Friday, June 8, 2018

Be Kind--Rewind

Do ya'll remember when we used to rent movies (VHS, of course) at an actual movie store?  I'm not sure the high school students I work with even know what at VHS is.  Remember that the movie stores used to ask us to "be kind and rewind" the video tapes before returning them?  Yep, me too.  I think it's official--we're getting old.  (Insert groan here.  Oh and the herniated disc in my back.  Just delightful). 

Be kind.  That's the topic for today.  Someone once told me that kindness is different than being nice.  Nice doesn't come from a center of love and compassion.  It's more surface than that.

Kindness.  Kindness comes from a place of joy and of love.  As we've seen this week with the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, struggle isn't limited to those of us who have a weekly grocery budget.

Struggle is everywhere, especially internally.  We all fight the silent struggle.  Are we good enough at our work?  Are we smart enough?  Thin enough? Successful enough?  A good enough parent?  A good enough friend?  A good enough daughter/son?  Do we love enough?  Do we sleep enough? Do we read enough to our children?   It's like the calculus classes I took all those years ago.  We discussed limits.  Sometimes, the limit does not exist.  In the same vein, enough does not exist.  It never will.

So, dear friends, I want us to be kind to ourselves.  Yes, be kind to others, but please be kind to yourself.  I see a Christian counselor every week.  She's such a source of support (and sanity!) for me.  When we first welcomed the kiddos into our home, I remember describing the chaos to her.

Megan, there are five mouths that need to eat at the same time.  So, I hold one bottle with my foot and two others with each hand.  Then, I'll prop one bottle on a pillow and hope the other one sleeps peacefully until I can get one of the others to a burping spot.  And there are spit-stained burp clothes EVERYWHERE.  I feel like a failure if I can't feed my baby (ies) a full bottle.  I want them to finish strong!  And I'm supposed to cook dinner?  And work out?  And be a normal adult outside the home?  I haven't weeded my flowerbeds in weeks..I haven't organized my sock drawer in months..I haven't updated my five year plan all year...how can I be normal?

Yes, that was the old me.  God bless my sweet counselor.  She dealt with the ambitious, competitive, perfectionist me for many years. I began to shed that version of myself with each changing of a dirty diaper.  As we enter parenthood, we lose more and more control of the life we thought we had.  That shook me to my core for quite some time (still does!), but I've come to realize that I must be kind to myself.  

On the to-do list for today:  be kind to self.

Easier said that done, right?  As my counselor and I have navigated these last 18 months, we've come up with a new mantra for me.  One that has gotten me through so many rough nights, dirty kitchens, spills, wrinkled laundry, and screaming babies.  One that has taught me that perfection doesn't exist.  

My new mantra is "good enough."  The kids ate boxed mac and cheese two days in a row?  Oh well, they're fed.  That's good enough.  Luke tinkled on the wall when I changed his diaper.  Oh well. I wiped it up with Izzy's dirty pajama top.  That's good enough.  We're eating chicken casserole for a third time this week.  Oh well.  Good enough.  Hardly any of my clothes fit the way they used to, so I'm going to invest in a solid Old Navy wardrobe of washable, wearable clothes.  Yep, you guessed it.  Good enough.

So, today, let's all choose to see that we are good enough.  Be kind to yourself.  Rewind all of the beauty and joy God has given you.  With as much sadness and darkness in this world, we have to learn how to rewind the joy and hold onto it.  Let's do it together.

Some silly photos/videos to make you smile:

Mama and Millie

Luke and Isabelle

Millie and Luke

Dad and Luke

Long day of play outside

Clara and Millie

Ava

Mom and Luke
 
Watching Swedish cartoons with Pop Pop




2 comments:

  1. Margaret, your good enough lets your children know that they are more important than the food on the table, or the state of the walls. Your love for them shines through the photographs and your blog. What lucky, lucky children to have parents who understand that you don't have to give little children the world to make them happy. You simply have to give them your hearts.

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  2. Good post, and I'm glad that you are adjusting so well and have such good support systems. I also remember that the first email I had from you was signed "Kindly, Margaret". I'd never seen that before, but it really touched me, and I think that your kindness is undeniable. Keep up the good work!

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