This week I have the pleasure of hosting Kristi from And Babies Don't Keep. She emailed me months ago, saying she found the series and wanted to participate. Yay for new blog friends! I'm so glad she did reach out, because I've loved getting to know her (virtually, at least.) She says one thing she considers one of the biggest blog compliments she can receive is, “Yes! I can totally relate.” and I totally agree. I love that she says "I started getting more of that when I started giving more to relate to. I’d like to keep doing that." Yes! That's what this whole Show Your Real series is about. Hopefully you all are hearing some truth here, and are able to relate to the stories these women are sharing.
Kristi is a church planter's wife, has two adorable kids, and is expecting a third. And she pretty much cracks me up with her mix of honesty and quirkiness:
I blog about faith, family, and keeping things simple.I live in Beer City, USA which is awesome when I'm not pregnant.I love writing about my real but sometimes dislike the vulnerability hangover, as Brene Brown calls it.I have a big personal bubble and a heart of gold. Actually, probably just a big personal bubble.
When I contacted Courtney about being part of this, I had a post in mind. I'd just been to a clothing swap with some friends and feeling very critical of myself and my body, even at my “happy” weight. Also, I'd just found out I was pregnant, so even if part of my solution was to start really limiting my caloric intake and punishing my body, I couldn't! I shouldn't anyway, but my hands were tied by the little blessing of a blob being knit in my womb already. In the end I talked to my husband about it, realized there were parts of me I was trying keep God out of, and prayed to resubmit all of my identity to the one who gave it to me in the ﬁrst place. After that, I moved on fairly quickly. So that was my original plan for this post.
But I'm in a different place now, and I've had quite a lot of real in the last few days that I'd like to share. When I told one friend about some of what had been going on, she said, "Oh! I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one." Nope, not at all, sister.
So. One day last week, I had plans to meet a friend for a picnic at the splash park downtown. I'm late EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I see this girl. Every time. I think she probably expects it now. So I was rushing around, trying to get out the door, feeling proud of myself for the relatively healthy lunch I'd scrounged up.
Nice Man: Are you leaving ma'am?
Spacey Mom: Hi! Yes, I am.
Nice Man: Oh, okay. I was going to say I have more time on my meter and you could pull up if you wanted.
Spacey Mom: Awesome! Wait. I'm staying...not leaving. I meant I'm staying. Thank you!
So I pulled up to his spot, hopped out, and put the rest of my change in the meter. ON THE WRONG SIDE. These meters are between two spots and I put my measly 45 cents towards the spot I'd just left. So they both had about 30 minutes on them. **forehead smack**
I went to the side of the car to get the kids out and realized I'd left our lunch on the counter. For a picnic playdate. **forehead smack**
We walked up to the splashpark and I spotted some moms from my MOPS group. Then I remembered that that entire MOPS group was scheduled to play there that day too. It had been on my calendar for MONTHS. I mean, come on, Kristi. Get yourself together.
Thankfully my friend is gracious and shared her lunch with my kids, and I got to introduce some friends from different groups. We got a few minutes to talk while the kids ran around and then headed back home. Nothing we couldn't shake off.
Around 11:15 she was complaining about being hungry, so I let her eat a little. She REALLY wanted some cheese, so against the nagging voice in my head, I gave her some. We left early to pick Eliza up at school so we could stop at the car wash and vacuum our car, seeing as the contents of the ﬂoor mats could feed a small child for several months. Could and should are two different things, people. So we paid, and pulled in, and just as the attendant was telling me to slide the car into neutral, Liv erupted again.
We had nowhere to go.
Nothing to catch it with.
Nary a wipe to behold.
You guys, car washes are SLOW.
I'm 14 weeks pregnant and feeling a little icky myself, so there were several moments in that carwash when I thought we might BOTH end up tossing our cookies. But I held it together and pulled around to the self-serve vacuums.
Liv is such a throw-up champ. While I collected myself, I quickly vacuumed my side of the car and then went over to her. We used swim diapers, SWIM DIAPERS, to unlatch her and wipe her off a little. Then I stripped her down to her underwear in the parking lot. I almost threw up several more times while I tried to get her car seat clean enough to use again. I kind of wish I could go back and watch the security footage from the carwash parking lot. I'm sure we looked a little ridiculous. Needless to say, the drive home was...unpleasant.
The only real plus of the day was that both girls took REALLY solid naps. I got some work done, had a cup of tea to calm MY throat, and started a documentary. So that was nice.
And I thought that was it, we made it through the afternoon, past "dinner" (toast), baths and bed. Then I heard Liv fussing in bed. I went upstairs to take her to the bathroom, and before I opened the door I heard a splashing sound. She was standing in front of her dresser, pants down, disoriented and peeing. Which is how I came to swiffer her room at 9:15pm.
So during these few days, that was our real. It's not always fun, sometimes it's just plain frustrating. Lonely. Unlovely. But along with the challenging real, there's the goodness. In the bathtub tonight, Eliza was sad about something, probably the fact that I told her not to eat her booger, and Liv straight-up comforted her. It was so sweet. Then, just before bed, Liv put her arm around me on the couch and said, "According to my research, I love you mommy."
I'd clean up a pukey carseat a million times over to hear that.
REAL: No I wouldn't. But it was sweet anyway.
Show Your Real is a bi-weekly series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often suface-cy interactions of social media. We invite all of you to participate! Please comment, link, and hashtag to spread the showyourreal love. If you would like to contribute a guest post in this series, please email me!