Oh, the life of a mother of littles. Exhaustion. Beauty. Pain. Excitement. Warmth. Tears. Laughter. Doubt. Faith.

I’ve thought back over my mothering years and what I’ve learned, what I’m learning, what I still have ahead of me to learn. Oh it brings on all of those aforementioned feelings and emotions. How does one keep a positive focus, unwavering faith, and a calm presence when one is daily, minute by minute, experiencing all of these things? What does one even say about it? Do I need to? I know there is a huge market out there for parenting advice; for advice on raising perfect little angels. I don’t have that. I can’t say I’m an expert. I can’t tell you that I’m raising perfect little people. What I do know is that we make mistakes. We learn. We live.

EVERYONE has an opinion on parenting these days. Social media has brought on an onslaught of opinions both negative and positive. It has handed us countless articles on how to raise our children and what is wrong with parenting these days. You’ll see or hear the opinions when walking through a store. Just one moment of a kid misbehaving or a parents raised voice in a public setting and there is bound to be a disapproving look or a voiced opinion. Fortunately I’ve had the exact opposite happen as well; a kind and sympathetic smile, a helpful soul opening a door or picking up a dropped item. Which scenario do you think has boosted my spirits and my confidence more? The moment I feel a connection, an authenticity, and a supportive spirit that’s when I feel the burden lighten. That’s when I know I’m doing okay. When I know other parents are doing okay. That while there are many problems, many issues, many differing ideas.. there IS support. There IS community. The village IS still there though not always visible. It hasn’t completely vanished into a vast database of “10 steps to the perfect child” books, articles, opinions. There ARE others out there FEELING and LIVING with the doubts and the joy.

Authenticity. That’s what I strive for in my life. That’s what speaks to the soul of a tired mother. Knowing that there are others who KNOW the darkness that parenting sometimes brings but simultaneously KNOW the joy that the same parenting provides. That’s when the support is real. That’s when the burden lightens. That’s when you know that you’re doing okay.