I'm sure many of you have heard it before...
"You're such a great Mommy/Daddy!"
"You are so amazing with your kids!"
"I wish I could be as patient as you!"
"I wish my kids behaved as well as yours!"
"You have the perfect life!"
When Paul and I hear this, and we have on many occasions, we both say a giant thank you and then chuckle to ourselves as we walk away.
All of these compliments are welcomed, and appreciated, and tucked away in our back pockets for days where absolutely none of those statements above are even close to a shred of truth.
The internet fortunately or unfortunately allows people to have a direct connection with A LOT of individuals that otherwise wouldn't know about you or your personal life on a day to day basis.
Some of us are great at networking and placing our best foot forward for the world to see.
Which can be a great thing for your business or record keeping of all the adorable things your kids say between their giant temper tantrums and smearing of peanut butter on your bathroom walls.
This is generally what our family uses our social media platforms for.
I have my Facebook printed into a book at the end of the year every year, because sometimes life gets so hectic that I would completely forget that time Lily told me the dog licks her arms because she tastes like chicken, or Addison decided to get herself stuck on the tank of the toilet, or Scarlett's weird and very real necessity for all things dairy related.
Nevermind that last one, no one's gonna forget the cheese problem.
Paul and I are no where near perfect parents, friends, or partners.
We are both reminded on a daily basis that we are flawed, and human, and unworthy of the 3 lives that are entrusted to us for care, support, and nurturing.
We have both made mistakes when it comes to dealing with people in a mature manner and in the choices we make with our children when we are frustrated.
We are individual people working through this journey together.
We both have room to better ourselves.
So we make that choice everyday.
Not because we believe we're terrible people or parents, but because we believe that our next given day on this earth can grow us into the people we would like to be if we put the work and effort in now.
We work exceptionally hard, in our private lives, in our relationships with friends and family, and most importantly with our girls.
In those failures we promised on the day we were married to encourage each other to learn from them, and choose to attempt better the next time around.
When we fail, we apologize to those whom are affected.
Most usually that is our girls.
They are the ones who spend every day with us, the ones who push all our buttons, the ones who are burdened at times by our choices, and the ones who aren't old enough to truly understand why we do the things we do.
This is something EVERY parent struggles with.
We have all been in situations where we have said things to our children in the heat of the moment that we immediately regret.
Our children see us at our best and see us at our worst.
What is most important in recognizing our failures, is that we seize the opportunity to apologize sincerely, pick up the pieces, and better ourselves for the ones that we love and the ones that need us to be constantly growing.
If our children see us fail and never work to correct our mistakes we are doing them a great disservice.
One day, they will fail too, and if they have never seen someone own up to their mistakes, apologize, and work to correct any damage that may have been done, they won't know how to do it themselves.
Whatever journey your on is entirely new every day you open your eyes.
We surround ourselves with friends and family who love us and who want to help us grow as friends, as husband and wife, as parents, and as people.
On our road as a family we have had to make tough choices when it came to people we cared about in ways that directly affect our everyday family life and the lives of those who love us and those who don't.
Our support system has also had to tell us harsh truth at times, and that pill is never easy to swallow, but it has always improved us when we let it.
Our promise to each other, and to our family, is to always be striving to be better than we were yesterday and to not attack each other when we aren't successful.
We have 3 little ladies counting on us who need us to do that.
Thank you to the people who truly care about us, for never letting us take the easy route, for calling us out in a loving manner when needed, and for supporting and defending our family through all of our trials.
Thank you for understanding that we are not perfect and for reminding us in a constructive way to be better than we were yesterday.
Our hope is that everyone in this life has people who push them to be great so that every day we are on this earth is a little bit better than the last.
(A wonderful image of the 3 most important people in our lives by Hannah of Worlds Apart Studios)