“I’ve got a hard kid too.” A sweet mama told me this after reading about my journey with my middle daughter — one of the many mamas who felt a sense of relief and connectedness after I shared my heart about raising a difficult child.
Just a few days later another mama shared, “Our parenthood journeys could not be more different, yet your story has resonated with me and given me hope and a sense of belonging. Thank you.”
Honestly? It was risky for me to share my heart about raising a child whom I found to be difficult. I felt vulnerable. The truths of life, when life is messy and hard, are not the truths we always want to remember, let alone share with all our “friends” on social media or in a book for the whole world to read. It has been in these moments of difficulty, especially in raising children, that I find myself feeling the most alone. And often in these moments of loneliness I begin to listen to and believe the lies swarming around my fragile mind.
When I first shared my struggles with raising my daughter, I did so in a faint whisper, worried my friends could not relate and would therefore think I am a terrible human — or worse, mom!
Yet as soon as I opened my mouth and bravely acknowledged my difficulties, I found my words were met with heartfelt smiles, nodding heads, and a chorus of “me too”!
There is freedom to be found when we share our lives with those around us. And not just the fun, enjoyable, successful parts, but the really messy parts. The parts we ourselves try to ignore, or bury, or worse. The parts begging for anyone to look our way, smile, nod and say, “me too.”
Each of us wakes up each day and steps into this journey of life. Some days are bliss: picture Maui at sunset. Others not so much: picture toddler with the stomach flu. I’ve experience both on multiple occasions. And the thing about this magical, messy, sacred journey we are on is we should never keep it to ourselves.
Friends, God created us to live in unity. There is power, and peace, and truth in numbers.
There is no magic formula for creating authentic, meaningful relationships with others. It starts by reaching out. A phone call or an email. It happens when we take our fragile hearts and messy souls and just show up, willing to let others know we can’t do it alone. It’s risky, and it’s vulnerable, and it may just change our lives for the better.God created us to live in unity. There is power, and peace, and truth in numbers. @macymakesmyday #theopendoorsisterhood Click To Tweet
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Heather Avis is wife to her handsome and hardworking man Josh, and mother to the adorable Macyn, Truly, and August, writer, speaker, and author of The Lucky Few. She currently resides in Southern California where between oatmeal making, diaper changing, and dance parties she shares her heart by putting words on paper and using her hit Instagram account @macymakesmyday, to share the awesomeness of all things Down syndrome and adoption. She cares fiercely for the underdog and believes God’s goodness and beauty are found in the most seemingly uncomfortable places.