Let the Hard Stuff Be Hard

Let the Hard Stuff Be Hard | Twin Cities Moms Blog{Photo credit: JohnD_22 via Visualhunt.com}

I am in the final week of my pregnancy with our third child, and I gotta say, this hasn’t been the easiest season. I’m definitely feeling pregnant. While it has been a relatively nice pregnancy throughout, it has been much tougher than my first. Now in the home stretch, I need to catch my breath after simply standing for too long, it seems like a colossal effort to get my body up off the couch, and I’m continuously weighing whether or not it’s worth it to bend down to get X, Y, or Z which has fallen on the floor.

However, what I’ve struggled with the most is acknowledging and allowing this hard stuff to be hard. 

This past year has been one of hardship for many people in my life. Friends have struggled with mental and physical illness, strained marital relationships and loss of loved ones.

There is so much brokenness and hardship in the lives around me that I feel like I shouldn’t complain or acknowledge the hard things I’m dealing with. Because really, they don’t seem so hard compared to what others are dealing with. 

So instead of acknowledging my hardships, I tell myself that I shouldn’t be feeling that way. I tell myself how good I have it, to stop complaining, to look on the bright side. I tell myself that there are others in my life who would likely trade places to have my small challenges rather than navigating their own big challenges. 

But this way of thinking is not healthy.

It’s not healthy because I’m not being honest with myself and others. I often sugarcoat how I’m feeling when others ask how I’m doing. “Oh, feeling pregnant, but I’m doing alright!” is my response when the truth is I sobbed uncontrollably to my husband today trying to explain to him why this part of the pregnancy is so hard. That’s not doing alright. That’s struggling.

It’s also not healthy because it assumes that my friends don’t want to handle my hard stuff. I think part of the reason why I feel like I shouldn’t share my hard stuff is that I don’t want to burden the already burdened. However, it does our relationship no good to withhold information with the assumption that the other person does not want or cannot handle the truth.

And finally, it’s not healthy because I’m telling myself way too many “shoulds” and not allowing myself to feel how I’m truly feeling. I want to be gentler on myself, to allow myself to feel uncomfortable and cranky or however else I’m feeling on that day or in that moment.

Perhaps you’re in the same boat too.

This parenting thing is tough. Without a doubt, it’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done. Raising children is hard work – both hard heart work and hard mental work. Even getting to the place of having children is hard – I’ve grown my family through adoption and pregnancy and sobbed in the fetal position many times during both!

So, Mama, acknowledge your hard stuff. Acknowledge it to yourself and others. Please allow it to be hard. Shut off all the “shoulds” in your head and instead say, “This is hard, isn’t it? I’m having a tough time with this today and that’s okay.” And then call or text a friend and share your hardship. Yes, even if she’s navigating her own hard things. We’re not meant to struggle alone, and it’s good and healthy to let the hard stuff be hard.

2 Responses to Let the Hard Stuff Be Hard

  1. Christy January 27, 2017 at 10:07 AM #

    Great post which just so happen to hit my feed at the perfect time. Thanks!

    • Amber
      Amber January 31, 2017 at 8:43 PM #

      I’m so glad, Christy. I hope that whatever hard you’re dealing with, that you get hope and relief soon!

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