I have a friend who hates blogs. Actually, she hates personal/family blogs. She thinks they're fake and don't present a true picture of a person/family's life. I can see her point. Who wants to air all their dirty laundry out in Blogland for all to read? It's much easier (and nicer) to paint a picture that includes the best parts of a day and omits the worst. But on the other hand, I want this blog to serve as a journal (kind of) of our life. What do I want that to include? Should it be more "raw?"I want to be able to look back and remember certain times/phases/events in our lives. But most of all, I want Ava & Jax to be able to have a record of our life as a family. That life, as wonderful as it is, of course isn't always fun outings and giggles. It's real life. My kids fight sometimes. Every once in a while, I go to the bathroom, book in hand, lock the door and just sit on the side of the tub and read for a 10 minutes. This used to be my guilty secret. I wouldn't dare admit it to other moms for fear I'd be viewed as a bad mom for needing a "break," and I certainly wouldn't have dared admit it on my blog. But then I read a talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard in which he encouraged mothers to find time for themselves, to "cultivate your gifts and interests... Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children."
I love that. Not only because now my little "bathroom trips" are justified. But, because it helped me to realize how important it is to make time for myself. Even if it's just 10 minutes in the bathroom, or a craft night with the girls. Maybe one day I'll tell my kids what it is I'm actually doing in there. Maybe when Ava's a mom I'll pass my little secret on to her... maybe.
I recently happened across a post on another blog that discussed a question written in to an advice columnist. The question-asker said she felt like her friend, a stay-at-home mom, used her busy life as an excuse not to hang out with the question asker. She then stated basically that she always hears about how busy SAHMs are, but can't figure out what it is they actually do all day. You can imagine the response that got from SAHMs. I gotta say though, before I became one, I often wondered what stay-at-home moms did all day too. When Ava came along and I shocked even myself by abandoning my career to stay home, I became humbled by the responsibilities that came with being a mom, and being a mom who stays home. Even still, four-and-a-half years later, I am still humbled and sometimes overwhelmed by all I am required to do, and all that I choose to do.
This you must know: I love my kids. Oh, how I love them. I can't remember what life was like before Andy and I were blessed with these sweet spirits. But, I gotta tell you, they're exhausting. By the end of the day, I usually realize I forgot to eat lunch, I'm stepping on monster trucks and finding Barbie shoes in every crack and crevice of my house, the sink is full, one or both of my children are coming out of their room insisting they can't sleep, there are e-mails to answer, orders to fill, and a husband who I desperately want to just sit on the couch and talk to. That's one list, but then there's the other. The one that every mom can tell you is longer and much more memorable than the first. At the end of the day, I can chuckle to myself when I think of Jax hopping down the hallway like a frog, his cute little bum in the air. I can smile when I remember the excitement in Ava's voice when she sounded out a diffiult word all on her own. We've read books together, played cars, played dolls, created with chalk, cleaned together, sung together, learned the importance of an apology, learned about bugs, baked, played with Daddy, read scriptures together and said prayers together. My days, while busy and sometimes stressful, are also full of lots of hugs, lots of "I love you"s, Ava telling me atleast twice a day I'm her best friend, and Jax telling me I'm his "best partner." My list is no different than most moms'. I guess, I could be more "real" on my blog and complain about all the things that go wrong or are frustrating in my day. But, do they really matter? The joy of motherhood comes in moments. It's those moments spent enjoying our children, savoring our time together that are most important. And those are the moments I (and many moms) choose to make immortal, to last forever in writing and in our memories.