Undoubtedly, motherhood has moments of pure sparkle and light. Like the string of lights that's trapped onto the branches of a tall evergreen- flashing, shining, making the whole tree look magical- enticing. But the truth is that under the countable string of lights, there are countless needles of pine that are necessary to make that picture, but are dull, boring, sharp and even painful to touch at certain points.
I love blogging because it lets me better see those bright moments in my version of motherhood- it helps me be thankful, take a deep breath, celebrate those fleeting moments, and see my life from a new perspective as I hit "publish" and then go back to read what the crazy lady on EANFE wrote today from the removed view of a bystander.
This week I was blessed to catch one of those sparkling moments, hold it in my grasp for just a second, feel the warmth- the happiness-the extreme sense of satisfaction, but then it was gone. And for the rest of the week I have been stuck grasping at those plain pine needles, getting poked and sticky hands from the residue.
From a certain little boy who wants to climb on EVERYTHING with no sense of danger from the height to a little girl who is such a picky eater that I spend a day planning out new foods, spend the week's budget trying to create "Addison dishes" and then have her take one lick and refuse to try any more. From a little boy's newest habit of releasing his bowels in the bathtub to a little girl who steals the little boy's food (not to eat- to discard and then dance on).
From a house gone to the dogs (read- toddlers), laundry that I just haven't gotten to, dishes that sit for too long before I wash them, and diaper pails that are overflowing before I notice them.
I have to confess, this week I have felt like a horrible mother. I have been distracted- off my game- a failure in so many areas.
The link Dear Sweet Mom Who Feels Like She Is Failing has been flying around Facebook this week- a helpful and encouraging reminder. This post came at just the right time for me this week.
Sometimes for me the most helpful thing is remembering those small successes along the way- the shining lights that don't include any type of dried on food or overflowing diaper messes. The moments where I look around for just a split second and everything is good (usually this happens after bedtime). The times when both babies rise up and start dancing at the same time or when I say "Mommy has to work for just another twenty minutes" and they play together like the little angels that they are.
And some days even the pine needles capture me with their own unique beauty- that unique smell that can overwhelm the trash rotting in the trash can and the diaper that Addison emptied behind her crib that I didn't discover until the next day.
Motherhood is definitely like nothing I've ever experienced before- dirty, messy- uncharted. But I'm embracing the ordinary along with the extraordinary because without that pine tree, the sparkling moments would just be a disorganized clump of light with visible and ugly wires. The texture and interesting patterns made by the way those needles are blended together create a beauty all on their own, perfectly suited to be enhanced by that string of lights.
And on those days and weeks that I feel like the biggest failure, I remember that the most important thing is to keep going- keep grasping at the ordinary trying to do better-become better- BE better, because before I know it, another sparkling moment is going to come my way and it will all seem worth it once again.