I read a comment on my Facebook page recently that gave me an a-ha moment. Even though what I predominantly talk about is getting better at parenting, my posts could lead one to believe that my family lives in a nice and peaceful home. My posts could make it look like I’ve got it all figure out, and I so. do. not.
So today, I would like to share this PSA. I want to make clear that ours is a journey-that my family has a long way to go, and that coming as far as we have has made things better. I want to make it crystal clear that not only do we still fumble, we still screw up.
Transparency is empowering. Reality is hopeful. Sharing our struggles (not over sharing so that it becomes complaining or negative) might allow others to recognize that change is possible. So. Here is our reality:
My kids still meltdown. I still over talk. I still raise my voice. Sometimes I even still threaten. My daughter still yells at me. My husband and I still argue (not in a peaceful or constructive way).
It’s not that I’m proud of any of this, it’s that it’s true.
Also, my kids melt down less. I over talk less. I raise my voice less. I threaten less. My daughter yells at me less. My husband I argue less. We connect more. We are calm more. Far more often than not our home is quiet, happy, and considerate. Sometimes, we even look like the model of peaceful family living.
Do we have a long way to go? Yes. Have we come so far? Yes.
We could have never started. We could have continued the chaos, confusion, and disconnection. We could have continued to pretend that we were happy as we were- over scheduled, punitive, and childist. We could have pretended we knew who our children were.
It might have been easier. We would not have had to face so much of our stuff, so much mess… We could have jumped in line and kept on the mainstream family conveyor belt.
We didn’t though. We decided to make things better. And that’s what they are. Better.
My 6 year old will tell you there is no such thing as perfect, and she’s right. But there’s always better. And that’s where we live; consistently getting better.
So if you walk into our home you may find a model of peaceful living. You also may find a family who is consciously and intentionally trying to get better- a mom and dad who are blazing a new trail for their family. One that is unfamiliar and whose guides are difficult to find. You might find a mom fumbling for the right words, and a dad fighting his own passive aggressiveness. It will look messy. It won’t look peaceful. Come back though, and you’ll see the bounty of our efforts- because it always comes.
If you were with us 5 years ago, you wouldn’t recognize us now. We have changed. Intentionally, and consciously we got better.
It’s easy to follow a blogger and see something that isn’t real- like perfect peaceful family living. So today, let me remind you of our reality. It’s less messy than it was at the beginning- but it’s still messy sometimes. It was really messy for a while. Change takes work, and it is not easy- especially at the beginning. We have put in our time and have been exhausted. We are also designing a life we almost didn’t let ourselves imagine- the bounty always comes.
The messes get smaller and less frequent, and the bounty becomes larger and easier to basque in when we stay the course.
When you read my words please remember our reality- we are getting better at creating a more peaceful family life, but it is still loud and messy too often.