Sometimes being a blogger is weird. It can be complicated when it comes to sharing struggles because someone will always have it worse and if you share something difficult, it opens you up to criticism and often times criticism is not delivered with kindness. This can be hard to handle especially if it comes during times when you already feel vulnerable. This sometimes limits me from feeling like I can completely and candidly share what’s going on in my life because I never want to come across as complaining, whining or ungrateful.
I am so ridiculously lucky and thankful to have the life I have, a family I love and a job I adore. I know I am fortunate and focusing on gratitude is something I truly do every single day. Focusing on gratitude is something I attribute to the backbone of the way I live my life and the optimism I feel comes naturally to me. I try my best to be open and honest on this blog and so appreciate you guys following my life and the experiences I choose to share in this space.
The strange thing I’ve noticed lately is that sometimes I struggle to share a lot about the “regular” days that end up feeling like one of “those” days. You know “those” days… the ones that just feel taxing and exhausting for a myriad of reasons. The kind of day where nothing HUGE goes wrong but a lot of little things seems to chip away at your patience and energy. The kind of day that feels a little more challenging than usual for a myriad of reasons. It’s oddly easier for me to share about the big things that are REALLY hard (like miscarriage and loss) but harder for me to share about the small things that can feel tough sometimes. The mom guilt. The parenting struggles. Worry and doubt. The feeling that you’re doing a billion things… but nothing well.
Yesterday was one of “those” days and my first thought as I sat down to blog this morning was move on from the day and work on a blog post for tomorrow instead of sharing a Monday recap like I initially planned. But then I thought about something else that’s been weighing on me. I thought about the way I feel when I find myself scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, blogs and social media in general. It’s almost always a picture-perfect look at someone’s life and that’s just not reality. Maybe people will share about the REALLY hard things (and I’m so grateful when they do!) but so often the kind-of-hard-but-not-really-too-bad-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things things that happen in everyday life don’t get shared. So what are we to believe? Life for everyone else is either perfect OR it’s horrible? What about that place in the middle – our real, everyday life – that’s usually really, really great but also challenging and not-so-great sometimes, too?
Yesterday was NOT a horrible day for me. But it was a rough day and a day I’d classify as one of “those” days.
I had a doctor’s appointment to go back in for some blood work related to my second miscarriage because the lab didn’t get enough blood the first time. As someone who still feels queasy at the thought of anything medical, I surprised myself by feeling okay about the blood draw going into the appointment. The nurse began to take my blood and she said my blood was draining very slow. She then wiggled the needle around in my arm and I began to feel light-headed. She moved the needle around in my vein and pushed it harder. I felt the blood drain from my head and thought I might pass out. I was moved to another room and the nurse apologized for what she called “bad needle positioning,” re-stuck me in my other arm and everything was smooth sailing.
Was it a horrific experience? Absolutely not. But it was kind of sucky in a mostly regular way. Couple that with the flickering concern and worry about what the results from this blood test will reveal and I left the doctor’s office feeling down.
And then I got texts from my mother-in-law, my dad and my best friend in Florida with photos of damage from Hurricane Irma in Sarasota, Orlando and Jacksonville and instantly felt guilty for feeling down. Now THAT is a problem. A hurricane is a REAL problem. And suddenly I felt horrible for feeling even the least bit upset and frazzled. There it was – perspective – to instantly bring me back to reality where I counted my blessings and felt foolish and ridiculous for feeling upset about my not-really-a-big-problem kind of problem.
And this is EXACTLY the kind of thing that prevents me from sharing some of the seemingly mundane things that bring me down in day-to-day life. They don’t even compare to what others are going through at any given time. But, then again, maybe they are worth sharing for someone else who just feels like they had one of “those” days, too. Maybe they’re worth sharing sometimes because real life isn’t solely made up of high highs and low lows but mostly happens in the middle. I don’t know.
I rushed to pick Chase up from preschool on time since my doctor’s appointment ran over and made it with three minutes to spare. His teacher gave him a great report and he nuzzled his head under my chin as we dashed through the rain to our car. I felt good again.
We made it home and as Chase began to eat, he winced at nearly every bite and said “tooth hurt.” I looked in his mouth and his gums were red and inflamed and he began bleeding after he tried to take another bite of his food. I quickly researched local pediatric dentists on my phone and was able to get in to see one in the early afternoon. Mom guilt flooded over me. How did I not see this earlier? He had a high fever on Thursday… was I wrong when I didn’t call the doctor? Are we not doing a good job with our son’s oral hygiene? What did we do to cause this?
The dentist examined Chase’s mouth and immediately told me there was nothing we “did” to cause the inflammation and it was related to a common viral infection and should go down within a week or so. (It’s also not contagious. Thank goodness because I instantly worried about his preschool classmates and teachers.)
We arrived home, I made Chase a smoothie hoping it would help him get some food in his belly in a pain-free way and tried to get him to relax before his (delayed) nap as we rocked and read a book together in his nursery. He quickly fell asleep… for 30 minutes.
I had just enough time to begin working and checking things off my to-do list for two upcoming brand partnerships. I was counting on his naptime for a solid two hours of work but knew that would have to wait when Chase woke up and his mouth was clearly bothering him. He was crying and uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to do to make him feel better. I scrapped my work plans and turned all of my attention to Chase and helping him feel cared for, comforted and loved.
So throughout the day yesterday I felt like I was failing as a mom. I felt like my body was failing me. I felt like I was failing at my work. I felt like I was failing as a wife when I snapped at Ryan at the end of the day.
I felt like I was failing left and right.
And part of me thought all of that wasn’t worth sharing. Maybe it’s not? Maybe it reads as one big whine fest but but then again maybe it doesn’t because maybe a few of you out there have felt like you were failing at times, too. Maybe it wasn’t one horrible, horrific thing that happened in your day to make your day a really bad day but maybe it felt like one of “those” days anyway. Maybe it’s OKAY to share when we have one of “those” days that wasn’t THAT bad but also not THAT good either, because that’s real life and that’s how life goes. It’s not always happy, easy, seamless, beautiful and Instagram perfect.
It’s missed deadlines, feeling sick, feeling defeated, doubting yourself, doubting your parenting and all of the messy things that come along with real life.
So for my recap of my Monday, I’m just here to say that my Monday was one of “ those” days. It wasn’t a BAD day. It wasn’t a GREAT day. It wasn’t the kind of day that deserves pity or sympathy or cards. But it wasn’t perfect either.