Thursday, October 24, 2013

Transparency

Every once in awhile, I think about making my blog completely private. 
Not even open to friends and family.
Just me.

Of course I won't do that.
I have become part of such a wonderful little community through blogging.

But.
It crosses my mind from time to time.

I simply don't want to lose sight of why I blog in the first place.
Which is truly to document life. To look back and remember my exact *raw* feelings I had at a given point in time. To remember the everyday details of life with my family. To vent, purge and celebrate. And to scratch my writing itch, of course.

But with having a public blog, I have to be acutely aware that it is public.
So I often find myself backspacing *a lot*.
Aware that I may offend some.
Or simply share too much information.
Or worst of all, portray perfection.

Sometimes, I feel like a fraud.

Like I paint a picture of my easy, perfect, happy-happy-happy life.

Mmm. Not perfect.
Promise.

Like today, I was going to blog about our trip to the pumpkin patch. Just like every other blogger. You know, pics of pumpkins and babies and perfectly styled fall outfits. But, it just didn't feel right today. Other things are on my mind and in my heart. And when my heart speaks, my brain listens. Because my heart rules the roost around here.

But, trust me.
The pumpkin patch post is still coming.
Who do you think I am?

Instead, today is about transparency.

I don't want to confuse transparency with complaining.
This is not a post to talk about all the things that are wrong with my life and poor, poor me.
Because, honest to goodness, when I take a step back, my life really is pretty close to perfect.
But my life is also very real.

And I want to tell an accurate story.
You know, be relatable.
Not a unicorn.

I internally cringe when I run into acquaintances, they tell me they read my blog, and proceed to gush about how Lyla is the happiest baby they've ever seen, or how my house should be in a magazine, or how cool to live such an exciting life, or how I really must be Super Mom.

I literally cringe.

Because absolutely none of that is true.

Last week for example.
Lyla was cranky, clingy, and irritable.
Even at the {gasp} pumpkin patch.
She didn't want to be put down.
Did not crack a smile even once.
And fussed if we moved her the wrong way.

Last night, she was so cranky, we put her to bed at 6:00.
Then she woke up crying, sometimes screaming, about 10 times throughout the night.
She wouldn't go back to sleep without being rocked.
And today, we are absolute zombies.

Teething, perhaps?
{The infamous scapegoat excuse that gets blamed for every little "wah" and fuss.}

And she's been throwing actual tantrums.
If we don't get her shirt on fast enough, if Samson takes her toy, if we don't get that banana from counter to plate in .5 seconds gosh-darnit, there is an all-out melt-down.
In her defense (and to make me feel better), I just got an e-mail from Baby Center saying that toddlers at this age are really starting to understand their independence. But when they're limited by things like being able to communicate what they want or *ahem* being unable to walk, they get mad.
Perfect timing, Baby Center. I needed that!

So that adorable, smiley toddler that I post pictures of all the time?
She's a real toddler.
Pinkie swears.

And Lyla's not the only one who has meltdowns around here.
I recently had myself an adult tantrum.
Because we were home for all of 5 minutes last weekend.
Got back into town late Sunday night from a day trip to KC.
Just enough time to pack lunches, iron clothes, pack Lyla's bag, put away laundry, prepare a crockpot, and go to bed.
We started off our week with a 5:30 a.m. blaring alarm and the usual whirlwind Monday morning routine.
And our week hasn't seemed to slow down for 1 minute since.
Not to mention neither Gabe nor I have slept more than 5 or 6 hours every night this week.
Recipe for adult tantrum, for sure.

Or let's go ahead and just talk about the house, shall we.
First of all, any pictures you see are typically in our living room or Lyla's bedroom.
The only completely "finished" rooms in the house.
From the moment we moved in, it seems like we've had something to fix. And when somethings needs-a-fixin, all the fun cosmetic stuff that you want to change gets shoved to the side.
Like wanting to replace the disgusting tile that was grouted-over-grout-over grout in our kitchen and dining room. {Seriously. What were the previous owners thinking?}

And until about two weeks ago, all home projects were completely put on hold after having Lyla.
Gabe and I finally had a little pow-wow and created an excel spreadsheet splitting up his and hers house projects. {Now, how jealous are you of the exciting lives we lead?}
It is a slow, slow process being a working mom and dad.
However we are trying to hop back on the get-this-house-in-order band wagon.

And finally, a little share about my recent and very real feelings.
Feelings that I try very hard not to dwell on.
Or have at all.

But feelings are feelings.

Lately, I have been having feelings of regret.
And falling into the trap of "If only..."

"If only" is a bad, bad place to be.

I am a very firm believer in "everything happens for a reason".
And I am 100% confident that God is in control.
Of everything.
But I also believe we have been given the ability to make choices.

And many of those choices begin the domino effect of how life unfolds.

Without going into too many details, I have been feeling lately like I made a poor choice.
The choice to leave a stable, successful, and enjoyable career years ago.
To pursue a dream and go back to school.
To become a teacher.
Only to then leave teaching.
And subsequently leave our family in debt.

Debt that has made it so that I am unable to stay home.
Or unable to save as much money as we'd like for things we want.
Like college, travel, or another house.

Not to mention that I left a solid career to become a teacher. A career where I found enjoyment and success. With good-luck-finding-those-anywhere-else benefits, strong financial stability, and professional experiences that helped define my adult outlook, skills, and interests.

Luckily these feelings of regret are usually fleeting.
But very real feelings nonetheless.

Because I also know that had I not pursued teaching, I always would have wondered, hoped, and dreamed.
Without teaching, I wouldn't have met other teachers who have turned into some of my best friends.
I wouldn't have worked with students who gave me a purpose each morning.
I wouldn't have developed essential skills like juggling approximately 4,500 things at once.
I wouldn't have experienced one of the hardest years to date. Which alternatively wouldn't have allowed me to truly appreciate every moment I have with my daughter.

I must say, I rocked teaching in my two short years.
Gave 100% of myself all day, everyday.
And absolutely thrived in the art of teaching.

I still believe I am a teacher through and through.
I'm just finding other ways to channel that desire and ability.

But, that doesn't mean I don't sometimes wonder what if...

So this is me being real.
And sharing for the sake of transparency. :)

Bottom line.
My blog is a pretty accurate reflection of who I am and what my life entails.
If you know me, you know that I really am a bubbly person who loves being around people and who loves life in general.
But that doesn't mean my life doesn't encounter reality.

In fact, as I leave you with a smiling picture of my daughter who is very much indeed not smiling at the moment, I will be tending to the overflowing sink and doghair-infested baseboards.
On my day off.






4 comments:

KRISTIN said...

I love this and I love that you're not a unicorn! :) I was actually thinking last night during a fit when actual tantrums start?! Like when does it go from "she's overly tired" or "teething" or "going through a growing spurt" and become nothing more than a full on "i'm pissed because you wont let me roll onto my stomach while you're changing my diaper" TANTRUM? :) Thanks for sharing girl. XOXOXOXO.

Sarah @ Life, Love & Dinner said...

I love that you shared this! After having my baby, I'm suddenly much more aware of the public aspect of my blog, partially due to safety/privacy but also bc of the fact that everything is on display all the time, and how much sharing is too much? This post perfectly reflects so many of our lives.

Brittany said...

I love this post. I feel like people tell me Charlie is "always smiling" all the time - and I'm like WRONG!! Haha - we all have those moments and then night and then just those days...right? That is a probably with social media sometimes - you only want to put your best foot forward!

I love many of your recent posts lately - about baby #2 and being happy/finding yourself! I seriously was thinking about that post the other day wondering when I will get to that point of not feeling like I'm always ALWAYS rushing to the next thing. I'm praying that once school is done I feel just like that - good days AND bad! :) Thank you for your awesome words!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I always like to see when bloggers talk about what goes on in their lives beyond what they post on their blogs. It's like pulling the mask off. I think you've been doing great things though!