Sunday, April 18, 2010

Is This Real Life?

Have you ever been sitting on the toilet - while two of your kids are brushing their teeth, two are finishing dinner - and after flushing, stand up and look at yourself in the mirror and think... Is this real life?

I know I shouldn't have to point the obvious out to myself but as I looked in the mirror and noticed my fading dyed hair, expanding waistline(no I'm not pregnant), and over-all slobbish look I just had this realization of who I am.

I am that mom. That is me. I'm the one who just finished yelling at her kids to finish their dinner. The same one who went on the toilet, with the door open, while two of her kids brushed their teeth. I'm also the mom who is dreading the daily bedtime battle and that I am doing it by myself. I'm the one who will go tell Malachi to take a bite for the 567th time tonight. Also the one who will tell Mckenna that the towels don't have to be folded perfectly, to just put them back on the towel ring. I'm the one who will then sigh as she hears Emma and David running around upstairs instead of putting their jammies on. She's me.

Don't get me wrong, I like being her. She's fun, she's outgoing, she's got a great husband who has a great job, four kids who are gorgeous and sweet, a beautiful home that she loves, friends who will drop anything to help her, and family who is always a phone call away. She's happy.

But she's a mom. She's not JUST a mom. She realized years ago that to put the word JUST in front of the word mom is nearly a sin. The word MOM is a strong one. For many people it means many things. For me it means many things. Yes there are times when MOM sounds like a four letter word. And there are times I wish I could push the mute button right before the word MOM is said.

But there are other times when the word MOM is followed by the sweetest words, the softest hugs, and the smooshiest kisses. There are also times when the word mom brings to mind feelings of remembrance. Like what it felt to become a mom. Or the one person in the world who I first knew as mom. Or the woman in my life who became my mom-in-law.

So... back on topic here: I like being the mom. It's just at moments like today when I realize I have lost all privacy, self decency, and for today - all desire to keep up appearances - that I look at myself and remember who I am. And take a few seconds to mentally whine to myself about my naughty kids, messy appearance, missing husband(church), and expanding waistline, before focusing on the fact that my Ethiopian son has enough food in front of him that he is choosing not to finish. My Mckenna Rae has just spent ten minutes folding the bathroom towels so they look pretty. My Emma and David are playing together. PLAYING. TOGETHER. My husband is serving in our church. And I am healthy and in shape. And I am happy.

So, yes, this is real life. And I kinda like it.


Chelsey Howard said...

I love your post Megan! I have been feeling the same way lately but without your oh so positive spin on things. I love it!! You so right, we are all healthy we have a roof over our head and our kids tummies are full!! Thanks for this post it made my day. love you.

Carrie said...

I like it, too!

gma said...

Loved you of my favorite quotes from Pres.Hinckley: Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are often more dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey....delays, side tracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occassionally by beautiful vistas, and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride. I'm glad I'm riding the same train as you! love ya

Megan said...

Love that quote from Pres Hinkley too. I'm having a tough time right now with the new changes in our life - James said this morning (as he was leaving at 5:30am) that he hopes he sees the kids before Friday....since it's going to be a week like that. So I'm trying to be happy while adjusting to life as a single mom - and I know I'm getting blessed for it, but I need to keep reminding myself of that! It's been hard on me - and sometimes I'm not sure I'm up for the challenge. But I know I signed up for this. And we have a great support system, it's just hard because I hate to ask for help and I think I can do it all myself.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. I remember looking in the mirror while Porter was in his 4-hour surgery at 4 months old thinking the exact same thing "is this real?"

It's worth it, it's all worth it....that's what I keep telling myself these days.

Shannon B said...

Very very sweet post and I LOVE what you said! I agree with everything you said. Sometimes I think "Is this really what I signed up for" and then I think "YES, and it's BETTER!" Thanks for the gentle reminder what is really important!!

gma said...

I remember when Ian was about 2 years old and he got an intestinal flu. He filled his diaper with you know what and when I went to change him, "it" was streaming down his little legs and had filled the footies of his pajamas. That's when I remember asking...did I sign up for this....I don't ever remember anyone telling me that "it" was a part of the job. But I've had many moments in recent years when our family is all together, and I stop for a brief moment to take in all the joy (literally) and I think a similiar thought....I had no idea this "joy" was part of the job. Yes darlings, it is all worth it...the poop and all.

Heidi said...

awww... I love you! It's 1:23AM and I can't sleep and I hopped on your blog since it's been awhile- I'm so happy I did. I needed to hear all that and you said it all. Just a Mom is a pretty cool thing. Thanks Megan for reminding me, I am OK! XO