More Normal Than You Think
Parenting, family, and marriage are strange phenomenons.
They are daily mysteries that can’t be ultimately figured out nor are they cases that can be solved once and for all. They are, in fact, puzzles with imperfectly connected pieces.
Once you get some pieces in place you can sort of see the overall picture, but you better believe that there are still some gaps in the pieces.
I am engaged in it every day.
One of the greatest epiphanies that I had a few months ago and I sat in my house listening to my kids argue, observing my wife get aggravated about homework, taking notice that the house was just cleaned a few hours ago but was now right back with the usual clutter, all while turning off alerts from our multiple devices that an appointment was 30 minutes away. Nobody was dressed, the kids hadn’t had a bath, I’d done the grocery shopping but no food was prepared and my daughter was really stressing about WHAT to wear.
I’d just heard one of my favorite communicators share about parenting and had just left a restaurant talking with a friend about his family.
We are NORMAL!
This was a game changer!
Parenting can be very fulfilling and rewarding, while at the same time frustrating and overwhelming.
One minute you are in a rhythm and everything is working like clock-work. In one moment your system that you thought through is working perfectly.
Marriage is satisfying on one hand and can be very stressful on the other. You and your spouse can leave the house with a kiss and a smile and well-wishes. A few emails, meetings, and cups of coffee, along with 2 or 3 quick check-ins and you’re walking in the door working hard to avoid one another.
Family is a blend of unique personalities. For as many people in your home, that many unique perspectives exists.
Navigating that reality is a circus all alone.
And yet, it’s the thing that motivates you to work, pursue purpose, snap pictures and make videos of. It’s the thing that you really are most proud of and think about – it is the thing that causes all of society to exist.
And yet in the midst of these tensions – fulfilling/rewarding – frustrating/overwhelming; in rhythm – out of synch; satisfying – stressful; well-wishes – avoidance – one of the things that you must attempt to resolve – you’re probably more normal than you realize.
The real reason that THIS EPIPHANY is a game changer is because most of us, if we’d really be honest, spend alot of our time – trying to BE NORMAL!
I could ask lots of questions here: What’s normal? Who told us that’s normal?…
For many families in my context, for years now The Cosby’s defined normal.
The truth is – you’re already normal.
After a quick anecdotal poll of what’s happening in most ‘normal’ families.
People who love each other
People who can long to be together
People who can long to be individuals
People who can long to have their own space
People with busy lives
People who have real emotions
People who’s homes aren’t always picture ready
People who’s sinks sometimes contain sinks with yesterday’s dishes
People who fix quick meals and everyone eats in a different part of the house
People who have lots in common
People who are very different in some areas
People who share a common faith
People who struggle with areas of their faith
People who have solid systems and plans in place
People who miss the gaps in their systems and plans
People who juggle a lot
People who enjoy silence
People who clean the house
People who forget to take the garbage out
People who pay their bills
People who forget to pay their bills
People who wear picture perfect outfits and styles
People who put on an already worn suit or clothing item
People who parent without skipping a beat
People who parent and misjudge a situation entirely
People who have assigned chores
People who give passes on the chores
People who give lectures and life lessons
People who avoid hard talks
People who remember everything
People who forget big details
All of this – and then some – is what I see in normal families.
So, take the pressure off, breath a little bit, smile a little, laugh a little…and simply realize – you’re probably more normal than you realize.
Now, quit procrastinating and go clean the house!