My Kid Looks Like Rocky and Other Confessions

It’s easy to be proud when everything is sunshine, rainbows, pots of gold and Lucky Charms.  When your children are behaving and your baby is sleeping and your mother cleaned your house and you’ve had a decent amount of sleep. 

I was feeling pretty good about having three kids.
I felt like everything was working and my life was in order. I felt like a good parent. I felt like a good wife. I felt like a good housekeeper.

Then my mother went on vacation, and my husband went back to work, and life hit me. 

The water was cold and shocking.  It came at me full force and hit me in the eye. My baby started eating every hour. My boys starting “acting out”. I started to feel hysterical…so I laughed.

A few days later, I stopped laughing and started crying. It had been several days of no sleep, no SLEEP and lots of holding the baby. I was holding on for dear life. I had already said goodbye to my sanity, but I needed to hold on to the Something that keeps you from dumping cereal on the kitchen floor to make a statement. Not that I did that. Not that I can remember what I was protesting with the cereal flooring. Not that there is even such a thing as cereal flooring. Anyway, I was holding on. Sort of.

Actually, I was crying on my nursing pillow on the floor next to the crib. I had planned on falling asleep there, but instead I found myself crying…because the baby had started crying. I had a headache. I had cereal on the floor. I was a mess. 

It took violence to suck me out of my hormone induced pity-party. 

Small People had been arguing about cars in the play room and suddenly I heard the slightly panicked voice of my husband, raised to an alarming volume. He never sounds like that…so I rushed into the living room and saw it. I saw blood gushing from one little person’s mouth and everyone was crying hysterically. 

A person had been bitten.

On the lip.

Over a car the size of a pack of gum.

Chaos ensued. I stopped crying about my life and my cereal. I started worrying about my kids…and my parenting skills.

I was sinking, they were sinking, so I prayed. 

And I meant it. 

And I have no idea what I said. I think it was something like, “Help!”

That night I got a good four hours of straight sleep. The baby’s eating jag was over, and I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to face another day with my beautiful family…

And more violence ensued.

Luckily the bloodshed has ceased.

For now.

I’m trying really hard. I’m reading the parenting books, I’m making sure I carve out time for everyone (even if it’s with an axe!), I’m staying hydrated and going to bed early. 

Things are still messy over here. I was so proud of myself a few weeks ago. Everything was in order, my children were well behaved, my toes were painted, I showered regularly.

My toes are still painted. 

I’m doing all the right things (as far as I can figure) and I’m still getting shady results. Life is like that sometimes. I would love to be proud of myself, but I can’t, because really? Things are hairy right now.

Then I remember the reason I love following Jesus: I don’t have to be good. I don’t even have to be competent. I can leave that to Him. 

I can jump off into the deep end of life, I can have three kids (or more!) and they can be biters. I can feel like a terrible parent. My sister can visit and find food in my hair. We can wonder what kind of food it is, and never solve that mystery. 

I just have to surrender, humbly, and ask God to take care of things. Because He will. Just watch.

And? If I ever seem like I have all the answers, please remind me of this post. Anything good in my life comes from Him. The cereal dumping hissy fits? That’s all me baby.

“but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by his doing you are in Christ Jesus, who because to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27-30

20 thoughts on “My Kid Looks Like Rocky and Other Confessions

  1. I love you, and I'm praying for you, and I've missed you, and you're doing a GREAT job, and all three kids are beautiful (because Rocky is a nice-looking guy, right?). This painful adjustment stuff happens everytime someone new joins the family. Which is why my cousin is getting ready to adopt three at once: only one adjustment, she says. Makes sense in an odd, octomom way. You and Jesus hang in there!


  2. i kicked a baby gate. hard. it deserved it.

    thankful to know that you're clinging to the God who forgets our tantrums, who forgives our fits.

    prayers to you, friend. those boys wear big smiles that have “well-loved-by-an-above-average-mama” written all over them. 🙂


  3. I'm guessing more like Rocky towards the end of the movie, then?
    Hugs to you – it's hard to be newly in full-on coping mode – and sleep-deprived, at that!
    Loved the verse you shared and I also love Phil 1:6 – “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” He is working, whether we feel it or not!


  4. i utterly love this! one day i lost it (ha ha i actually loose it every day but this day was a corker!) and the dog stealing the tea before the kids could get to the table actually finished me off and stole my final ounce of sanity! my husband chose that moment to walk in quietly from work to ind all 3 kids screaming and crying and mum underneath the table biting the dog! yes i bit the dog!!!! not my proudest moment…joe was so proud! love you honey, i am so glad to see you posting and i think doing rubbish with 3 kids is actually pretty awesome…my toes are never painted (well hardley ever) if the dirts picked out from between them i feel like a bit of a sex kitten these days! as i said joe is so proud xxxxx


  5. When we have no where else to go we go to our knees… I am so thankful we have a God who hear our cries. Motherhood ain't for sissies that much I am sure of. You make me laugh and remember those days. I am not sure how my 3 survived. Or me. Hang tough. It's you against them 😉


  6. The pictures you chose for this post are genius! I remember the days of JDaniel not sleeping and how I begged God to let him find rest. It was so hard and I didn' have other children that wanted me too.


  7. Help! Is the deepest, most sincere form of prayer there is. I pray it frequently. I take great comfort in knowing your toenails are painted. Some days, that makes all the difference. Love you. And I don't judge you for dumping cereal.


  8. I'm pregnant with my 5th and my youngest is 7 years old. I miscarried my last pregnancy around this time a few years ago. It's been a long time since I've been pregnant and had a baby and I'll be 40 next week. But I remember those days so well. I too had melt downs with my twin boys and 2 yr old daughter and hubby working 2 jobs. It was during an especially low point that God taught me about His Sovereignty and ability to hang on to me, keep me saved, and carry me to the finish line, even when I felt incapable of anything good or worthy–HE is worthy! I know it's basic but it was new info for this goody goody girl who worked her way to God only to learn I wasn't good enough. Yes, God is at work even during our lapses of sanity; He can redeem any day! Your blog has put a smile on my face and lessened all the fears about starting over with a new wee one. And being older now, I really appreciate even the sleepless nights. We've waited a long time for our baby! Enjoy your family and keep laughing!


  9. “I'm doing all the right things (as far as I can figure) and I'm still getting shady results. Life is like that sometimes.”

    Amen and amen and amen. To all of this – the good, the bad, and the ugly. He loves us through it all. And that one word prayer? “Help!” Probably the most eloquent prayer any of us can ever pray.

    I know it feels so good to feel good and to do good. Wish we could do it all the time. I guess that would be Eden. Or heaven. The way it was meant to be. In the meantime, we'll just keep yelling “Help!” together.

    And those photos, by the way, are priceless. As are you.

    p.s. about grasshoppers for snacks: girl, you've been living with all boys FAR too long 😉


  10. “Then I remember the reason I love following Jesus: I don't have to be good. I don't even have to be competent. I can leave that to Him.”
    What a blessing you are – even and especially with your cereal-throwing-transparency. Lack of sleep and shifting hormones do crazy things – I slammed a lot of cabinets. Praying for you!


  11. Having food in your hair is just plain smart.

    Cereal on the floor, too.

    Because then you don't even have to get up off the ground to eat.

    (there's a metaphor in there somewhere. but I don't expect you to find it when you're THAT.TIRED.)

    So instead, I will remind you of what I know you know:

    You already have everything you need.
    (even when you're on the floor.)

    Hugs to you, my friend. You are amazingly amazing.


  12. oh joann. you are so refreshing. you and your beautiful honesty. i'm going to come back and read this in a few weeks, i know it, when i'm tempted to dump cereal on the floor and my baby won't stop eating and i need a bit of bloodshed to remind me of what truly matters. 🙂


  13. Oh dear girly girl. I wish I was a neighbor so I could give you a hand. I'll be praying hard for you. My three were the same age as your'n (like the your'n? – I've been reading some southern books and the expressions are invading my vocab). Love you.


  14. Don't you worry honey- I lose it too and curl up on the fur coated, sticky floor and cry and I only have 1 official kid right now!!

    Hang tough some day you will laugh about it and it won't be the insane asylum style of laugh, promise!


  15. Thank you for this honest and funny post. I've been secretly beating myself up for the last few weeks. You reminded me that life is not perfect but God's love for us is and aren't we blessed to be able to hand all the stress and problems and floor cereal of our imperfect lives over to Him?


  16. You are a total supermom. Glad you were able to put things into perspective (and remind us to do the same). I know I've had a lot of feelings recently of being rather down on myself and I need to realize that first off, it's not *all* about me (WHAT??), and secondly, Jesus thinks I'm pretty great, so what's there to worry about?


  17. I may have stormed upstairs and hidden in my closet, crying.

    I love the honesty, humour and the beautiful pictures that you used to bare your heart. I am praying for you. One of my favourite parenting books is “Raising your spirited child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. It's been a God-send.


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