Let's talk about a bit of a downer people...
For the past several months I've been talking to an editor for our local paper here, and she had offered me an opportunity to write as a paid blogger for the paper's online publication. It was supposed to be geared around health and fitness tips for moms. I know for a fact that I totally would have nailed it, and I was so excited to cheat on this blog with that one, but alas--it never came to be. womp womp.
My wonderful and supportive husband had mentioned that I should post my pilot blog in spite of the situation, and Lord knows that is what I would normally do. (And Lord also knows I still probably will one day...) This isn't really what I wanted to blog about, though. It is more of an aside that I needed to get off of my chest. People don't want to pay for my writing yet, but that's okay. Will blog for free. As a bit of a consolation prize, here's one for the moms about mental fitness.
One thing that I have been noticing a lot in the blogging realm is the rise of the "Mommy Martyrs." If you have no idea what I'm referring to, then I'll quickly spell it out for you here.
In essence, motherhood is a soul-sucking, sanity-stealing, sleep-depriving occupation that kills any amount of human joy that may be physically possible and replaces it with a never ending cycle of butt-wiping.
In case the previous description left you thinking that I don't like reading those blogs, then let me tell you plainly: FALSE.
I am of the opinion that if you can't read satire or understand sarcasm without getting offended, then you should probably get off the Internet. Also, you can please take your lame excuse that one can't convey tone in writing with you. Allow me to introduce Mr. Winky Face: ;)
That being said, I try really hard to keep things light and rosy on my end. I may be up to my elbows in a land of smushed fishy crackers, but I am by no means drowning in it. And while I enjoy a good snot-out story as much as the next mom, we have more or less outgrown that phase and I already miss it. (Some days.... Kind of.....)
Moreover, in case you haven't noticed a bit of a trend, I try really hard to look for the joy in life's little things. (If you are confused, please reread my entire blog.) Truth be told, most of that joy comes from learning to laugh at my "martyr moments."
Some days it is really easy. Like the time I awoke in the middle of the night to find that both of my children had woken from their sleep, crawled into my bed, and snuggled up so tightly to me that I actually wound up sleeping on the footend of the bed with no pillows or blankets. Or watching my kids reenact every line and musical number of Frozen...In its entirety...Including the extra scenes and the Spanish rendition of "Let it Go."
Some days I get to laugh a bit after the fact. Which happened the day my daughter told and retold a fart story starring her mother to complete strangers in a restaurant. Or a little while after those instances when my son wakes me up in the morning by getting right up to my sleeping face and yelling "COCKADOODLE DOOOOO!"
And then there are those days where it really is just.stinkin.hard.
Last week I had about seven of those days in a row. In addition to the realization that my new blog opportunity was probably never going to be, everyone got sick with various ailments and I just couldn't keep them well. Even the dogs got in on it. Fungal, bacterial, and allergic. Thanks for sticking with the rule of threes, Murphy. We felt icky. We were cranky. We were tired. We were lonely. We missed Daddy. We felt low.
I looked and looked for the joy, but my own pessimism just wouldn't let me push past only seeing the crap. Literal crap. (That happens with bacterial ailments, folks.)
It took everything in my power not to complain with a snarky blog entry. Truly, all I wanted to do was vent and have people pity me. But instead, I called my momma, cried to my husband, and reread one of the classics. (And one can always glean something from the classics...) Like this gem:
Don't try to be cynical. It is perfectly easy to be cynical.
One of my favorite things about children is the openness with which they speak from their hearts. It's all beautiful and silly, of course. But there is also always so much truth in it.
Like in the pureness of their forgiveness: "It's not your fault, Mommy. You didn't know what was a fungus and what was a bruise."
Or in their unfailing optimism: "It's okay. At least I don't have to get cut apart and put back together!"
Or in their refreshing perspectives of wellness: (as the dog does a complete leap over the furniture and lands on us with his freshly muddied paws) "Mommy! Mommy! He's back! He's back!!!"
This week, during one of my roughest weeks in a while, the joy I found is that my kids have not yet been warped by the world's cynicism. And that they are so wonderfully and perfectly honest.
Sending us off with a "real life" selfie.
Here's hoping your joy is easy to spot today and all of your tomorrows.