I often find myself trying to remember the me before kids and marriage. Mostly before kids. I still feel like the same person, except that I can’t remember for sure what I was like. Even more often of late, I find myself wondering if Matthew would have fallen for the me that exists right now. (I mean, why wouldn’t he…the mom voice is so alluring.) I love being a mom, but it still feels like a new outfit that I bought on a whim that maybe isn’t quite me and doesn’t really fit comfortably– I’m never fully certain I’m pulling it off.
But honestly, when I think about it objectively, I actually come to the conclusion that I’m doing pretty fine. When I get rid of the pretty and unrealistic images of motherhood, the one where the mom is fashionable (which takes money!) and the toys are pretty (money!) and the rooms are all perfectly decorated (money!) and you do fun stuff with your kids all the time (money!) and you go on lovely long vacations (money!) and you eat exactly the right food without any scary stuff in it (money!), I’m left with the reality that my house is messy but getting more consistently neat and my kids and I lose our tempers and fuss at each other and we also laugh a lot and read and Eliza’s already ready to start phonics and sight words (thanks to Super Why for starting her on her letters) and I’m teaching them about Jesus just by praying with them and reading the Bible sometimes. And that picture looks pretty good to me, even though I would like to have all the pretty things and clothes that I want, too.
There are seriously so many alternate realities preaching at us all the time that it is quite difficult to practice contentment. To remember to pour my life into my family and friends. To remember that I have all I need, and to be thankful. I keep thinking about quitting the internet, just to get rid of some of those alternate realities, but I haven’t done it. I have cut back on the blogs I read and the people I follow on Instagram, though, because my fragile heart can’t take in their pretty pictures and lives and then look at mine with the perspective it deserves.
My life is beautiful and hard and worth fighting for to make full and meaningful. And the funny thing is, if I can think about it all straight, it is already full and meaningful.