Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Picture Perfect" doesn't exist...

"One thing I’ve learned is that being a mom is hard work, it is not all sunshine and roses, and cookies, and snuggles… I tend to long for a picture-perfect ideal that doesn’t exist." 
-Today, I wrote these words to my sMIL and caught the words "picture-perfect" in my mind for a moment.
What does that mean anyway?

Picture perfect is completely flawless. Picture perfect is all hopes and dreams coming true. Picture perfect is no arguments, no messes, no struggles, no heartbreak.

Picture perfect is... staged. In reality, it doesn't exist. I'm chasing an elusive ideal that I can never hold onto.

I knew going into parenthood that it would be hard, perhaps even harder than some, because our children are adopted but still, I hoped and even prayed for- something close to picture perfect. You know, husband & wife, dog, two and half kids, white picket fence, and walk-in closets. All to the tune of perfect order and function where everyone farts cupcakes and picks flowers instead of eats boogers. Yep, I'm pretty sure that it has taken me this long to finally realize that world doesn't exist. Not here, not anywhere. 

Sometimes being a parent is just plain hard. 
No fun included. 
I hate those moments. 
I'd much rather bake cookies and read a book with my kids on a blanket in the shade any day. 

One of the tough things about the hard times is becoming acutely aware of the things that need to change in myself. I hate that part. I hate the lessons. 
But if I'm honest, I like the other side of the lessons.

We aren't picture perfect. Not even close. Not even neatly staged with bunny ears. We are more like "Awkward Family Photos" - if you have ever seen those then you know they aren't pretty. Far from perfect. But those are real. Real life is messy, uncomfortable, chaotic, and a series of lessons. 

Real life is loving when you don't feel like it. Real life is helping each person pick up the pieces of broken hearts and mending them together. Real life is discipline, correction, and guidance. Real life is staying when you want to run away. Real life is the here and now.

Real life is not picture perfect.