Parenting Unvarnished

Check out my cute little bunnies, Easter 2016:


Adorable, right? Perfectly captures the idyllic family egg dying activity we had just completed.

Except, of course, that it wasn’t. It was crazy, chaotic, and shouty. It was cracked egg shells, and spilled cups of dye, and probably one of the more stressful egg dyeing experiences of my life. (Not to be dramatic or anything.) But I posted the adorable picture on Facebook, because the one idyllic and adorable moment is the one I want to share with the world.

This, though. This is the photo that really nails it. Easter Monday:


Everything that can be upside down is upside down. Both children are weeping and wailing. It is chaos. It is exhaustion. It is Easter Monday for a pastor and her children. Unvarnished. No filter. Just the real parenting deal. Did I post this gem on Facebook? I did not.

Here’s the thing: parenting is a both / and experience. It’s both wonderful and terrible; boring and exciting; hilarious and heartbreaking; sweet and sour. Our children fill us with pride and joy one moment, embarrassment and guilt the next.

So, a lovely afternoon movie with my girl is also an afternoon of screaming and crying because she lost Chickie, her lovey, at the store we stopped at on the way. A fun family meal in Mankato is also a meal that includes five trips to the potty, only two of which are actually necessary. And also a return trip to Mankato because that dang lovey stayed behind at the restaurant. (Pro Tip: Chickie is a pain in the neck but she is totally worth it.)

I’ve never been an “enjoy every moment” kind of parent, because let’s be honest: every moment is not actually enjoyable. But more and more, I think I am an “embrace every moment” kind of parent.

If we focused on avoiding those sour moments, we would miss so many sweet ones. Let’s be honest: we’d probably never leave the house. Real life is not a Facebook post, so even the most idyllic days will usually include at least a few moments (or hours) that are anything but.

So let’s embrace it. Embrace the chaos, embrace the meltdowns, embrace the mess. Let’s not beat ourselves up when our family fun nights are not so fun, or our summer craft projects are Pinterest fails, or we have to carry our children screaming from the train table at the model railroad expo. (Pro Tip: All drawn from life, except for the Pinterest thing, because a crafty mother I am not.)

Let’s embrace it, and let’s talk about it sometimes. Because it always helps to know we’re not alone in the madness.


Friday afternoon agony. I took this picture, sent it to Mike, and laughed. Some things are better when you share them.

What wild and wonderful or horrifying but hilarious things have the kids in your life been up to lately? Or, what are the hallmark stories from your own crazy childhood?



Filed under All in the Family, Your Moment of Leo, Your Moment of Zoe

3 responses to “Parenting Unvarnished

  1. Lately our 4&8yr olds have been using every single pillow in the house to build a fort in the living room, and every single toy and stuffed animal is needed in this fort 😂 Our living room becomes a disaster!! But I wouldn’t dare touch it, well til bedtime…

    Naomi of

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Rock and a Hard Place | Never Done It That Way Before

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