One of the things that has been hardest for me over the past several months is feeling as though I am broken because while I am fiercely loyal to my girls and have an intense unconditional love for them, I don’t have an inspirational quote type of feeling towards motherhood in general.

You know the ones, the ones that get people with and without kids fighting about kids and motherhood and what really is the most noble and important job in the universe? Those types of quotes.  (I tried to find one to illustrate my point but I started to gag too hard. Sorry about that.)

I also feel a very strong sense of obligation to teach them right from wrong, proper manners, good citizenship, character, patience, humor, empathy and all those other things that will really matter as the real world begins beating down on them. I do not however feel obligated to entertain them every moment of the day or involve them in absolutely everything I do. I am a better mom when I get away from them regularly. Cody and I are better parents when we consciously take time to get away from them and all their loud demands and moodiness. I may not always like my role as a mom, but damn if I’m not going to try my hardest to put good people out into the world.

Addie has been bringing home year-end test results from her time spent in third grade. The kid is brilliant. I’m crazy proud of her but at the same time I expect nothing less of her, I know what she’s capable of and I know I’ve spent the last nine years parenting her in a way that she can rely on herself to succeed, which is exactly what she’s doing.

I resented my mom for a long time, I wanted a mom to be there when I got home, a mom to bring me my lunch when I forgot it, a mom to bail me out when things got too hard. Now that I’m grown I wouldn’t have wanted to be raised any other way, and if I have to wait 21 years to hear Addie say she’s thankful that I taught her self reliance from the beginning, so be it.

Cody compared what we’re going through right now to a boxing match, we’re both so high off the adrenaline of surviving the past month that we’re unaware of just how hard we’ve both been hit. As the high wears off, the fear and the pain have started to seep in and we both know that the real work is going to have to begin sooner than later. Wounds that have just stopped throbbing are going to have to be yanked apart and reset so they can hopefully heal properly.

Neither of us are really looking forward to it.

One of them almost talks with her hands more than her mouth. Almost.

I hope you think twice when you see the seemingly perfect lives of others, including my own. While what comes through in a photo or phrase may seem idyllic — the person behind the lens may be barely holding on to the pieces of her own heart.

Comments

  1. Jm Williamson says:

    I am at a loss for words. And as you know that is rare. I can carry on conversations by myself usually.

  2. Casey,

    I really am sorry that you are going through so much darkness and pain. I also wanted to let you know that perfection is unattainable. No matter how hard we strive for it, it just impossible. What is possible is the beauty that comes from that imperfection, the love that blooms from the dark crags.

    I love and miss you and am here if you need me – any time, any place.

  3. Andrea D. says:

    You’re my favorite blogger. So glad you’re back at it!

  4. Oh honey, I hear you :) I only posted on my blog a handful of times in 2012 and 2013 because my life got very very messy and unpleasant, things were happening that I didn’t want to blog about, because I didn’t want the words out there permanently forever for my kids to someday see.

    My husband and I healed and recovered and are better now than ever, and I’d kind of like to start blogging about what happened and how we got through it, but the details are so different from what my online persona has been that I don’t know if it is even right to associate everything else on my blog with all of this new information. Does that make sense?

    Having said that, I’ve always expected brutal honesty from you here, and I’m ready to read anything you want to say :) xo

  5. None of us knows what goes on behind the screen or the smile.

    You are doing extraordinary work just being a parent, this journey for your marriage and your own heart, it is yours to protect. Wishing you all strength and light, promising an absence of judgement and an open offer for virtual hugs or high fives.

  6. As a teacher I need you to know that teaching your children self-reliance and not always bailin them out is by far the best thing you can do for them. Teaching them to solve their own problems teaches them more than we could ever teach them in school. I have never met you but I know you are an awesome mom! Hang in there!

  7. It’s always darkest before the dawn. I believe that! Your healing just may be starting behind the lens. Thanks for sharing it. Prayers for you, Cody and the girls. One day at a time, brighter and brighter. Hugs!

  8. You are honest and open and I like that about you. :)

    We parent the same way. I remind my oldest constantly that it is my job to love him, protect him and teach him, but it is not my job (or anyone else’s but his own) to make him happy. I want my kids to grow up having everything they need and that includes belief in themselves, strength and courage to do the right thing, and knowing who they are in Christ.

    You’re doing a good job. I can tell by the way your girls love and look out for each other. :)

  9. So much love for you during this dark time time, sweet Casey.

  10. You guys are brave and strong. It is hard work to look inward and make the kind of changes that can save a marriage. I am proud of you. You are an excellent mom. And I hear you- there’s always something that someone else does (or pretends to do) that you feel like you *should* be doing or feeling as a mom. And it’s pretty much bull. xoxox to the moon

  11. Candace says:

    “I hope you think twice when you see the seemingly perfect lives of others, including my own. While what comes through in a photo or phrase may seem idyllic — the person behind the lens may be barely holding on to the pieces of her own heart.”

    Boy do I understand that paragraph!

  12. Life is so much more complicated than the one liners and cute pictures we plaster on Facebook. For all of us. Praying for your family. Amy

    Elaine A. Reply:

    Yes, this.

  13. Sending love to you. So much love.

    One thing I find I’m teaching my teenager, more often now than ever before…is to not judge. It’s impossible to know what is going on in one individual’s life at any given moment, both good and bad.

    You have a good heart, Casey. Sending you love, and strength to do the next things.

  14. I understand this so deeply.

    Just this:

    “I hope you think twice when you see the seemingly perfect lives of others, including my own. While what comes through in a photo or phrase may seem idyllic — the person behind the lens may be barely holding on to the pieces of her own heart.”

    You are good and beautiful people, Casey. Thinking of you as you work through all of this.

    xo

  15. “I hope you think twice when you see the seemingly perfect lives of others, including my own. While what comes through in a photo or phrase may seem idyllic — the person behind the lens may be barely holding on to the pieces of her own heart.”

    Oh my.

    YES. Amen.

    (Thank you for sharing all of this. I care.)

  16. It goes back to the whole be kind, you never know what battle a person is fighting. Your kindness might be what gets them to the next moment.