Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Mission of My New Lines

Shortly after I had my daughter I went on an outing to Target with her. As I came through the checkout lane a college-aged girl commented on how cute she was and said, "I cannot wait until I get married and have kids!"

Normally people respond to comments like that with things like:

"Enjoy your time now, there's plenty of time for that later!"
"Don't rush!"
"It's not as glamorous as it seems."

I would never encourage anyone to rush into marriage or motherhood. I also would encourage young women to enjoy their single life because I very much enjoyed my life as a single girl. Despite those things, I did not caution this girl against rushing, nor did I tell her to "Enjoy it now!" Instead, I said this: "Good for you! I'm so glad that you are looking forward to that, not enough people do anymore. I'm telling you what---a family is life's best kept secret."

 After I got married I remember being so surprised at how awesome it was. The world around me made it sound so terrible, but it wasn't. It was incredible. I was warned it was so hard, but instead I found it fun and almost easy. I fell so in love with even just the concept of marriage after experiencing it firsthand.

Likewise, after I had my daughter I remember being surprised at how incredible motherhood was. People told me that I would look forward to returning to work--that I would need the break from the monotony. People warned that I would be sleep deprived, lonely, and often times frustrated.  It was never more clear to me what my dream job was than after having my daughter. I wanted to care for my family and my home, full time. I will not claim I am not horribly tired, sometimes lonely, and frustrated, but I wish more people would share the good parts. The good so far outweighs the harder parts. Family is where it's at!

Just as I was having this intense conversion to the beauty and majesty of family, I recognized how deeply it contrasted to the world's approach to family and views.  I am constantly seeing confirmation that the family is in jeopardy. 

When JaiseAnn was first born, I couldn't watch our usual television shows. There was too much darkness. There were too many things that screamed at me, "You brought this perfect little being into a world like this???!!" For over two months, I religiously watched The Cosby Show. Laughing at the Huxtable family (mainly Dr. Huxtable himself) was such welcome relief to my soul. But more so, the family values portrayed on television were such a sweet contrast to what I had been used to seeing. My postpartum hormones had something to do with this undoubtedly, but one day I sent Zach a lengthy text raging about our societal shift of family values. Part of the text went something like this, "And we used to see families eat together at the dinner table and that never happens on TV anymore. There's no joy in family on television. I miss Full House."

I have a flare for drama, I don't deny that, but that does not take away from my strong belief that the family is under attack. I see it more and more clearly every day. I could write blog posts about it all day long but they'd probably create controversy and be isolating, which isn't the purpose of this blog.

This blog exists for one reason: to give me the opportunity to be one more voice sharing with the world the joys of marriage, family, motherhood, and womanhood. I wanted a chance to tell as many young women and families as I can that it is so worth it. I want to share the joy of keeping a home, raising a family, and connecting with my spouse. 

I get such satisfaction out of being a wife, mother, and homemaker. I want to share that. I want to fight against the images of balls and chains, sweatpants, and sadness. I even want to fight against this argument that women can (and should) do it all and have it all. I want to share that even in the hardest moments in any of my womanly roles, I am so deeply satisfied and happy.

This blog a place to share that happiness. I want to share my stories and discover the beauty in them for myself as well as share it with others. I never want to share my happiness, though, without honesty.

While I feel that casual sex, violence, and media that portrays financial or worldly success over family success is detrimental to our society and our values. I feel that social media can be equally as damaging. Each and every social media platform has a way of celebrating images of perfection. I am a sucker for beautiful photos but trying to measure up to perfection is not my ideal.

Playing with my daughter on the floor is beautiful to me. Even when my floor isn't as clean as I'd like or I'm not dressed in an "outfit of the day." Date nights with my husband are so much fun and so valuable, even if we're not spending gobs of money at a fancy restaurant and sharing that experience with the whole world. There is so much beauty in the normal, but we overlook it at times.

This blog will be a place to share the real beauty. The beauty behind the pinnable images and the staged photos. The beauty behind the illusions of perfection. The beauty of a house that is always being cleaned rather than clean. The beauty of a marriage that is finding it's way through parenthood but will still find the couple sitting down for a game of Skip Bo at night. The beauty of meals that are prepared long before they are served because it's just easier that way.  The beauty of a life that I'm still writing and figuring out every day. A place to share the blessings of family even when it's not always worthy of social media's approval. The beauty of a real family doesn't have to be one of life's best kept secrets anymore.

Thank you for being here.

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