March 7, 2011

I'm a professional at pretend.

For some reason I had this weird rule in my head that I need a photo with every post. When did that happen? And like if I don't, I won't have inspiration any other way.

Or maybe I just use it as distraction.

So that's probably why I sat down here with nothing to say at all. Plenty I wish I could, but I can't.

I can't. And I'm tired of the small talk.

I'm also tired of telling Noah to stop calling Gray names that start with poop and Carter to stop doing his homework in the dark. I want Ivy to start going to sleep on her own - for naps and nighttime, and I want to cease the examining of everything they do, thinking it's because of something I've done to make them this way, or that. Or what I'm turning them into.

We have so many good days. SO many. Maybe that's why the bads come as more of a shock. I don't know. Because it can deceive my mind into erasing when I do get it right and only focusing on what I get wrong. And I am an optimist, so I don't let on, I don't speak it out, and I certainly don't write it out, and instead hoard it within.

And maybe it's what we do, we all walk around with small talk on our sleeves and our hearts coffin-ed somewhere deep; we distract and are distracted and we make fun of anyone that makes us uncomfortable. Because we think that's how it's supposed to be.


  1. I hear you, Steph. And I'm sorry if this is small talk, but what is it with the poop names? I swear, if I hear "poop" or "stupid" one more time, I'm going to legally change my children's names to Poop and Stupid out of spite.

  2. I totally noticed that you always have a picture with each post and so I think I subconsciously made that an official blogging rule (which I constantly break and feel guilty about). But really, there are no rules, so screw it.
    This space is your own so whether you feel like writing a novel or nothing at all, don't feel bad.

    Praying that your good days continue to outweigh the "bad."


  3. Trying to project "I have it all together" or "I'm perfect" or "My kid(s) is/are perfect" and just chit-chatting about the weather or weekend plans...

    I get this.

    I met Keli for the first time last week and you know what we talked about? Everything that was all roiled up in our heads and hearts.

    It was like a breath of fresh air.

  4. It's funny (okay not really funny, but I know you know what I mean) that we all try to sugar coat things. I don't write often when I am feeling out of it and then I do and there are these series of "deep" posts. I know that I have a blessed life, I know that people understand, I know....


  5. Oh yes, you're definitely in my head today. I had a sleepy baby revelation today -- I NEED G to fall asleep on her own. I spent nearly 20 hours a week just getting her to sleep and I'm losing steam after two ++ years.
    (Want to talk about this? Cause I could use the support.)

  6. I do the same thing with pictures. Like my words aren't enough, and people need a picture to distract them from the real in me.

  7. I get it. You don't need to explain it to anyone at all. We all have days like this. Some of us more than others. Some of us have more bad days than good.

    Perfection screams "I am being held together with CRAZY glue and will break if something unexpected comes my way!"

    Rock with it, roll with it and enjoy it while it lasts. If in 20 years you will remember this exact day and feel as strongly about this exact moment then it was a big deal. If not, then it really is not all that important.

    Take a breath, receive this (((hug))) and carry on lovely mama! :-)

  8. I have random bad days, too and I can sometimes take them super personally :( But then I remembered that His strength is in our weakness so (maybe not in the exact bad-day-moment, but eventually) I can see it as a reminder that I can't get this right on my own :)

    Also I'm thankful for your honest posts. It's important for mamas to know that they are not alone and that we're NORMAL. Sometimes all the "I have it so together" talks can be ostracizing...but the "I make mistakes" talks strengthen the community. It doesn't leave anyone out because really, we all make mistakes and we all have bad days.

    Thank you, as usual, for your beautiful words!

  9. I'm sorry you're having a rough day. I KNOW there are lots of wonderful ways you influence your children!!

  10. Ironically posts with pictures are so common that those without seem to grab attention (as if to say "these words are so important, they stand by themselves and don't need a picture"). But I know what you mean about small talk. I often think about how we are all walking around much of the time with heavy minds and hearts and yet putting on a happy or superficial face.

  11. Steph, those of us who have known you since almost day 1 of your Adventure know you are the real deal.

    We are built to be seasonal people. Look at the way the earth is tilted. How much more are we, inside? I don't know anybody stiff enough to hold back sunshine and rain.

    Also, I admit to giggling about the photo thing. I have been trying to include a photo with my posts. But today's? Couldn't come up with one to save my life. So I went without. Probably a good thing.

  12. Roll with it, poophead! Have a glass of wine and watch them beat each other!! It will be better tomorrow!

  13. "And maybe it's what we do, we all walk around with small talk on our sleeves and our hearts coffin-ed somewhere deep; we distract and are distracted and we make fun of anyone that makes us uncomfortable."

    This sentence hit home so hard. I'm writing it and putting on my inspiration board.

  14. as a new mom I find it *so* incredibly helpful and normalizing to come here and have you talk about how it isn't always easy or fun.

    thanks for being so authentic.

  15. I undestand!
    Also? I took 3 neat pictures of my children's soothers, and I liked them so much I had to write a blog post to include these pictures. And it was so weird, like I had to get these picture in this post, damn it!

  16. Oh Steph, I know.

    Feel like a broken record so many days.

    And what is it with poop names?

    I am tired...of so much of it and wish I could squish them little and get a do over sometimes...but not really. And I am just tired and wonder what kind of mom I could be if I just slept.


  17. I'm with AK... my kids' names are going to be changed to "I Don't Care if You're Better", "Fatty Bum Knock" (I can't make this up, honest), and "Shut It". The baby doesn't say much yet, so he's still Elliott. For now.

  18. yes, my bads come as more of a shock, too.

    and NO. it is not what we do. we do not coffin our hearts up somewhere deep and distract. we can't. it's not supposed to be. [i'm talking to myself here, too.]

  19. i do believe we sometimestry to just chitchat. it would be a relief when i can find someone to talk to about how i loose it at times and scream like a banshee or have hit my son and straight after feel oh sooo much guilt or i run away from him so that i can calm down and he is crying for me in the other room behind the door....and why do i feel like i am a very bad peson cause i wrote all this?

  20. Some days re just more bleh than others... I hope you are having a much better one today!!!

  21. Most often my goods feel "okay" and the bads feel "OUTRAGEOUS". Maybe I need to start looking at it a different way.
    Maybe somewhere along the way we were praised for being "good at acting" and its trickled over into life? I mean....I HATE to complain - because then I feel like a huge whiny baby...yet when others have an off day I think "well that's totally okay!"

    Here's to an OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD DAY! :)

  22. same here with the photo thing. What's the deal with that? The things we get in our heads.

    And yes. We do. We humans...just what you said here. It's a passion of mine to help people NOT pretend and to let them know I love them anyway, no matter what crazy-making thoughts they have or things they have going on. But we all do it, sometimes, just hoarding things in, because we'd all just be so raw and emotional all the time if we didn't. Or something like that.

    I love your posts.

  23. ur in my hed, blogging my thots.

    I'm tired of small talk. Maybe that's why I stopped, really? I don't know.

  24. Yes -- yes.

    Small talk, and the art of small talking. Because really it's an art, I think. An art that we have to hone here in our busybusy culture where we take a lot of time to go wide but not deep. And we're so busy. So it's hard to go deep and not just stay in the width, that comfortable width of weather talk and generalities and everything else that goes along with it.

    Wishing you a day of poop-free nicknames. And maybe a conversation or two that lifts your soul.

  25. You know I can fully identify with this!

    I admire your openness and vulnerability AND your mature decisions to guard privacy where it's appropriate and respectful. Being an open book makes you worthy of writing; being prudent and wise about how far you go and what details get left out makes you worthy of trust. You do a great job here of sharing your heart while staying within very admirable boundaries. But I know how impossibly hard that can be at times when there's something just aching to get out onto "paper," so you have my deep empathy.

  26. everyone has bad days, bad hours, bad moments - it's okay. and your life wouldn't be real without them.

    I was once told and do believe, "parents must be responsible TO their children; they cannot be responsible FOR their children." Point being that ultimately, you do your best to raise them, but you cannot think of yourself as responsible for their every action in life -- they are their own people and will make their own mistakes, and that's okay. They are not little clay models that you are shaping. Of course, your influence is stronger than any other, but in their wonderful achievements and great behaviors, as well as their less fine moments in life, I think there is danger in parents falling prey to the idea that they've "done something to make them this way."

    We all do it, though, from sleep habits, to eating, to separation anxiety, all the way up through dating and homework and work ethic and the rest of it. It's hard to figure out the right balance between "raising them right" and admitting that it's not all in our control. Good luck!

  27. i meant to comment on this when you published it, but as it goes, i got distracted. anyway, what i LOVE about your posts is that pictures are not necessary, i keep coming back because of your honest words!

  28. As usual, you said something very important in a gentle and inconspicuous way.

    I hear you. I, too, am an optimist. I focus on the good - in real life and in my blog. Perhaps because the good IS the majority...perhaps because I want to speak even more joy into reality.

    I like it that way, but I also see what you're saying. I'm not a fan of small talk.

    P.S. Our 2-year-old (it's her birthday today!) doesn't go to sleep on her own either.


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