I find it very easy to get caught up in the mundane. The meals, the laundry, the diapers, the constant questions of small inquiring minds.
It's easy to get frustrated when lessons need to be taught over and over. To be honest, that's not just my kids I'm talking about, but myself too.
Then there's the danger in blogging and following so many fantastic blogs. It's easy to expect your projects and your life to be like those amazing before-and-after pictures and forget about the blood, sweat and tears that went into the project! Oh, and the TIME.
I'm sure when you look at my blog you see perfectly angelic little boys, a nice middle-class house in the country, fun ideas, artistic talent and a confident, contented blogger behind it all.
You're not wrong. We are all of those things--not bragging, but we are so blessed--but we are so much more too. I only show you a glimpse of our best.
You don't see the struggles, the messes, the frustration I admit to having when projects take months instead of days. Sometimes it's the budget, sometimes it's lack of motivation. It is so hard to find the time to do these things while mothering and housekeeping full time!
I admit to not always having the right attitude about other people I meet through blogging. I see perfect homes and happy children and beautiful women with everything put together.
I know you have struggles. I have them too. We all do. They are real and valid and important! I'm not trying to minimize that.
What I want to point out and what I want you to hear is that we have so much to be thankful for.
That's what I mean by "perspective".
Yes, my three small boys take tons of time and energy and more creativity than I can muster most days.
But I have three healthy boys! Not a health concern among them. And they're CUTE!!! And smart. And so, so precious.
We live in a nice house. It keeps us safe in storms (and Iowa has its share of bad ones), holds our stuff, gives us room to play and grow and sleep and eat. We have clothes, toys, computers, gadgets, things that make us comfortable and things that hold memories.
Every time I go grocery shopping I take a minute to remember tougher times. To be thankful for the money I have to spend--even though I need to be careful and stick to a budget, I can afford to buy food to fill our bellies with more to spare.
We are slowly fixing up and decorating this old house. It's much slower than I want and it's hard to be patient when a new furnace and a new baby take the place of a new kitchen. That baby is the one in these pictures, not another, just to be clear!
That's what I love about blogging, but also what I don't like. Comparison makes me discontented.
I know blogging isn't a popularity contest, but sometimes it feels like it. When those ugly feelings start to take over, I have to step away. I need to get my perspective straight again.
Because really. There are people out there who are not safe at night. Who don't have enough to eat. Who can't feed their children enough to feel full, let alone a balanced diet.
So when I want to complain, I've been biting my tongue. What do I have to complain about, really?
My life is no utopia. I'm not sitting here with a huge smile plastered to my face all the time. I certainly don't have it all figured out!
Our family of five continues to struggle and learn and grow. Our needs change and our wants fluctuate. There's never enough time in the day, my to-do list will never be done.
But these days of sweet cheeks, chubby fingers, soft hair and wet kisses are flying by. What's most important to me right now?
It's a matter of perspective.