Friday, January 21, 2011

suck it up buttercup

I am so grateful for the kind and strong words I received both in comments and in emails.  I drove it home to me that everything I am feeling, is normal and exactly what I signed up for.  Every single email and comment held a nugget of wisdom or comfort, but one email in particular came from a woman in Holland who has been reading my blog quietly until now and struck a deep chord with me.  Her words were gentle yet firm and reminded me of the bigger picture.  Here is a sample:

"...My best advice is to constantly connect to the gratitude of having these children that you wanted so much and that you love so much. That they are with you - safe and healthy, in your arms. To connect to the gratitude that you are able to stay home with them, when others sometimes are not able to afford that choice. To close your eyes and feel those blessings, even if only for a second or two. But do this constantly throughout the day..."

"...sometimes the only thing worth changing is your perspective..."

"...Finally, I would be gentle with your thoughts and your words. Instead of framing the question 'How do you keep from being swallowed by your children'?, frame it without the word 'swallow'. I'm a regular reader of your blog and your love for your children shines through all the way to Holland where I live, so I hope you know I'm trying to be helpful and not judgmental. Perhaps 'How do I replenish my energy levels while my children are so young?' If you reframe your thoughts without a word that could be construed negatively, it will make a difference..."

Perhaps it was her words in combination with the heartache and worry my brother in law and his girlfriend are facing as they wait to find out the fate of their third baby girl due in June.  I feel so foolish to think I have anything to complain about.  My children are perfect and healthy in every way. I have never once had to worry about their health.  It is quite foolish of me to think a 23 month old would do anything other than spray kidney beans into every last nook and cranny of the house or for a 4.5 month old to want anything more than to be held and shown his world.   I get to spend every waking moment of every day with their little arms around my neck or legs while other moms don't have the option.  We're moving to the country when this house sells because we have amazing family willing to help us out financially.  I get to dream about the crafty space and reading nooks I will create in our new home.  I think about what we will name our chickens and what we'll plant in the garden.  My husband is a wonderful provider, a gentle man, and an ever-present husband and father.

My goodness I am a fool to think my life is anything less than charmed.

Granted, I will still have my days, but lets move on shall we.  There are crafts to be made, books to be read, husbands to be loved, kids to be played with, silly dances to be danced, shoes to be sewn, a house to be sold, weight to be lost, and bread to be baked. 

Time to come out of the post-partum fog and move on.

enough is enough.

go gently + be wonderful


  1. Erin!! Thank you for sharing this lady's words of wisdom. So simple. So spot on. You aren't a fool, by any means! You are just trying to figure it all out as you go and I know you are doing a great job.

    Isn't it wonderful that people can be so frank and so sweet at the same time?

  2. Those words of hers are very wise indeed, and your recognition of that fact also equally as wise <3.

  3. Wow. Have been feeling similarly lately. Thank you for the loving reminder to be grateful, woman in Holland!

    Thanks for sharing E. You are very real and being real encourages moms like none other.

  4. I like it :) I like her attitude. Sometimes it feels easier and better (in a way) to be in a grump, but she is right, we need to remind ourselves to be grateful. Good post Erin.

  5. I often need a reminder not to complain about the little things... I have it so good and have so much to be grateful for with my healthy son and loving husband... but sometimes the need to rant/complain comes through... I am a work in progress...

    Julie D

  6. Perfect! How fortunate you are to have had such amazing advice! Thanks for sharing. I needed to read that too and feel like it has really helped in changing my perspective.
    I've actually been thinking a lot lately about how fortunate I am to stay home with my kids, when people - like my sister - have to go back to work to make her financial ends meet. The time away from her kids caused her milk to dry sad.
    We are indeed fortunate to be home with our little jam-eaters. Let them throw beans, throw temper tantrums, and throw themselves at us while we play and laugh our blissful days away.
    : )

  7. I do agree with the comments from the lady in Holland, however I also know that Post Partum Depression is real, as I have experienced. If you feel you can't "suck it up" and these feelings of sadness come back (and back, and back), PLEASE PLEASE talk to your health care professional. PPD is a real disease and sometimes happy thoughts can not be enough to make it the sad feelings go away.

    Kids are a lot of work but as they get older it does get easier :)

    Good luck!

  8. Erin! Through all that you are, through the challenges and the breakthroughs, you are always absolutely beautiful. Thank you for these last two entries. I've erupted into goosebumps. I will take what I've learned here into Motherhood someday, gaurunteed. What a gift!

  9. Glad you are feeling better but please don't feel like you have to be *perfect*. There is so much pressure on moms...and we all have our off days and our bad weeks. You've got a lot on your plate with two little ones so it is natural to feel overwhelmed at times. It is okay to complain. It is okay to get annoyed about the spilled beans, even while recognizing that it is totally normal for your little one to spill them!

  10. So glad you've been choosing a different perspective. Always be kind to yourself. It's all good... it's all for our learning. :)

  11. Thank you for sharing this. As a mom of 4, ages 15 years to 3 months, I often find myself feeling swallowed up by my daily life. Your post is a wonderful reminder to appreciate every moment of this fleeting life. My Own Perspective: In 3 years, son#1 will be able to vote and move away to college. My autistic child (son#2) will one day be more independent. Son#3 won't always seek me out in the middle of the night to protect him from his bad dreams. Son#4, my baby, will not be a baby forever.
    Today, I will appreciate this snapshot in time.

  12. Ah, such wisdom. May I reccomend two more wise teachers? Magda Gerber has lovely books and an organization was founded on her work with very young A totally safe area where a child can function safely without an adult present is a gift for all of you. Also, Brene Brown's books help us be gentle with ourselves. She can be found at Remember, this intense period is a short one, though it feels long right now.

  13. i am very very excited and looking forward to the photos of your new country home. brave people!! going for your dreams. i LOVE it. poppy sounds fun!!! that's another perspective. throw some popcorn all over your kitchen, or outside, and see what she does. it could be so funny, to go nuts on your own, and have her watch you and wonder what's gotten into mama, she will think she's found heaven. it's so hard. not way around that. especially when you've got virgo in your chart. i do. you seem like you do too. but it's good for us control freaks. these kids come into to break us down, i'm sure of it. break us down into raw in the moment women. thank god!!!! holy children. holy women. holy life. holy home. holy moly. love..

  14. I was going to tell you to check out Heather's terrific blog. But I see she posted a comment just above mine. Like you, she is brave and loves her kids madly. I too struggle a lot. Mine are now 10 and 14. Hold them tight now. In a short time they'll be too big to snuggle and carry. And you'll have more time to discover yourself, only to find that you want to do things with them... and they are busy.

  15. I admire your honesty and bravery. Thank you for sharing these words with us.


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