Crying Over Spilled Milk
I cried over spilled milk today. Mostly because Rock spilled a large cup of milk all over a cloth chair in our living room that I had just placed his and Ever’s clean clothes/school uniform on to get dressed after I poured myself a cup of coffee. I cried because I was mad that I was mad at him. I fought with myself as I was trying to put together pieces for another clean uniform. It sounded something like, “You are a horrible mother for being mad at Rock. It WAS an accident after all. You know the saying Sonnie, ‘Don’t cry over spilled milk’, SO DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK!!!!!” To which I responded to myself, “It’s actually a puddle, no a pond of milk, all over clean clothes and a cloth chair that I have to clean up before we are supposed to head out the door in 20 minutes for school. It’s ok that I’m upset, it’s ok that I want to hulk smash our home because I know I won’t actually do that, but it makes me feel better to imagine turning big and green and smashing everything with my own two hands because I’m mad. It’s ok that I’m mad.” Deep breaths.
The day has gone on and we’re all ok. We are more than ok. I did not smash anything or hurt anyone. We made it to school on time, I drank some really good coffee, and Ever is making mud pies in the back yard. I’m learning so much these days about letting myself feel what I feel. Not shaming myself or arguing myself out of my feelings. For so long I tried not to be angry because angry is bad and I tried not to be happy because happy is selfish. But what I’ve been learning from Jesus, my gracious yet mostly hardcore counselor, and reaffirming books like “Daring Greatly” by Brene’ Brown is that if I never let myself be angry then I’ll never let myself feel true joy either. The middle of the road life is incredibly hard to manage and makes life feel like it’s out to get me, all of the time. But good gracious, it’s vulnerable to let myself feel. It is some of the most hard work I have ever done. Vulnerability seems to be showing up at my house on a daily basis and although I want to shut the curtains and pretend I don’t hear the knocking, I’ve been reluctantly letting it in. I’m trying to become friends with vulnerability. A couple of ways I’ve let vulnerability visit lately are:
-Letting myself enjoy my birthday and you guys, it was so much fun. I haven’t felt that much love in years. Cards, breakfast dates, flowers, cakes, connecting with the dearest friends. My birthday week was a truly beautiful week and I’m so glad I gave myself permission to not shrug it off. Sure, I woke up the day after my birthday feeling pretty lame and very unattractively pregnant, but this was not because I deserved to feel badly after I felt so loved. It’s just life.
-Finally admitting to Phil that after “managing” our budget for give or take seven years, I needed him to take over. I’ve been failing at our budget for a while, but have fought hard to look like I have it under control. I’ve been maintaining and I’ve barely been doing that. It has taken more grit-my-teeth courage to ask Phil for help and admit that I’ve been failing. It hasn’t been pretty, but I’m so glad I’m learning how to admit to failure and instead of shaming myself for hiding, I’m rejoicing that we’re letting in the light.
-Letting myself enjoy and fight motherhood every single day. It takes big guts for me to enjoy being a mother and it takes big guts for me to not shun myself when I don’t like it so much. The pendulum swings from feeling too much good that surely something bad is around the corner, to I wish I could hop on a plane and go anywhere but here because being a mom is crazytown. Instead of ignoring, shaming, hiding, and feeling guilty, I’m just learning to feel the way I feel. Feelings pass, I know life is a gift, and it’s ok that things aren’t the way I want them to be all of the time. The good and the bad don’t make ME good or bad. The definition of me comes from God and He has the right and the voice to speak truth in moments of vulnerability. So, I’m learning to let Him do just that.
I hope sharing the beginning of my vulnerability journey will bring encouragement and will let others off the hook in their own fight against the guilt and fears that box us in and lock us up. Again, this is not easy work, but in freedom we will truly love. I believe knocking down these walls of self-protection will show us how to live in the Spirit instead of a fear-filled, self-focused life.