I sent a text to Amy yesterday that said, “It can stop raining…”

I was metaphorically speaking in reference to the comment I’ve heard from just about everyone who knows our situation right now: “When it rains it pours.”

Yes, yes it does.

My dad’s sick. It’s not a secret anymore because basically anyone who sees him KNOWS something’s not right. While I’m on this topic, let me be perfectly clear about what exactly is going on. My dad is sick with liver disease, but it IS NOT, I repeat, NOT cirrhosis (especially not cirrhosis as most of us know it). It is PSC, or Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Yeah, say that 5 times fast. It’s a long story how we got here, and it’s not a good thing on top of everything else he’s been through, and the toughest truth is that the only real treatment for it is transplant. So October 14 begins the likely arduous process of evaluation for transplant and all that comes with it. All I can say about that is THIS IS HARD and please pray.

We’re moving. This first and foremost requires a giant HALLELUJAH before anything else is even mentioned, so HALLELUJAH! However, moving is hard and this is the first time I’ve done it with a baby – one who has learned to climb stairs at lightning speed and can unpack a box like a CHAMP – so it’s a bit challenging. When we first went under contract with the sale of our house mid-August, everything stated that it would be an extended closing at the buyer’s request. Well, with some developments and changes in schedules, etc., closing dates began to be moved up a little at a time and suddenly we were signing an addendum that stated we would close by Oct. 4 – two weeks prior to what was formerly discussed. Ok, a little more stress, but still manageable. Then…

I’m having surgery. I’ll be bidding farewell to the ‘ole gall bladder after it almost tried to kill me on the last day of our trip to the mountains two weeks ago and threatens to do so just about every day since. So after some tests and confirmed “active” gallstones, surgery was recommended “sooner than later.” Sure. Why not. Let’s work in those dates among packing, moving, and closing and the outcome is that we move in 4 days. FOUR DAYS. I’ll have about 3 days to “settle in” to our new digs before surgery and then I’m pretty sure I won’t care what happens for about a week after that, so bring it on.

There are a host of other small ‘issues’ like mom and dad’s air conditioning going out and Michael’s infallible work schedule to name a couple, but in the big scheme of things, they’re not surgery. Because that would be absurd.

Probably no surprise, but it’s been a bit of a struggle to manage a “healthy” attitude in all of this – in fact, daily, sometimes MULTIPLE times daily, I have to remind myself the joy that has come with ALL of this and the unbelievable amount of blessings that have gotten us to this point. And when I say unbelievable, I mean it in every sense of the word. It’s been incredible to watch things fall into place like getting in with my preferred surgeon before he goes on vacation, being able to move in to our house early – the list is long. It’s overwhelmingly humbling. And it’s those small things that when a cranky baby or feeling like dirt prevent me from packing and threaten the joy that is this season, I cling to those blessings like a hawk and believe that He’s going to make a way, even if it’s just to get through the day.

So since I refuse for this to be an “oh, woe is me” post and while I tread lightly on the “bring it on” theory, I am going to claim the joy that is being given to us and take the bad with the good. And ask that you’ll remember us in your prayers if you get a chance.

Ok. Who Started It?

My precious friend Amy posted this on her Facebook page yesterday:

You know, I’m a bit tired of the mom blogs telling me to surrender my guilt and be proud of the fact that I’m doing the best I can.   Actually, these blogs make me feel worse because they illustrate the fact that mom’s feel guilty about not making cute and healthy bento box lunches, gourmet meals for dinner, Pinterest styled homemade crafts and organic baby food.   I’m perfectly happy with the type of mom I’ve become and excited to see how I grow in the future.   I’m not competing with other moms I’m just being the best one I can be.  So please, mom blogs, quit trying to make me feel guilty for not feeling guilty about all the things you say I shouldn’t feel guilty for.

Pretty profound, right?

I’ve attempted for a long time to give my two-cents worth about this whole social media-driven parenting fiasco that is currently undermining ALL parenting for some time now, but just about the time I get the words to make sense or find an actual point to make, I hesitate, wondering if I’m just going to be thrown into the same category or if I’m just saying the same things 10,000 other people have already said in one way or another, so I just don’t. But the truth of the above statement is so literal and pure that it makes me want to scream that we’re all under so much pressure to begin with. So really, who started this mess? Who is responsible for the first comparison?

Kelly at Kelly’s Korner wrote about comparison today. Ironic. Scathes of other bloggers and statuses are starting to echo the same thing – that we all need to just be the parents we are and live life. It sounds to me like we’re all just sick and tired of trying to out-do one another – but how did we get here? Who started this all-out war on who’s better than who?

So, here’s my two-cents, for all the two shiny pennies it’s worth.

I truthfully believe that parenting has been warped by social media, yes – BUT, I don’t think that parents have changed all that much – it’s just PUBLIC now. Maybe I’m looking for something to blame (social media being the culprit here) but haven’t parents ALWAYS wanted the best for their children? To have the best things, to be the best at this or that? The only difference now is that there is an instant-speed method of promoting such thoughts. Parents have always bragged on their kids (and criticized other parents, for that matter), but it was on the sidelines of ballgames or at the grocery store. People don’t even actually talk at those places anymore because they’re too busy updating their Facebook with what’s going on at the game or asking if they should buy a cereal because it has artificial flavorings. (This fact is quite sad, but that’s a whole other issue.)

Yes, I posted pictures of my daughter’s first birthday, not for someone else to look at and say, “Hmmmph, my kid’s birthday was better/worse than that, so I must be/not be a good parent…” I did if for my own memory and for those that wanted to know. I think that was the original intent of children’s/parenting social media posts from the beginning, but it’s insecurity that got us all. ALL of us. Because let’s face it, there’s no more insecure place on the planet than being a parent. (Something else they didn’t tell you in the hospital before they sent you home with a baby.)

My point is, like Amy said, just parent. Just be you and be the best you for your kids so they can grow up and be the best version of themselves too. And like Kelly said, STOP comparing. If we’re constantly looking at the way others are parenting, that probably means we’re missing something our own kids are doing, so let’s not do that.