Tuesday, September 15, 2015

the power of vulnerability...works for moms too...



Here I am, sitting shyly in the corner, about to get confessional and, well, REAL.

I'm a pretty authentic person, and usually what you see is what you get with me. I don't do fake and gamey sorts of relationships. Though I have a formal register vocabulary for work and my more casual register for conversational speaking/writing, my bottom lines are usually the same, just in different vernacular, so to speak.

But, that said....

I am not a reality TV star where everything I do and say is exposed for all to see, hear, and judge me for.

Well, yes. I do blog and share some of my weirdo neuroses - e.g., my word nerdisms, affinity for tying pop culture references into daily events- and deep thoughts - my faith is integral to who I am, thus I talk about it; I also entertain my inner Kant, Plato, Locke (philosopher for those of you unfamiliar) - and life struggles on occasion in this space.

So yeah, I do share more of myself a bit more freely than the average mama bear, but not ALL THE THINGS.

Like {what I feel to be} my huge failings in the parenting arena...beyond the standard mommy guilt, sometimes we have some really intense "discussions" in our home (see above picture's "We do REALLY loud."). With feelings so large, voices so loud, chaos so great, that our pets take cover. (Not kidding, or as my son said tonight "Hyperbole-ing.")

And it makes me so sad after these episodes, because that's not how I wanted this part of my story to go! I was going to be different than the examples I had.

My kids were going to come to me with ANYTHING and feel comfortable approaching me with their awkward queries, confusion about navigating their emotions, and the need for assurance and comfort when life was hard.

Anyway, that's not the way things are shaping up and more often than not I feel like Drew Barrymore's Beverly Donofrio, desperately wondering through tears and clenched teeth, "When does this job ever end?!?!"

Yesterday at our staff meeting, one of our organizational consultants shared the brilliance of Brene' Brown's TED talk "The Power of Vulnerability." I had already watched it numerous times, but seeing it again reinforced the truth in the paradox that through our vulnerability, we gain strength, power, confidence, and ultimately, contentment. (It's 20 minutes, but I tell you, it is time WELL spent. Click the link! Then come RightBack here)

And then I got home and we had much sibling rivalry over chores and other tween/teen miscellany that is minutia to the hubs and I and MOUNTAINS OF WOE AND ANGSTY STRUGGLE (cue Miley with The Climb) to them.

But I was enlightened. I had been reinforced with wisdom and truth!

And it didn't mean a damned thing.

This morning was a lather, rinse and repeat kind of deal, despite my best efforts to be mindful, present, and meditative during that window between the older two leaving and the littlest little waking.

Then my day at work got consumed by IT issues, that felt very real and worrisome....until at the end of the day, I discovered the reason my laptop couldn't recognize the hard drive, and therefore fail to boot up, was because it had somehow dislodged and was hiding in a pocket in my tech bag.

Seriously, I live a charmed life.

Got home, ate well, kids were behaved.

I felt a weight lifting.

Then the youngest and hubs went to Cub Scouts, and the other shoe dropped.

And by dropped, I mean that darn shoe fell with the relative velocity and force the Looney Tunes anvil had when being pushed out of the window.

I asked for some help with the household chores. Which has been the hot topic of late. I keep asking for help and all I get is push-back from all my room-mates at casa del Meyer. It's been a bit frustrating.

And it got really ugly and intense and I wanted to crawl into the fetal position and have someone mother me with the nurturing and support that EVERYONE in our house so clearly needs right now.

It passed through, and we took a timeout. I returned to my onerous task of comparing the costs and terms of health insurance and would it be better if we all went on my new employer's coverage or if we did a split of one of us with the kids and the other partner at their employer. (I live it up on a Tuesday night, yo!) The kids went to do the homework that was cited as the raison de la resistance, because, "Mom I can't do any chores because _________ never does jack squat, and I have homework that is due TOMORROW, my friends all hate me, yada yada yada."

After calming down, and the homework was done in, I kid you not, less than 10 minutes, I opened up to my son, the child with whom I'd particularly clashed tonight.

Was the cost of getting your way over not even 10 minutes of homework worth it?

I understand things are rough for you right now. I would never minimize that - and I'm not asking you to, but I am asking that you take a break from your own misery and recognize others around here are miserable too, for various reasons that may be different from yours, but just as real to them as yours are to you.

I am sorry. I don't want to be a dragon roaring in your face with ugliness and anger, and probably really bad breath. We did eat lasagne with a lot of garlic in it.

That garnered a chuckle.

We are in a lot of transition right now - and by and large it is good transition but new is stressful. New grades, new schools, new work, new routines. There is a lot going on, and I feel...... when ...... Sometimes, I don't want to come home after work because I dread the fighting so much. I'm so tired of this, aren't you?


Right now, I've got a lot on my plate. I don't have a lot of time for fun. My ankle still hurts from spraining it last Saturday. When you guys where playing at the party down the street the other night? I spent hours grocery shopping for bargains and nutrition and then cooking/prepping it all so that we can do our activities and not have to wait to eat at 8:00. Would I have liked to play or read a book? Heck yes, but I also have to make things run smoothly or else we are always in unhealthy chaos.

I love you. Will always love you, no matter how mad you get or how hateful your words may feel - you're stuck with me for always. I'm so proud of you and really wish I got to see the awesome young man everyone else at church and school gets to see. Instead, I get all your insecurities and anger dumped on me, and I understand it is because you trust me to still be here after all of that, but I am so very weary and tired of it. My bucket is beyond empty...it is starting to crack because of the dryness. 

Then the scouts got home and bedtime routines started...sort of.

The littlest decided he didn't like the lasagne I spent all night cooking (along with a bunch of other freezer meals) Sunday so that we could eat at a reasonable time, so naturally, he was hungry when he got home. I went to make him a bowl of cereal when I saw the notebook over by the coffee pot.

It's a very hard balance sharing your adult self so openly with your child. You can't burden them with adult problems they can't control, and you can't blame them for things when sharing. But let me tell you, that ^^^ right there? 

That is power in vulnerability!

It takes a big person to apologize. Bigger still when one is only 12 and that full of heart.

That has given me some peace, confidence, and contentment. (Also? My bucket is no longer dry. The tears that were generated have filled my bucket pretty much to the brim.)

Peace that he gets it.

Confidence that he is so much more than the angry and sullen kiddo that I've seen so much of recently.

Contentment in knowing somehow I've given him the knowledge that sharing hard things makes us grow closer.

A heart that is lighter, fuller of love, and reduced in worries and weariness.

These are all powerful gifts borne of me sharing my hard truths with my kids.

"Share each others burdens (vulnerabilities) and thus fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2.

^^^ truth that has been tested and proven by the work of the lovely Brene Brown. Why are we always so surprised when Scripture is proven time and time again?

Thank you, Lord, for your beautiful paradoxes in life. 

" 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' ...For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 9, 10.

It now stands to reason that I should be spiritually/emotionally strong enough to rival The Hulk's physical strength after this display of transparency, no?

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