Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My Highlight Reel

I have been up the last two nights several times with a teething baby.  I sensed that he had a low pain tolerance and boy, was I right.  He has not handled the pain well at all!  We are praying that he toughens up or this is going to be a long couple of years.
Even though I had a total of 5 hours of sleep, I still managed to get up and get Munch and I to his preschool on time.  It was so cold (-30 C with the windchill); the wind just smacked me in the face so hard it felt like nails.  It was my day to be helper and those are always fun for Munch and I.  I was a little nervous leaving a miserable baby with Dad but I just trusted that things would go as rosy as they usually do with him (why is that?).
When we returned home, the baby was ready for a feeding but as I thought, he was great for his daddy.
For lunch, I heated up the leftovers from the night before.  It was salmon baked with sundried tomatoes, black olives and basil.  So good!  I fed the boys, put on a movie for them while I fed Baby Goo and rocked him to sleep.  Once the movie was over, we made smash-able cotton balls and a pinata.  We cleaned up and  the boys played together while I made some supper.   We ate, enjoyed some table conversation, smashed the cotton balls, had baths and got ready for bed. Even Baby Goo was ready.  Apparently, his teeth have gone back undercover.  

Okay, so when you read about my day, what did you think?  What did you honestly think?  Did you think, "Wow, how does she do it?"
Here's the truth:

 The leftover salmon dish was made by a friend who came over and cooked for us on HIS birthday. ( I made him extra dry, chewy rice crispy squares because I realized I didn't have eggs).  I put the dirty dishes away from lunch when I needed room to make supper.  The boys watched a long movie so I could feed the baby and rock him to sleep (he did not want to be put down), all while searching Pinterest for some sort of activity to keep them from driving me crazy in the afternoon.
Smash-able Cotton balls. Worth attempting again. 
We made the smash-able cotton balls fine.  There was flour and water paste all over the floor, all over our clothes and on the baby (because I put him in a sling but he kept swinging out trying to grab at everything.)  The boys were more interested in stirring their goop so I ended up dipping the cotton balls.  

Paper Mache. Note the mop from when I cleaned the floors last week. 
We had so much leftover paste that I thought we could paper mache the half dead balloon that had been kicking around the house. I put the baby in his crib because I thought he was tired again, showed the boys what to do with the paper and paste and then started ripping paper for them. They decided that they didn't want to get their hands dirty anymore so I gave them the ripping job while I mached.  The 2 year old was handing pinky sized rips of paper and the older one was handing me half pages, bragging that his were the "right" size. I frankly, just wanted to get the craft over with.  The baby started crying (he wasn't tired) but my hands were full of paste so I carried on quickly still replying, "Nope that's too small, no, rip that one more, no, don't just put it in on the balloon dry, and don't put it on that spot, it already has paper...."  We finished it up and I realized it is way past supper, I had no idea what we were going to have and realized there wasn't any meat thawed out.  I offered Ryan soup or waffles and he picked soup.  So, we sat down to Mushroom soup and some left over tomato and basil with quinoa (again, made by our friend).  We sat and visited while the 2 year old slowly picked through his soup, asking for 'miss crackers"-he can't say more) because if one person gets up he thinks supper is over and quits eating.  The boys tried to smash the cotton balls but they just caved in instead of smash and we had to pick them up because the dog thought they were food and snuck one.  We threw the kids in the bath and into bed...exhausted.  

I tell you all this because I want to throw any false fantasy about how my life is so put-together out the hand-smeared window! As the Bible says, "do not cause anyone to stumble."  I don't want you to covet something that doesn't exist.  Don't get me wrong, we had a great day, we did lots of things but in our own way and in our own craziness and dysfunction.  We got messy, I lost my patience during the craft, they lost interest in the cotton balls after the first attempted smash.  It was wonderful and real and that, I invite you to enjoy with me. 
I don't mean to downplay my life but I just feel in this day of Facebook and Pinterest, we need to help each other and be real.  Let's not compare ourselves to what we don't even know to be fact most of the time.  Don't read a great status update and assume that girl's marriage is perfect or that she has it all together and please don't lie to your friends and make it look like you have it all together when you are really just wanting to have a good cry on their shoulders.  I am not saying only share the bad and complain but let's do each other a favour and be real. Let's celebrate the great moments and laugh and cry through the not-so-perfect ones.  What 's the saying? "Don't compare you behind the scenes to someone else's highlight reel.  That sums it up! 
It was hard for me to take that picture of my piled up dishes because there is a part of me that would like you to think my house looks as neat as you see it when you come to visit.  I would also like you to think that I clean my toilets every week!  
Can you believe that after carrying around a cranky baby and trying to keep two tired kids busy, I actually thought my house should look immaculate? What is that???!!!! I had to tell myself, "It's okay, Angela.  You only have one arm today."  It was the insanity of my thoughts that brought me to this post.  I needed to free myself from the bondage of trying to be Martha Stewart, the Baby Whisperer, Rachel Ray and June Cleaver all-in-one.  I hope that I can help free you from any of the same kind of bondage today too.  
Here's some things to try to get started:
1. Invite a new friend over and don't tidy up. 
2. Go out shopping without make-up
3. When someone asks how you can pray for them, tell them what you really would like prayer for instead of sitting quiet like all is well and you don't need anything.
4. Ask someone for help
5. Tell your kids, "Mommy is tired and needs a few minutes to myself" and don't feel guilty. 
6. Ask God to forgive you for lying to everyone about who you really are and start living the truth. 
Lastly, laugh at yourself.  Laugh at the insanity of those off days.  Share it with others and let them laugh with you.  Help free someone else by helping them see that you are just human too.  Enjoy the good stuff but don't hide the not-so-good; its probably not as bad as it seems anyway (like my dishes). 
Bless you friend, as you walk in this imperfect but wonderful life!  
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 

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