People frequently say to me that my life looks perfect, followed by them offering an imperfection in their lives that points to why they can’t achieve their dreams and goals. I tell them that I’m not striving for perfection because it’s unattainable, and that everyone—and I mean everyone—deals with stuff. In our carefully curated world of social media, it’s easy for us to think someone’s got it all together, and feel bad about why we don’t. I hope I do a good job at showing the good and the challenging and the messy, but since I’m a work-in-progress, I’ll work on doing better.
Since so many of us fall into the comparison trap game, and so many parents out there are struggling with their kids, I wanted to share what’s been going on behind the pictures and the posts. I hope it helps you.
As I’m sure anyone with kids knows, it's nearly impossible to keep the peace in your home 24/7. Ok, let’s be real - sometimes it’s unrealistic to maintain any level of peace for even a few minutes at a time. The occasional (or, more likely, not so occasional) argument is going to occur, with siblings bickering over everything from chores to books to the fact that someone is breathing.
Those of you who really know me and our family know that the last few years have been really effing hard because our kids haven’t gotten along. At all.
This has been because our amazing force of nature daughter has had a few years of struggle. Maybe you know the type: defensive, argumentative, nasty, obstinate, dismissive, mouthy and—like many of us—getting in her own way in all parts of her life. And then we went to Israel.
Something magical happened on our family trip. On the flight over while Nate was sleeping, Bebe went over and kissed the top of his head. (Cue shocking yet hopeful music.) Throughout the trip, they talked, laughed, played and Nate began to trust her again. Our usual power struggles were replaced by deep convos and silly fun. John and I chalked it up to a dream vacation and vowed to savor every second while it lasted.
And last it did, all the way home to San Diego.
Bebe has blossomed into the girl we always knew she was on the inside: powerful and kind, collaborative, helpful and empathetic. And she now wants to connect and understand more than she wants to be right. Was it the experiences on this trip? Turning 10? Months of an amazing therapist? Her school that’s been all in on helping her be her best self?
When we asked her what made the difference Bebe said, “I just became me.”
So to all the parents out there struggling and sad and not knowing if things will change, keep the faith. Keep doing what you know is right, get the help you need because there’s no shame in that. And to all my friends who have listened, commiserated and comforted me with your own battle stories and without judgement, thank you. I’m so grateful.
I asked Bebe if it was ok if I shared about this journey and her triumphant evolution to help other parents and she said yes. “And not just for the parents,” she added. “Maybe it will help other kids too.”
My girl. She’s finally here.
Are you going through a similar challenge in your household? Maybe it's between your children or maybe it's between you and your partner? Remember, it's nothing to be ashamed of, and it makes you no different than the rest of us out here working toward our goals in spite of the challenges. Have advice to give? Leave a comment below to share your wisdom with the #HaveItAllSisterhood.