On making excuses & not showing up :: 31 days of messy parenting {day 5}

05 October 2012

It's an easy excuse I use too often.
"Sorry, I can't, I've got the kids."
"Oh, that sounds great, but it's a little too close to naptime."
"I'd love to, really, but, well, you know how toddlers are."
Life with the wee three is tailor-made for excuses of all kinds. They're loud and they're fast and they all run in different directions. They distract and disrupt and yell. Did I mention the biting? Or the falling and the crying? And I'm a mess. A real, human frazzled-and-frizzy-haired-mom-of-a-mess. I yell and cry, too. I chase them, and sigh, and want to hide. I'm embarrassed and exhausted.

These are my reasonings - my very adequate and totally understandable reasonings - for holding back, not showing up, missing out. I'm doing you a favor, I think. Truly, you wouldn't want us there.

Except... that's no way to live. And it's no way to teach your kids how to live. Or to serve. It's no way to be family within community. And it's really no way to grow or to learn or to love. 

And those are all the reasons why I said yes to today. Me and my kids are going to show up. We are going to be loud and we are going to be messy. We are going to go meet some other kiddos who are oh-so-far away from home. My kids are gonna love the heck out of them, for no other reason than they are kids, too, and they know what it's like to be away from home. We are going to craft it up good, even though we are not crafty and even though the wee lad will be running and throwing and probably eating said crafts.

It's too easy to say no, but it's oh so hard to train them in the way they should go if you don't show up at all. We may as well just all go together, before they start making excuses, too.

[a repost from April 2012]

So, who else has a mess - or just plain old life and family and biting toddlers - they're afraid to show up with?


  1. We moved three time across continents with toddlers. We took trips. We volunteered. We were crazy. There's little you can't do with a baby strapped to you. I even tied my son to a chimmney (with some slack so he could walk and hammer away with his little hammer) so I could help put a roof on a house.

    We were messy. Our kids were messy. But they loved life. (We did have a system worked out for an assembly line style bath for them all at the end of the day.)

    Now, our teens are different. Intensely curious about everything. Fascinated to learn. Rarely bored. And they work. They don't ask for things since they've learned things aren't what life is. And they work. Both my sons have gained attention by their principal and others who say, "your boys know how to work hard and look like they enjoy it".

    Recently, I told my oldest that "when life gets normal again...." and he smiled and said, "our life is never normal, why wait?"

  2. Love this post. Our kids are teens now, but tonight we had dear friends for dinner: 3 kids under 6. We could hardly talk with the parents and grandparents, but that was okay! We played, laughed, listened to crying, helped with feeding, and had a great time.

    More power to you if you can keep showing up with your kids in tow! (I remember those days.)