What kind of love is this?

You know, I get nervous when I think about sharing a personal post. I get even more nervous when I start to share a post that I know without doubt will cause some controversy or at least anything that tugs at the heart. But this topic has been incredibly heavy on my heart and so now you all are going to bare witness to something I don’t usually do….I’m laying my naked heart out for y’all to see.
Let me start by saying I am SO tired of reading articles on the perfect family and the top ten things you should do as a married person. I’m tired of reading articles that make me feel like marriage is not fabulous and I’m even more tired of reading articles that make me feel like the worlds worst mom because my kid eats sugar and we don’t have craft time everyday. I mean seriously have you tried crafting with 21 month old? It’s absurd… “let’s color a picture Em… ok kidding, mommy will color the picture.” “Let’s put this string through cheerios and make a necklace or wait, your idea is way better we’ll eat the cheerios and put the rest on the floor.” Seriously… just because we aren’t crafting every day or ever at all doesn’t mean I’m a failure as a parent… but gosh dern it if the world isn’t saying otherwise.
I’m so tired of our “today world.”  I’m tired of looking at the internet and basing my value off of that. I’m tired of seeing the picture you paint on facebook of your perfect little family and all the perfect pictures. I’m tired of seeing your hair always in place and all the “selfies” you took at just the right angle to make you look that way. I’m tired of people giving up. I’m tired of seeing both men and women walk away from their families out of selfish choices. I’m tired of seeing people fail to fight. I’m tired of the notion that happiness will be found on the other side and that just because you aren’t happy you can flee whatever obligations you promised. I’m tired of love being made to look like butterflies and fairy tales and well if you don’t have that than you are lacking. I’m tired. I’m absolutely tired of people determining what’s ok and what’s not ok based on what they see on the internet. TIRED.
I love my facebook connections. I love being able to stay in touch with people I went to kindergarten with and family that at one point all I really knew of them was their name. I love facebook. But oh is it terrible for my heart. I see the perfect picture of you and your husband grinning and heads in the cloud in love. I see the picture of your family all together smiling at the camera. Oh gosh to just get Em to look at the camera is a task. I see the post you put up of how awesome your life is because of x y and z. And I see the perfect little family that you want me to see. What I don’t see through our facebook connection is how you cried last night because you didn’t like what you saw in the mirror. I didn’t see that the one perfect picture you have posted was a single picture of at least 500 that went wrong before and after that one. I don’t see how your day went after your toddler knocked over your brand new tv or colored on your antique furniture passed down from generations. I don’t see how hard is is for you to go to sleep at night and I don’t see the disagreements you have with your spouse. I don’t see that you are moments away from breaking down. I see perfection on facebook and that’s it. I am guilty of the same… I post pictures of Emilyn that tickle my heart and I can guarantee you it’s normally not the only version of that picture on my phone. I likely picked my favorite one where Em was smiling and not throwing a tantrum or picking her nose. I don’t often post pictures of myself because I can’t get it in the right position that my face looks smaller.  Ladies and gents… we aren’t perfect. The perfect little family you follow through blogs and pinterest… they aren’t perfect either. My family isn’t perfect. We see the good parts and not the bads when it comes to portraying our lives online.
And you know what… if your marriage isn’t perfect, that is OK. You may not get butterflies everytime he walks in the door and on most days you’re probably still annoyed that for heavens sakes he could have just put his socks up today…. seeing him only reminds you of how annoyed you were when you were doing the picking up after him all day. You may not communicate the way you think other couples communicate. Let me just say this… it’s OK to watch tv together and not a feel good conversation be had. We go and go and go and it’s ok to slow down when you walk in the door. Love will not always look the same folks… you will not love that person the same way you loved him 5 years ago. Love isn’t based on how many times you cuddle or how often you feel good inside.   Of course my husband drives me crazy some days. Of course it irritates me when I have to ask him for the 10 thousandth time to do something.  Marriage isn’t butterflies and cotton candy. It’s hard work. These days we have the notion that if we aren’t happy we can just pack our bags and leave. There may be someone else you connected with and you are leaving because you want to be with them…. because with them you have butterflies and they get you and you’re happy. Trust me I get this… but the fact of the matter is, you’re married. You promised life to someone else and you didn’t just promise to them “Till things get hard do us part.”  FIGHT for it. I have so many friends traveling this road right now… one person or the other throws the line that they just aren’t happy anymore or that they aren’t in love anymore. I know how easy it is to leave… hec it’s too easy. But it isn’t meant to be easy. You’re suppose to fight for it. Fight for your family. Fight for the energy to love. It doesn’t have to be a mushy gushy love all the time… but you have to walk in the door having respect and want for your family. That man… he’s the father of your child. He’s the person that you chose…. you chose this life. That woman? She’s the woman you waited for at the end of the aisle. The woman you made cry when you got down on your knee. That woman? She is the mother of your children… you force yourself to love her. You find every reason you need to stay and forget all the reasons you need to leave. Seriously… stop tossing in the glove because you’re losing the game and pick up the bat and start winning.  You figure out what each other needs. You sit down and you figure out how to do life together. STOP GIVING UP.
I get it guys… of all people I understand and I get it. It is so easy to look at someone else’s life and feel like we’re failing.  Especially when everything in this world is agreeing with you.  Stop comparing yourself to that mom you think is so perfect. Stop aiming to please the eyes of facebook and start finding a way to make things work.  We are all set up to fail when we compare ourselves to someone else. We are even more set up to fail when we look at how much greener the grass is on the other side. Do you know how that story ended??? How has it ended for you before… because I can tell you that I’ve been to the other side of alot of things and the one thing I can tell you that the grass is never greener when you’re trading your family in.  SO FIGHT, Dag on it. Fight for your family and stop taking the easy way out because it’s offered.
Your family? IT IS PERFECT. Your an amazing mom. You are a spectacular father and I don’t care what they say.  Kudos to you for raising a sane kid in this not so sane life. Kudos to you for spending time on your phone when the world tells you you’re missing out on your child’s life. Kudos to you that stay at home and never miss a single second or laugh or poopy diaper. Kudos to you that are working two jobs and still trying to keep your head above the water. Kudos to you who want to leave but stay anyway.  Kudos to you who stayed when you thought it couldnt get any worse….
You see we’re all at different places in our walks of life… some of us are over the moon with our life. Some of us our clinging with all we can to get our bills paid. Some of us are just breaking up a what seemed really amazing relationship and now everyone wants to know if you’re ever going to settle down. Some of us are just comfortable and content… we aren’t in a high and aren’t in a low, things are just kind of sailing along.  Some of us are taking on new roles and trying different avenues.  And you know what some of us tried and tried and divorce was the absolute only resolution. NO ONE IS JUDGING HERE so please… forget what everyone else’s life looks like and simply focus on your own.  Set your own bar and set your own pace.  I am begging you. If we all keep measuring ourselves with what the internet says or comparing our worth to what we see of other people’s lives on facebook than were all doomed. Because no life is perfect and honestly… most all of our lives are broken in some way shape or form.  We need really really need to be better about this.  I’m not saying we all need to air our dirty laundry over every internet portal (PLEASE DONT DO THAT! I BEG YOU!) 🙂  I’m saying we need to simply enjoy what we see of others at face value and stop trying to live up to a bar we’ve set for ourselves based off what we see from others life on facebook…. because we are only seeing the good things.

Whew. Deep Breaths.

Until We meet again,

 myrainbowcounts@gmail.com

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5 thoughts on “What kind of love is this?

  1. AMEN STEPHANIE!!!!!!! You have NO idea how perfectly this spoke to my heart tonight. I have been struggling with the exact same things–a constant struggle today, in particular–and it has made me question whether or not Facebook is even worth being on. God used you in a huge way as I read your eloquently written words just now. Thank you for being open, honest and REAL! Love you, my sweet friend!

  2. WOW! You put into words so many of the things I feel. I stopped going on FB about a month ago. I didn’t make some grand declaration I just deleted the link from my phone & stopped. I had to for my own sanity. I was getting wrapped up in so much junk! I needed to stop being so connected. I needed to just be me & mine. I miss some of the intereaction I was able to have with those far away, but I don’t miss the drama. I grew tired of daily judgement of others. I didn’t feel I could express my thoughts, feelings or beliefs because to do so would set me up for attack. I read so many post that made me angry. They made me angry because so many people posted so much hate about people who believe or see the world differently. They didn’t attack me personally, but they attacked my ideals & beliefs. I took it personally when they would say, “if you voted this way or that” or “if you believe this or that” then you are what’s wrong with this country. I couldn’t believe that in 2013 I am not allowed to have a different opinion and still be a patriot. What did our forefathers fight for nearly 250 years ago? I digress….I agree with you Stephanie. We are all doing the best we can to carve out our own exsistance in this world. I walked away from FB for now to focus on my family & myself. The ones that truly count will call, write or walk across the street:)! I am fighting everyday for my marriage & the well being if my son. Some days I am Queen if the world & some days I just go to bed & start over the next day! As I say frequently 98% of the time Mike is a great husband, but that other 2% when he’s not that’s when I have to dig in & remind myself that I live all of him, even the 2% that makes me want to scream! I am staying & fighting! Love you! Didn’t realize I needed to vent…..

  3. I LOVE THIS POST!!! You hit the nail on the head. I love reading your blog and seeing the beautiful pictures of you and Em. And being a mom is such hard work and all the posts on facebook/internet about how your a failure if you don’t breastfeed or you’re a failure because you don’t cloth diaper or how you must not love your child because you work outside the home drive me insane! We all have our own situation of what works for us and what we need to do for our family. And we need to stop judging just because someone chooses to do something a little different. I think this post needs to go VIRAL. Thank you for being brave and sharing your feelings 🙂

  4. Well said Stephanie. The only perfect person I know is the Lord. I know from experience, the pressure to be perfect or be like someone else can drive you to the place of taking your own life. Sherri was not the “norm” and fought the battle of depression all her life. Along with her epilepsy and seizures she finally gave up and took her life at 22. She had a 4.0 in nursing school and was about to graduate, but a remark made in class about her drove her over the edge. She tried so hard to be “the way her peers were and just could not meet up to their expectations.” I know she said she did not want to be like everyone else, but deep down I believe she did. I wish more woman would share their true thoughts on life like you have in this post. God bless you and I am going to pass this on to Tammi and my granddaughter. I know it will bless them as well. Love u, Mrs. S 🙂

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