In the comment section of my latest essay on Babble.com, there seems to be a little argument about "counting our blessings." That, somehow, by speaking honestly about the difficulty of raising my two kids, I have discounted all the positives in my life.
I very much appreciate the ability to stay home with my children, to watch them grow. They are the best things in my life (along with their dad) and I am thankful everyday for their existence. I adore our family and feel so lucky to be able to do work I enjoy while simultaneously raising my kids. All that said, I am not writing Chicken Soup for the Soul, people. I am not so blissed out (or medicated) that I do not recognize that there are good days and bad ones. And most of all, who would read an essay about all the good thing about parenthood? Really?
(After all, I have counted my blessings before and been called a snob)
Because from firsthand experience I can tell you how quickly I tire of the blogs that seem to endlessly brag about children. I get nauseous when parents want only to show off how cute their kids are and say nothing about the truths and difficulty in raising them. I write my essays and stories and blog posts because they are the truth. I hope they speak to other mothers who are also interested in the truth. I refuse to be an upbeat, positive, chipper person all the time because you know what? I am not. I am a realist.
I see the world as beautifully gray, not black and white. I do not have a bible or a collection of Precious Moment dolls that dictate my behavior. I decide on a case-by-case basis how to react to situations. And, despite what you may read here, I am an extremely happy person, perpetually on a quest for "more" maybe, but also really pleased with the way my life has turned out so far. But I am not chipper. I am not going to regurgitate something from a motivational poster so I can effect a "happy" life. My happiness comes from truthfulness, from acknowledging how hard things are and sometimes lifting the rock to reveal the not-so-pretty things beneath it.
So, yes, my children are blessings. They are creatures of G-d and uniquely fabulous little people I adore with every ounce of my being. And yes, I am damn lucky to spend so much time with them and be married to a man I can't get enough of. I am lucky to have work that intellectually stimulates me and allows me to pay for my kids school (which apparently makes me a snob according to some bitter people), but I am not going to apologize for telling my truth. And judging from the number of positive comments, I am not alone. Some people do appreciate honesty over false chipper-ness.
Because you know what? It is the most chipper, perpetually cheerful people who keep the dirtiness of life well-hidden who actually suffer the most. G-d forbid they appear less-than-Hallmark-y, who knows what might happen?