Five Minute Friday {grace}

Confession: I am always a nervous wreck when I visit my husband’s workplace.

I am paranoid. “Everyone thinks you are at home doing nothing, while Dave is here working all day.” It isn’t an ungrounded thought. Someone said this to me when I was there for my baby shower. The guest’s exact words were, “You better stop popping out babies while Dave works all day. It doesn’t seem very fair.” I couldn’t even tell you what she looked like. She could have been blonde. Brunette. Short. Towering. Railthin. Big-boned. I don’t know. I was in a state of shock. I hadn’t even ‘popped’ out one baby at this time. We were planning on having 4-6 kids. Was this really how people viewed me? The stay-at-home mom who spent all her time sitting on a couch watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. {The cliche is soap operas. This was the closest I ever got to soap operas as a teenager. Unless you count Saved by the Bell. Which was basically a soap opera for kids…} The next time I went, this time for a friend’s baby shower, someone said, “Wow. You look pretty! But you have lots of time to look good, since you don’t work like us.” Little did she know that it was the first time I had looked good in weeks. Caring for a strong-willed toddler wasn’t easy. I had almost stayed home. Needless to say, I have a {somewhat rational} fear of visiting my husband at work.

Yesterday, I walked in with all three kids. And I was nervous. I had just ‘popped’ out a new one 5 weeks before. And I still look 5 months pregnant. Surrounded by professional women with perfect hair and gorgeous make-up and clothes that actually fit them. I was wearing day-old maternity jeans. I realized right as we were walking out the door that my nursing bra was showing, so I grabbed my new infinity scarf and threw it on. After I had walked around showing off Elizabeth and talking to all of my husband’s co-workers, I discovered that it was still donning its tag. I had also forgotten to put on socks.

I am completely horrible about comparing myself to others. Many of these women, these polished women, are also raising kids. They are getting the same amount of sleep {or lack thereof} as me. If the women from the baby showers were there, they were probably thinking, “She kept popping out babies. She has a gigantic double stroller to prove it.” and “Shouldn’t she look better? She has so much time.”

I was having trouble steering the special needs stroller, Graham was telling several people about his wart, Adelaide was drooling all over herself and people’s desks, and Elizabeth was filling her pants. We still managed to have a great time. Because I gave myself some grace and realized that I will never be that polished mom who has all her kids in perfect clothes. My children have wild hair and lose their socks {a trait they apparently inherited from their mom} and say everything that comes to their minds. I will never be that mom who doesn’t leave the house without eyeliner and the same color of eyeshadow on both eyes {yes, I accidentally used two different accent colors.}. And I will always have a kid with special needs who needs to be explained to new people. And, somewhere along the line, I became horrible at small talk. Yesterday, I told my husband’s co-worker that Graham had already pooped on the potty twice in one day. She smiled politely.

There is nothing wrong with the women who are able to do it all and look amazing while doing it. I don’t harbor any bad feelings toward them at all. I admire them. And maybe I can be like them someday. I just need to start by remembering to cut the sale tags off my clothing…

159Our attempt at a family photo…

Time’s Up…

Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Be generous and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. That’s the best part about this community.

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5 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday {grace}

  1. Shell says:

    I love the fact you gave yourself grace. I was home with my kids for over 15 years and often heard many comments. Know why you made your choices and be blessed standing firm in them.

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  2. I’m glad to hear you allowed yourself some grace to be who you are, a very busy stay at home mom! By the way you look great.

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  3. Patty says:

    Thanks so very much for your vulnerable post. I am blessed beyond words by it and by you. Comparing is something Jesus just doesn’t do about you. I sure relate to belittling myself in comparison to others and God is slowly (by my standards) and surely (by His) working through these insecurities in my heart. What you are doing is hard. Really hard. Really, really hard. When God looks at you, He sees you — not those women. He sees you and He delights in YOU. Just as you love your sockless chlld, He loves you in whatever condition. And He wouldn’t love you more if you had matching socks or coordinated eye-shadow. He just loves you.

    One of my dear mentors passed away in May and he said that he couldn’t describe the love he saw in the faces waiting for him — I imagine it was the cloud of witnesses. In the past I would have thought that love was for him. In this season I knew it was for all of us. And it is beyond words. And you can live with that love as a foundation because it is real.

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  4. Alia Joy says:

    Comparing will kill your soul. I’m always shocked at how those comments can fly out of people’s mouths. Really? Everyone is given different capacity and different seasons and some of those include no socks and all manner of things hanging out and even different colored eyeshadow. I once wore two different shoes to my sister-in-law’s wedding shower. One was a chunky black mary-jane and the other was a ballet flat style with a kitten heel. Don’t ask how I didn’t notice the different feel, or the fact that I as slightly off kilter the whole night. I didn’t even notice until I got home later. It happens. Grace. Always grace.

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  5. […] to keep/sell/donate/pitch. We even have a private Pinterest board. She has been helping me from 208 pounds to my current 133. Not an easy task. The clothes that get the most compliments? All hers. The ones […]

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