I love my family. They are truly my world. I am a working mommy to two kiddos. My job requires me to travel each week for 3-4 days. I have a fabulous husband who holds down the fort while I’m away, allowing me to do a job I love. We have our happy moments. We have a blessed life. Our children constantly make us laugh by the funny things they say or do. But I’m not gonna lie, its not always easy. Neither is this mommy gig. Sometimes its just plain hard! I have guilt for being away and the things that I inevitably miss. I have guilt for when I’m home and not on my Mommy A Game. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t win. I put too much on my plate, and spread myself too thin.
I am, by nature, very hard on myself. I worry that my being away will cause my children irreparable harm later in their lives. I see posts on Facebook from my other mommy friends and I’m sometimes slightly jealous of their ‘perfect lives’. But deep down, we all know this is not true. At least, the perfect lives part. No one has a perfect life. We post our happy moments, but rarely our unhappy ones. We push down our self doubt to hide it away from the outside world.
We had our pictures scheduled for August 3, 2017 this year. Like every year, I was eager and ready to add an updated collection to our list. I got home from work the day before from a particularly tough trip, and I was exhausted. The day we had pictures, I had a million and one things to get done. I picked my kids up early from daycare in order to get them bathed and fed and ready for pictures at sunset. We were all tired. I was not at my best. I was a little too short tempered with them at times. We arrived at the lake for pictures after an hour and a half in traffic. However, all of my anxiety began to wash away. Sara began snapping away, and I could tell these were going to be great photos. And, they were. They are AMAZING!
I received my email from Sara that my pics were ready. She added the sweetest little note in there, “Editing these photos brought me joy because YOUR JOY is so very real and wonderful.” I teared up reading that. She had no idea how tired I was that day. She had no idea how going to bed that night, I asked the Lord for forgiveness for my short temper and asked for guidance in those moments especially to do better for them and for myself. And looking through those photos, I saw the JOY too! I saw LOVE! I saw HAPPINESS! I saw my beautiful family with all of our perfect imperfections. I saw the love in my children’s eyes that I sometimes allow myself to doubt.
So even in those moments I feel like I’m at my worst, I can look at these pictures and be reminded of the JOY. Its so tangible and real. Looking at the pictures makes my heart want to burst from all of the LOVE. The tough parenting decisions, the mommy guilt, and the tough love sometimes is hard to follow through with, especially when you want to take the path of least resistance. But, these pictures prove, to me at least, that its worth every hard moment. I see their innocence, their love for us, and their love for each other. What more can you ask for? Maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something right. So, I’ll give myself a little grace. Life is hard. Parenting is hard. But I’ll continue to seek His guidance, forgiveness, and love. And, I’ll continue to give thanks for all of my blessings. “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart.” Psalm 9:1