"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kind of.. Lumpy??

"We may be different from the rest
Who decides the test
Of what is really best?"
-"Misfits" from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    So the past 3 years (since Noah was born, to be exact) I have turned from my smooth-as-butter ways to a bit more crunchy.
    "HUH?" you ask? Well if you aren't familiar with the term "crunchy" in the parenting world, it's a more natural, eco friendly, holistic way of parenting. Often paired with co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, non vaccinating, not letting baby cry, baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby food making, oh and plenty more, but I think you get my drift.

    So yeah.. Noah somewhat converted me. I have no idea how or why, but he did. Compare me to the mom I was with Claire and then with Noah and in some ways its like night and day. My love was all the same, of course but I did things differently.  I think some reasoning behind it was because I knew Noah was going to be my last so I wanted to try it a different way. Also with having 3 kids, making baby food, breastfeeding and cloth diapers just made sense and saved money. Then something happen. I actually started to like it.

   But here's the problem.. I'm not actually a "crunchy" mom. I'm kind of like a misfit here, living in my own little misfit land where I don't belong in the "Crunchy Mom" group, yet don't belong in the "I Think Crunchy Mom's are Crazy" group either. It seems you have to be one or the other- who knew?!

    Luckily as I am getting older (or maybe moreso since my kids are getting older) those labels aren't so defining, they don't seem to matter as much. But just tonight as I was slathering myself with coconut oil and drinking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and listening to my hippy music (lol, just kidding, I don't have hippy music.. or do I?) it just got to me. Why must we have labels? As moms we need support from each other so badly and while its so great to find others that have your interests, these labels make it so darn hard. Especially for a newer mom. At this point in my life as a mom I really don't give a what, but I did a few years ago. I was a impressionable young mom who didn't know what the heck she was doing and didn't really have any friends with kids. so every comment I heard about other labels really stuck with me.

Now I don't care much about these dumb labels and not feel pressure to be "crunchy" ..or smooth(??)  because I guess I'm a little bit of both. I have found (am finding) what works for me. And it's fun! These crunchy mom have a lot of neat-o ideas, and maybe, just maybe I can talk to them about how badly I want to have my own chickens in my backyard, (lol) without them looking at me like I'm crazy. But alas, I know I am not a crunchy mom. I'm just a mommy misfit. and that is Ok ! 
 To my fellow mommy misfits: let us break down those labels and just be moms that support and love eachother.. how about it?

"We're a couple of misfits
We're a couple of misfits
What's the matter with misfits
That's where we fit in!
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sunscorched land and will strengthen your frame.
Isaiah 58:11

Hi, my name is Kara and I am not a perfect mom. And that's OK.

Phew, that feels good!

I think it's so important to remember that as much as a mom may seem her life is perfectly put together, somewhere she struggles. Some moms struggle more then others. Some struggles are in plain sight while others are better hidden. But we all struggle. We all have insecurities, worries and things we aren't very good at. I feel as though maybe my list of insecurities, worries and things I am not good at may just happen to be longer then the next mom but who really knows, because we have all gotten so very good at hiding. 

I have so many mommy friends that are such great mommies. Its important to remember they have their battles, their struggles as well. Its great to look at their good qualities and take notes, to become refreshed and learn something from them. It's also important to not compare yourself to them or be too hard on yourself. There is so much pressure to do everything right, to not screw up.  The thing is, we will screw up.. so many times. I often think that if I don't get this parenting thing right then there is a very good chance that I will screw up my child. That is A LOT of pressure!!

The thing is (and this is so important yet so easily forgotten) that it's not all on our shoulders, it's not supposed to be. We aren't alone, we don't hold our children's fate in our imperfect hands. We have help (breath sigh of relief) now if only we would let Him help us more.  This is my biggest struggle. Its not that I want to do it all myself, I will gladly accept help. I just selfishly get so caught up in my own life, my own struggles that I forget that there is God, just waiting for me to let Him in.

I have a challenge for myself.. I want to start every day with a prayer: offering God to help me parent. To stay organized, to not let anger and impatience get the best of me.  I want to end every day asking for forgiveness when I let laziness overcome my day, or let my anger show itself too quickly, too harshly. when I snap at my children for being too slow, or not learning their life lessons quick enough.  Lastly, I want to thank God for giving me a new day, a chance to have a fresh start.

I don't think it's bad to want to be better, I think its good to see these seemingly "perfect" mothers and take notes, I  really do. But it's important to remember that they have their struggles as well and that we have help, if we would just ask for it. we aren't doing this alone. Our children belong to God, we need to have Him help us parent them.

So when you are having a bad mom day, accept that this happens, because it WILL happen. It doesn't define you as a parent, it doesn't make you a bad mom, it make you a NORMAL mom. Remember tomorrow is always a new day. try to find a moment of peace and say a prayer. and remember you aren't alone.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10