Motherhood, Parenting, Passions

487 Days

487 days ago, I was “called out” on a post I had written and published about my oldest daughter a few months before …

She asked me to consider my daughter and how she might feel about the words I had written and published online … my daughter was only seven at the time, so she had no idea what I had written … I read and reread the post mulling it over and considering my colleague’s words … it IS harsh, but it … is … HONEST … 

Too often as mothers it seems we aren’t ALLOWED to feel or speak negatively or be honest about the reality of parenting … instead, we have to PRETEND that all is well … our children are perfect … we are perfect … and everything is JUST perfect … but the truth is … none of this is perfect … in fact, 487 days later (and a year-and-a-half after writing the post about my hardened heart that got so much attention) things around here can still be a bit “wild” at times … especially when it comes to my oldest.

Thankfully, I have grown as a parent, and I can see my daughter’s struggles in a new light. I’m trying new things, and I’ve come to realize that traditional methods of parenting don’t work for this particular kid. I’m constantly in search of new and different ways to support her, but often (like almost daily) I still come up short and I find myself in tears again in a locked room, crying out to God!!!

Her words, at times, are like daggers; she swears; she hits and kicks and screams … and I … feel … so … alone … because I am not allowed to share this. I’m not allowed to share this here … because it might upset my daughter if/when she ever reads this post (or others) down the road. 

I’m not allowed to share this here because then I’m ungrateful or I haven’t counted my blessings enough … or I haven’t tried enough things … because if I had done ENOUGH, things would be PERFECT enough for another FB post …

But this post isn’t about PERFECT … this post is about me “going (ALMOST) silent” 487 days ago when someone criticized my work  … and now, there’s a big gap in my reflections and my ponderings as a mother … there’s a gap in MY STORY … a hole in my journey … and my silence has influenced my legacy … there’s little written about my third daughter, because I went silent; there’s nothing about my second daughter’s kindergarten year, because I went silent; and there’s nothing recorded about our homeschool journey so far (which started well over a year ago now), because I went silent …  

I KNOW there are mothers “out there,” in my online community that can identify the same feelings of discouragement that I have felt, the same feelings of despair … 

But they’re NOT ALLOWED to share their fears … their worries … their challenges. Instead, they have to PRETEND everything’s good (or perfect) and they suffer ALONE. 

Post after post after post that I read about motherhood sugarcoats the sometimes unpleasant reality of being a parent, or they just neglect to acknowledge the challenges of motherhood altogether … instead we’re supposed to feel blessed and grateful for the children that we have … and, of course, we do (I count my blessings every day and many times a day), but it’s a dirty, rotten lie to deny the sometimes ugly reality of parenting … whether you’re dealing with a behavioural issue or an infant who won’t sleep or bullying or potty training or allergies or anxiety … parenting can just be really, really, really challenging at times … like bring you to your knees and cry out to God CHALLENGING … 

BUT TOO OFTEN, mothers suffer alone … 

I have no idea if other mothers’ children have talked back to them or called them the worst mother ever or swore at them or kicked them or punched them or screamed at them or worse, because we REFUSE to talk about it … and we suffer ALONE. 

And I know and understand that to some extent we are protecting our children (which I understand and respect), but in doing so, we are isolating ourselves … we are PRETENDING … we are silent … and it’s killing us … 

I’m personally tired of faking it … I’m tired of pretending … and I am really, really tired of suffering ALONE … 

I’m tired of this “shame” owning me, controlling me, silencing me … it’s time for empathy and compassion and understanding. It’s time for connection … which is why I’m back!

487 days ago someone said something to me that silenced me, and I don’t like it … because TOO OFTEN, mothers suffer alone … and being here for you is ONE small way that I can assure you, YOU are not ALONE!

 

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