Imperfect days

I am trying to find the good in today.

I’m trying. Very very hard.

But today ended with my son telling me “I’m so sorry you yelled at me Mommy” while he sat on the potty.

So yeah… trying. Very hard.

My daughter broke one of my favorite necklaces. Handmade paper beads strewn all over the kitchen floor. The moment hubby got home. I jumped up and down, stomped my feet, and yelled that I was done.

Not my most shining moment.

Yesterday Kristen posted about the long days and magical moments of parenting. She asked in her post how we can stay present, grounded in the now. I commented that when I need to get kicked into gear I tell myself that my children did not ask to be born. We made a conscious decision to have them. To turn our love into something more. To give life to our love, and create something so much bigger than us.

That being said, I told myself no less than a thousand times today that I chose to have these children.

And it didn’t help.

What does help is looking back.

The following photos were taken by my talented mother {who I wish I could link to, because it just dawned on me that she needs her own blog} If my memory serves, it was my first outing after Paige was born, and she was probably about a week old. I remember how my legs {and other areas I will not mention….} ached with recovery. How everything seemed possible because we took the kids to the park for a the afternoon. Even with a spit up incident on our way out the door {now it’s all coming back…} I was frustrated, overwhelmed with the sudden reality of having two, and possibly yelled a bit as I ran back into the apartment to clean myself and change the baby into a new outfit… all while keeping in mind that we had so many minutes before the baby needed to nurse yet again.

I remember how it seemed so impossible to get out the door, but how rewarding the sunshine and fresh air felt. How Paige felt so small, and Fynn felt so big, and how much I wanted to cry because nothing fit me and nothing felt right and why couldn’t everything just be perfect?

It’s not perfect. It wasn’t meant to be that way. We’re not. I’m {most certainly} not.

And that helps.

Today was one of those days. Of which I’m sure there will be many. And with each one that comes, I’ll look at the previous one, get a little teary, and wonder why the day seemed so impossible when it was, in fact, filled with picture perfect moments.

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{on this one, notice the finger pointing to get down off whatever he was on at the moment… ahh memories!}
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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Imperfect days

  1. Oh sweetie… you are so right. In the present it seems so much harder than it will when you look back. I have these days All The Time. Days where my kids should NOT see me stomping my feet and yelling. Days when I act like the child instead of them. It’s just so hard some days. To act the way we want to act, the way we think we SHOULD be acting. Our days are so so long and you’re allowed to lose it on occasion (god knows I do on many occasions!)

    Tomorrow you will have a better day. xo

  2. Gosh, I’m just thrilled that you’re normal. Like the rest of us.
    Yes our children are beautiful gifts from heaven and are angels born into our lives and they are learning and making their way, and all they’re asking for is their basic needs to be fulfilled and that we understand that they see the world through their own special innocent lenses and it just doesn’t get any better than this. (Whew! That was one long sentence.)
    Despite their cuteness, I also subscribe to the belief that they are wild animals that clawed their way out of the mom’s never-the-same-again womanly parts and haven’t stopped growling and marking their territory.
    Maybe meeting in the middle is good too.
    I think it’s okay that they see us get frustrated, and how we handle it, because it normalizes it and teaches them that a) what they do has consequences, b) mommy can be mad AND still love them very much, c) it’s ok to feel the so-called “bad” feelings, d) it’s NOT okay to excuse bad behavior on feelings of anger, e) tense situations come up and CAN be resolved. See, you just made your kids normal too. Kudos! 😉

  3. There are many days that seem impossibly difficult and yet are filled with perfect moments. I used to look back at how far we had come, how much we had been through and sometimes I still do, but more often I look ahead at how few wonderfully difficult days I have left with my girls and everything gets put back in to perspective. You are such a good mom. Keep loving those babies and keep taking time for you to keep you sane. May God bless you and yours.

  4. oh… yes.

    And tomorrow will be another day… and perhaps it will balance today. I like to think it can work that way.

    Thanks for your honesty, as always.

  5. I had one of those days today too. And you’re right, thank goodness for cameras and those luminous reminders of the magic. I often find myself looking at pictures of my boys after they’re in bed for the night: almost like therapy. A dose of the extraordinary.

    Hope tomorrow is a better day for both of us! xoxo

  6. And it really, honestly, truly is okay to have one of those days every once in awhile. We are not super hero’s, or God… we may be Mother’s but we’re still human.

    One day I told my son I was so sorry I had raised my voice at him and he said, “It’s okay, Mommy. I’ll always forgive you.” It broke my heart in such a bittersweet way.

    Nell

  7. Sometimes I ask my adult children how they survived me. The answer is always the same. “You owned it mom, you got right with us, so it was easy to forgive you.” This, girlfriend, is a gift. You too will know many such moments. Call it living in redemptive time. 🙂

  8. Nicki

    These days happen. We all go through them. Yesterday here was just the opposite but one of these days is coming. I can feel it.

    Your photos of a happy day are beautiful!!

  9. I often think, even in the most horrible moments, that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be. That I am perfectly imperfect. That my kids are following a path. And it helps. Sometimes. But when things are messy–my house, my mind–I rail against the “way it’s supposed to be” and look, look, look for solutions, changes, newness.

    I think it’s the combination of the two attitudes that keeps me afloat. Some would say it’s unstable–to be always changing, always adjusting. I think it’s human. I think that as a mother if I am not flexible I will break too easily, or be broken.

  10. I don’t have kids, but I’ve been having lots (and lots) of imperfect days, lately. Sigh….

  11. Bri

    So true. And I love this, “… my children did not ask to be born. We made a conscious decision to have them.” Thanks for the reminder.

    Bri

  12. On the picture-perfect days when all is smiles and laughter, the memories of imperfect days sort of fuzz out and soften.

    On the imperfect days, it’s easy to forget the smiles and laughter and feel that they will never end and my family is a disastrous failure.

    I like your idea a lot. Looking back on the imperfect days to recall the picture-perfect ones can offer a healthy perspective…and may even produce a much-needed smile (at least in the mom) that can turn things around (at least temporarily).

    Thanks for sharing so honestly your story and giving us a great tip for diffusing the imperfection while we’re living it.

  13. I can sooo relate to this! And I love how you’ve looked back at an equally challenging day with fresh eyes and the rose colored glasses of hindsight to gather perspective. I think that overall, life is so much like that…challenging but great all at the same time!

  14. You are right about your Mom’s photos. And what a beautiful new mother you were(are).
    I think this is a good thing to teach your children to, coping skills, gratitude, perspective.

  15. at one point in the midst of the young teen years of my daughter… things were not good between us. shining moments? hardly a one. and i had to come up with a mantra… i get to be her mother. some days i repeated it over and over. and over. today? i am glad that phase has passed and we survived… and i am so lucky to get to be her mother 🙂

    i love those young mama photos… love them.

  16. Big sigh over here because your words resonate with me today especially. Hard days are, well, hard. I hope today was better for you. I guess we just have to keep in sight exactly what you were saying … these challenges will seem so minor in another year. So very minor.
    Those pictures are adorable, and why are your fingers all totally perfect and manicured a week after giving birth, lady? 😉

  17. Be sure to swing by High Calling blogs Wednesday morning, where I share about my own imperfect day and link here to yours.

  18. Pingback: The Lecture

  19. Oh yes, I’ve been there. When my five year-old says “Mommy, I do NOT like your voice right now. You sound MEAN.” Though I guess I could compliment myself on having taught her to express herself so clearly, to tell me how she feels, to try to calmly reconnect. Sometimes those imperfect days teach us more about what we’re doing right than we realize…

  20. spaghettipie

    Loved your honesty and your wisdom. Reminds me of something I learned in a marriage seminar. The speaker said (on a good day) to make a list of everything you love about your spouse, what made you fall in love, what softens your heart toward him or her . . . as many things as you can think of. Then he said to tuck that list away for a day when you’re struggling to love your spouse. In those moments, pull the list out and re-read it.

    Perhaps I should do the same thing for my daughter!

  21. Yes, yes. I am familiar with that. Just this morning my son was melting down because somehow it was my fault he didn’t have time to play before school because I didn’t turn the tv off. I told him he could have turned the tv off himself. That made things worse. I told him he could try to choose to have a good day. That made things worse. I tried to help him get his boots on. That made things worse. Tired of being yelled at, after I buckled him into his carseat, I slammed the car door. When I got in the car, he said, “Mama, you are not supposed to slam doors!” 😦 oof. Looking back, I should have just stayed quiet. I knew he was mad, trying to pull him out of it never works. In this house, we must go through, not around. Perhaps I will remember that next time? Maybe? Hopefully, but probably not every time. Anyway, you are not alone.

  22. oh, i do the same exact thing. i look back at these pictures where i remember how imperfect it all felt. then i see the pictures and i realize it was perfect all along. i just wasn’t looking at the right angle.

  23. *sigh* Perfect post about those “imperfect” days of motherhood.

  24. I usually get one of those days every two weeks or so. I don’t know why, but I lose my patience. Regret it immediately after, but the damage is already done. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are a wonderful mother, Corinne.

  25. What priceless photos, can you see yourself as we see you…as a beautiful new Mommy?

    Carve out a few moments alone, whether you take a bath (or a really hot shower), or go to the store alone…you need a minute to yourself.
    I used to go in and just stare at my kids when they were sleeping just to remind me that I had angels living in my house.

  26. I missed this post! With all days filled with Hubby this week, I missed these precious words and pictures too. Thank goodness we aren’t alone with imperfect days, and having them. What tenderness you worded your not so perfect day and poignant in how we probably will remember them as picture perfect moments.

  27. Oh my gosh I love this post. It’s so refreshingly honest. And it feels so much like me!

    And thanks for your lovely comment on my guest post at katdish’s blog today — you are sweet!

  28. I love those pictures– they are beautiful, and you’re right– even the bad days will be picture perfect someday. Another great post!

  29. girl. i know those days and have the foot stamp perfected. thanks for putting it all out there so we can all get through them together!

  30. We all have those days. They make life real. And they test every ounce of who we are. But we slog through them and find our smiles on the other side. And then we talk about these days – to people who listen because they have these days too.

    Honest words. Priceless pictures.

  31. oh, yes. thankful for His grace and that His mercies are new every morning. i need them. {much more some days than others.}

  32. I don’t know how I missed this when you first posted it. Maybe I wasn’t meant to read it until now.

    I’ve been trying to catch up with the blogs I follow and finally got around to reading this last night. This brought me to tears, and haven’t been able to form a response until just now.

    I’ve been caught up in too many imperfect days lately, and this: …with each one that comes, I’ll look at the previous one, get a little teary, and wonder why the day seemed so impossible when it was, in fact, filled with picture perfect moments.
    is such a timely reminder. Thank you…

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