The Three Hard Things

Okay so I realized the other day that there are a number of things that are hard in life that no matter what people tell us, we just don’t seem to believe it until we experience them for ourselves.

1.  Marriage is hard.  
From when I was little to my teenage and college days and even now, I have heard people say that “marriage is hard” about a million times.  Yet, I find it so ironic and funny that most of all still want to be married despite what our parents or other adults have told us. When I was in college, dating and awaiting engagement, I just really wanted to be married and somehow the “marriage is hard” statement just didn’t sink in.  That’s why couples are google-eyed before marriage still.  Just doesn’t sink in.
Tell me what you think but “marriage is hard” I would say is more like a nice way of explaining that marriage can be extremely challenging, stressful, irritating and just plain difficult at times. (That’s also a nice way of saying it too.) Sure, the better choice you made in choosing your mate can make things easier but I believe that it still is difficult no matter how perfect a mate you have.   My husband for one is really the perfect husband for me.  He makes me laugh, he’s cute=), he helps so much with baby, he cooks me GOOD food and dinner, and we make such a great team and have a lot of fun together.  The book Sacred Marriage explains it well though when it says that marriage is not meant for happiness but for holiness, meaning that God uses marriage as a way to shape us and sharpen us.  I have many more years of sharpening and after being married for just a few years, I’ve come to realize that it is only because of God’s grace that my marriage is whole and good.  It is good but yup, it is also as they say, really hard.
2. Motherhood is hard. 
These “HARD” statements I tell you are so tricky.  First, you see this cute handsome really good guy and God tricks you into learning how to be committed for life, learning how to love at all times even when you are so angry and want your way. After 39 weeks of carrying Maddie and 15 months of motherhood, oh my goodness, MOTHERHOOD IS SO HARD.  (More on that, here.) If I had known how exhausted I would be and how I would often have to give up my own precious mealtime or sometimes food so that my daughter could eat, I really am not sure I would have done it.  The cute pictures I post on Facebook or on my blog show the precious moments and the moments that might make you wish you had such a cute baby (she is cute isn’t she?), but when you have your own cute baby, that’s when you realize that they have to be cute and laugh and cuddle or else you might give up.  God is so smart I tell you.  Anyways, the “Motherhood is hard” statement just doesn’t sink in until that baby comes out and I have a feeling that’s how its supposed to be.
3. Caregiving is so hard.
Some people see the sweet pictures of me and my grandparents or of four generations (my grandparents, parents, us and our kids) and just assume that it is so sweet that we all get/got along so well.  “Your grandparents or your parents are so pleasant,” some people say. That’s why intergenerational living works right?  Oh boy… think again.  Our pictures show the sweetest moments and show the rewards and blessings my family have gotten from living with the elderly in our family.   Our pictures, for sure, show that we have precious relationships in our family that go from age 1 to 98, but if you lived in my house and grew up living with all of us or if you asked my parents, even my sisters and I, our house was a suffocating and a little too chaotic and stressful at times.  Who makes the rules when there are so many adults in the house? What if your grandparents can’t hear the news so they blast it and then its way too loud for everyone else?  Can you kick out your neighbors if they’re grandparents? Not so. Growing up, my parents always had my sisters and I use the bathroom two stories down from our room because they gave the bathroom on our floor to my grandparents.  Now, who do you put first when you have kids and your own elderly parents living in the house?  The fact is that caregiving can look sweet and a bit hard on the outside, but boy, when you start caring for someone a lot, and especially when you’re living with them, that’s when the reality of how hard caregiving can be sets in.  For some encouragement on that, read my previous post.