When You Can't Escape (!)

I often have two main drives in blogging. 

One is to combat a lot of the loneliness I feel in 

a. living in a small town / moving a lot

b. raising small children 

c. having a husband that works long hours (cue Debbie Downer wah-wahhhh sound)

The other is for the small hope that someone needed to read what I wrote. That they needed to have a “me too” moment, where you can sigh and the world seems a little less mean because you have a friend. Even if that friend is a stranger on the Internet, hey, I am not one to judge.

Someone dear recently told me my posts can be depressing, to that I will respond with another round of a, b, c’s because 

a. It is true 

b. It is Winter in Iowa, I do what I want. 


c. Yesterday I stepped in a training potty my son left in the hallway with his “business” in it and it spilled on my carpet (white) and a pile of laundry (clean). 

d. Today I was driving to get the mail -- our driveway is long, please don't expect me to walk-- and I ran over our one remaining cat. Bless. I publicly hated that cat until it died and I realized it was my dearest, beloved kitty. I reached out to a few friends who rallied me back to good cheer— two of them even telling me they had done this themselves. City people you can’t relate. Apparently this is a country-people-only club where we run over feral cats with our giant, muddy, SUV's. Just nod and move on. 

Life is just hard. And it is lonely. And I am glad that people are starting to say it aloud. Or maybe I have only been paying attention lately to people who say this and shutting out the rest because to me, the cheerful life LOVERS (do NOT follow anyone on Instagram who has recently been to Hawaii) are sounding a little bit like white noise.

If you have lately been struggling because you wish your life was different, gosh, you are just not alone. AT ALL. If you currently think everything is perfect please just LEAVE HERE NOW, and go back to Instagraming your tropical vacay!

There can be such a strong pull to fantasy in the life of a stay-at-home mama. You are left to your own thoughts a lot of your day, caring for these sweet little ones, and you start to wonder how it could be different. 

A better house. 

Newer clothes. 

Thinner body. 

Kinder husband. 

Exciting career. 

So we look to the present and the future, and imagine up how it could fix us. Change us. Get us out of this pitter-patter of monotony. Whisk us off on a plane to the Caribbean and we would return home refreshed, with better homemaking and mothering abilities, tanner skin, and a renewed passion for our husbands.

But it’s not true. I wish it was! I wish you could update your kitchen and feel better. I wish you could buy those clothes and never long for another thing again. I wish you could go on a trip, and come back to a happier, easier life.

This is the rhythm. These are the days. Wake, eat, work, rest, repeat. 

I can write about how I cope with this part of my mind (because I really do, I’m not going to run away and leave my family, I promise!) but right now I am just here to say if you feel like you’re drowning in your life, you are not alone. 

These are the days of the small things. The small people, the tiny legos, the short nights of sleep, and the goldfish cracker crumbs. Maybe there will be big things for us in the future but right now, that is not for you. Just let it go. Stop googling and then presenting to your husband how you can fit a beach trip into a four-day-weekend with your three, small children. He is so over that. He is not even going to listen!

Acknowledge that longing for another, different life can be a little dangerous. It is okay to let your mind wander, gosh you’re not Gahndi, but don’t stay there. Vent to a friend, and reel yourself back in. Look those children in the eye, lay down next to them after they fall asleep, read a good book, buy the bigger latte. Look at this bare-bottomed picture of my baby. Hang in there. 


C.S. Lewis my favy fav (and I know if he were alive and heard me call him that he would strongly dislike me. We are of different kin) writes about “the horror of the same old thing” and how it is one of Satan’s greatest tricks to make us long for novelty and jump from one rush to the next.

And this is why I love the way of God. He gives us days where the schedule is the same but the joy and the unexpectedness in them is not. He breaks through the silence with laughter between friends, kisses from a toddler, a husband home an hour earlier from work. I am grateful beyond measure that God’s work includes the monotonous days of this little housewife. When I feel like my life is too boring to catch His attention, I remember that He counts the hair on our heads and numbers the day of the sparrow. (and kitten, as proven today at 11:30 am). 

You're not alone. And to quote my favorite Pearl Jam (throwback!) song-- "No matter how cold the winter, there's a Springtime ahead"... but don't get too hopeful about that until May. The parking lot at the mall will probably have a pile of grey, dingy snow until April! 

5 comments:

  1. So good Ally! Thank you for sharing your real life. I'm sorry about your kitty- I have tried to get rid of my dog several times bc I cannot handle her and she drives me crazy but each time I get close I realize I secretly love her haha

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  2. accidents happe in life- but it makes us stop and wonder what is the hurry to be here to be there- we rush and rush and should stop and breathe and just be-

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  3. there are those tiny moments- the taste of spilled milk the goo kiss from your child a paint hand print on the wall- than you see the beauty the "AWE" moment the life moment - the treasure of that day-the kiss on your lips from your husband the pat of a tiny hand on your back.

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  5. "...for the small hope that someone needed to read what I wrote. That they needed to have a 'me too' moment, where you can sigh and the world seems a little less mean because you have a friend."

    GIRL. Yes, I needed to read what you wrote. Thank you for writing this. We just moved to a new city and being home with two littles and not knowing anyone (in the midst of several other difficult life circumstances) is really wearing me down. My husband gave me a little time out to a coffee shop to try to regain my composure and breathe a little bit. I didn't know how I was going to spend that time but eventually found myself thinking, "I should see if Ally has blogged anything recently." And what do you know, it was totally the Lord who prompted me to do that, because I really needed your words today. I needed to know that I'm not alone. I needed to laugh, which I did, out loud (right before I started crying out loud).

    Thank you for your refreshing honesty and good humor and being willing to share those gifts with the rest of us. <3

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