Ok, so maybe I'm being overly dramatic with this title but I'd be lying if I said this summer was a breeze. I work part-time at a Psych Hospital and have said to staff a time or two that I seriously might call to see if a bed is available just to get a break from my own reality.
Of course there were excellent moments this summer, but also a bunch of overly exhausting moments that I never thought would end. Summer's are typically the hardest times for me as a mom and some of that is really my own fault. I have yet to put my girls in a summer program, however I know of a excellent two day a week program that I might just be the first in line next year to enroll my girls in. (wink, wink)
Let me clear some things up before I dive into this post, because as expected I've had a couple of as I would call them negative "mom shaming" comments about my excitement for the new school year to start. To that I say #BYE! I absolutely love and adore my kids!! I'm fiercely protective of my babies and I could seriously cuddle with and stare at my daughter's faces all day long because they are the most adorable, sassy, and sweet girls ever. They completely melt my heart, however being the open book and real person that I am, I can't say that there were not times I wanted to hitchhike out of town (yes hitchhike because I don't want my car to be tracked lol) on a long journey to a place where kids are NOT ALLOWED.
Seriously ladies we have the right to say, "I'm overwhelmed, tired, and need a break," without getting the side eye from the mom who seems to be perfect and have it all together ALL the time. Sorry, I just don't have it all together! I'm a complete mess at times and I own it!
This summer my seven year old nephew came to live with us for the upcoming school year. To say that the last month and a half has been a hard transition is an understatement. I had no clue how difficult it was going to be transitioning from my two little girls to three. I've jumped in somewhat blindly from the start, with the "This will be easy-I've got this" mentality and being oh so humbled that nope I really don't- but thankful that God does! Wes and I are needing God's guidance and strength more than ever right now.
Our summer days were filled with running errands (typically with all three kids- insert bulging eye emoji here), checking out places for the kids to have fun and run wild, LOTS of laundry, exhaustion, tons of whining, nagging, tattling, me sounding like a broken record saying things over and over again, discipline that wasn't always effective, 20+ requests for snacks/juice/milk per day, lots of tears (partly from me), messes galore, and the list goes on.
Hear me out- I don't say any of this to complain- this is what I signed up for when I decided to become a parent and I would never give up this role. I say all of this because when we run into a mom who seems to be excited about a short break from kids, as women we should more supportive and understanding. We shouldn't be as judgmental.
On social media lately I've seen some articles, blog posts, and watched a few conference speeches given by moms about the complexities and joys of motherhood that have been amazing and super transparent, however I'm always confused at the super negative comments. With social media you could essentially have someone criticizing your parenting 600 miles away who doesn't even know you.
Mom shaming is real!!! I'm guilty of it myself mostly before kids. The things I would say and think about other mom's parenting styles before I even had children is actually quite embarrassing now. Oh, how God has humbled thee! Now one of the best compliments I receive from other moms and wives is, "Nicole you make me feel normal." Trust I'm right there in the trenches with you mamas!
I've had some of the most transparent and deep conversations with friends lately. Life isn't always easy. Newlyweds getting into the "real of marriage"-how it's not always super easy, couples in the midst of pregnancy challenges, discipline issues with kids, a spouse losing their job, along with super positive moments as well. The fact that I could go to church feeling overwhelmed and have several ladies come around me to support while I break down in tears and then have a friend come over and say "girl I just had a good cry over there with so and so about my mom guilt and challenges in life too," is what doing life with others is all about.
Although this summer brought about many challenges for me- I'd be remiss not to mention all the sweet cuddles, kisses, quality time spent with my kiddos training them for life beyond myself and daddy, gospel conversations, lessons learned, answered prayers, and opportunities for growth in my own relationship with Christ. This summer God was testing my patience on all levels and yes I failed many times, but I'm still here loving my babies and striving to understand that I am not in control- God is!!
Some pics of our summer & 1st days of school!!