🎶🎶 You Don’t Have To Try So Hard 🎶🎶

This month has been a trying one.
May is the most expensive month for my husband’s business because it’s the month we opened…so all of the yearly bills are due. Which is something I expect.
What I didn’t so much expect is needing to replace bald tires, get necessary dental work done, fix a broken dryer, and replace an entire air conditioning unit…all within two weeks. Which wouldn’t be all that bad if people didn’t expect to be paid.

I might have been slightly dramatic when I sent my husband, mom, and BFF a text of this video with the caption, “A metaphor for my life.”

The irony is not lost on me that I am complaining about my “hard life” from the comfort of my home that has a POOL IN THE BACKYARD. Pay no attention to those slight details. Indulge my pity party please.

I am telling you this in part so you can feel sorry for me. Because my mom didn’t have much sympathy for me…something about these not being “real problems” and “to keep things in perspective”…I wasn’t really listening when she mumbled something about healthy kids, a good marriage, plenty of food, people who love me…blah, blah, blah.

I am mostly telling you this to explain why I bawled my eyes out to a Colbie Caillat song in front of my teenage sister.

My little sister is visiting me this week, and it is our practice to jam out to teeny bopper songs everywhere we drive. She works at my dad’s office to fund her premium Spotify account (I love teenagers), so we have quite the selection of songs at our disposal.

I have heard Colbie’s song, Try, approximately three thousand times on the radio. I don’t know if it’s my horrible few weeks, possible hormones (see dramatic video text), or the fact that I am always looking for writing inspiration…but the song lyrics took me aback.

Not in relation to the amount of things that decided to break in my house this week.
But because WHOA! If it isn’t what we go through as women on so many levels.
The song is about body image, but let’s be honest, I am four kids in…the “get your sexy on” ship has sailed. I have made peace with my squishy parts, as my friend, Sam, calls them.

However, as a mom (or any profession, for that matter), the lyrics totally apply. You know by now that most of my writing is in the vein of waging war on our insane culture of perfection while reminding you that you’re already doing an awesome job.

And Colbie’s words so accurately describe what I know to be true:

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

Being a woman (and/or a mom) has never been harder, in my possibly very first world opinion. Referring to my earlier anecdote, I have learned that just because my problems aren’t that hard doesn’t mean they aren’t hard for me. (And my mom is so awesome. She was just trying to talk me off the ledge.)

The expectations and pressure we face as women is exhausting.
But I’ve already written plenty about that.

These song lyrics have been stuck in my head for days, and in the midst, I’ve been messaging back and forth with a college friend who just had her second baby this week. She got me thinking about my early days as a mom and how much I’ve evolved over the last ten years of raising kids.

While my kids were swimming this week, I was thinking about the different seasons of life I’ve experienced in my short tenure as a mom. Sometimes life has been smooth sailing: everyone is healthy, the bills are getting paid, date nights are a regular occurrence, kids are civilized, friends are aplenty. Life is good. I equate this with my daughter swimming in the deep end. She’s a good swimmer, and there is very little she can’t do in the pool. In the easy seasons of life, not much can hold you back, and it’s awesome.

The early part of this year was this way for me. All of my kids are potty trained and sleeping through the night. I can sit and read while my kids swim. My husband and I had a date once a week while our kids were at Awanas. I got a part time job I enjoy. I had a successful writing moment. The breath of fresh air was needed for my soul.

And then life happened. Just as it always does. I found myself in May, joking to a friend that the patient mom I can be hasn’t been around since March. And I was reminded once again that life is mostly messy.

Fortunately, my recent annoying events are short term problems that will eventually be fixed. But I know life isn’t always so fixable.

Marriage takes work. And loving your spouse well is a choice. Sometimes a hard one.
Children are freaking hard to raise.
And who knows if anything you’re teaching them is sticking?
Why are they so good at fighting and screaming, and so terrible with manners and listening?

When life is easy, enjoy it and soak it in. Those moments are treasures.

But when life is kicking your ever-loving butt, remember that it’s enough to get up and out of bed. Even if you do nothing else spectacular the rest of the day.
Because you know what? Just getting up somedays feels too hard.
But you do it. You get up. You face another day.
Another day of unmet expectations, deferred dreams, bounced checks, sleepless nights, sick kids, laundry piled to the ceiling, and kids who complain about vegetables for the 4,897th day in a row.

Our culture is so hellbent on pretending like life is fine…I’m always fine. It’s all good. Children are such a blessing…that it’s hard to resist the urge to backspace the entire previous paragraph.

But you know what? Sometimes it’s not fine.
Sometimes the proverbial deep end is too much. It’s too hard.
And you’re clinging for dear life, hoping not to drown.
 photo IMG_6110_zpsk8d7pumr.jpg
My youngest son, not quite brave enough to venture away from the wall.

And it’s ok to admit it’s not ok.
Some days, you need to eat your feelings.
Or cry on the floor of your closet.
Or complain to your friends.
Or cry to your mom.
Or ignore your adult responsibilities.
Or turn on the TV for your kids for a few hours.

I may or may not have done all of those yesterday.

There is no shame in admitting it’s all too much. Being an adult is hard.
When the world felt like it was caving in yesterday, my friend, Chrissy, sweetly reminded me that all hard things pass. We have that hope. Tomorrow eventually comes.
 photo Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 2.05.41 PM_zpsokuk92aa.png
Cool art cred: Carrie of Burnt Toast Words

But until tomorrow comes and the sun rises with new hope, it’s enough to merely get up and make it through the day until you can crawl back into bed.

You can try again tomorrow. The deep end will always be there. But today, it’s ok to cling the walls as tightly as you need to.

(If you’re feeling down and want to talk, you’re always welcome to contact me!) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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