are having trouble. She gave me a few details and I said, "You know, I can totally relate." She seems somewhat shocked saying, "But you and Brent have the perfect marriage!"
I'll admit. We have a great marriage. But it wasn't always this great. There were a few years in the beginning that I call the "transition years." And without going into details, I'll tell you that it was rough. Not liking the person you are married to and in fact being very angry at that person and feeling hurt by that person for days and sometimes weeks at a time is no way to live. No, there was no abuse going on and I was just as much at fault for it all as he was, but it still didn't make it any more fun.
Then the other day I read a blog entry titled "An open letter to perfect mommy" or something like that. The blogger was basically calling another blogger's bluff that she was not in fact the perfect mommy and was just a big fraud. It made me sad to read that because even if I did know who Perfect Mommy is, I would feel for her on many levels.
I'm a pretty private person. Not because I have something to hide, but mostly because the majority of my life is my life and it's nobody else's business. Plus, I'm not a whiner. I'm just not. I hate stating a fact, like I squished my thumb in the car door and it's probably going to fall off, and then having someone go off.
OMG I'M SOOOOOO SORRY! I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO IF THAT HAPPENED TO ME! I'D PROBABLY NOT BE ABLE TO GET OUT OF BED FOR A WEEK AND I WOULDN'T STOP CRYING FOR A MONTH AND MY CHILDREN AND HUSBAND WOULD LEAVE ME BECAUSE THEY WERE SO TIRED OF MY BLUBBERING AND CARRYING ON AND I WOULDN'T EVEN NOTICE THEY WERE GONE FOR THREE DAYS! I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DO IT! I WOULD BE A TOTAL WRECK!
And then I regret even bringing it up. And I'd make a note to myself that you only get happy updates.
Back to my friend and her troubles. I told her a little bit and I think it made her feel better. I know admitting you are having trouble is hard. Really hard. But, I also know from my experiences in life that no matter what you need, if you talk to three people, one of them is bound to be able to help or know someone who is able to help (and hopefully on of them is not the OMG!!!! person). It's an awesome world. And to my friend, you know I love you. Hang in there.
To the rest of you, I'm not perfect mommy. I don't strive to be perfect mommy. But I'm realizing that many of you only know me from my blog or from Facebook or from what I tell you. You aren't here living my life every day. Because you are living your own life. And from my blog, I can see where one might get the impression that it's all happy happy around here.
Truth is, while it's like that much of the time, I get frustrated with my kids, I get frustrated with my husband, I have a giant pile of dirty laundry and the couch is covered in clean and mostly folded laundry. The kitchen floor is usually in need of a good mopping, sometimes I don't clean dinner up until morning, and I don't make my bed. I brush my teeth only once a day and my kids watch too much television. (That's the short list.)
But, for the most part, you aren't going to see my "dirty laundry," and with the exception of my husband's sock drawer, you aren't going to see my clean laundry either.
I was thinking the other day that maybe if I was more whiny I'd get more attention. But then I realized that it certainly wasn't the kind of attention I wanted to draw to myself. That kind of attention only brings drama with it and I get really irritated with drama.
I blog because it's fun for me. It's a record of our triumphs as a family and the fun we have. Yes, we have our share of troubles, some of which I do choose to share with you. We certainly didn't move three times in the last eighteen months just because we thought it would be fun. Sometimes life makes things like that necessary. But we did it and we're in a better place for it. Not that the other one was bad, but sometimes life has a way of fixing perspectives.
I don't think you can appreciate a great marriage unless you've been in one that isn't so great. You can't appreciate a husband who has a decent job until you have had a husband who suddenly finds himself out of work. You can't really appreciate healthy sassy children until someone you know and love, maybe even you, has a child fighting a nasty disease. You can't really appreciate the old house out of town that has more flies and earwigs in it than you care to count until you have lived in a tiny smelly apartment in a scary part of town. Learn from the crappy parts and move on.
I have a friend who is having an incredibly frustrating week. I talked to her today and all I could say was, "Well, nobody has died." And it's true. In that mess, there is still something to be thankful for.
Yes, life has a way of fixing perspectives. It's a funny thing.
After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.