This is Spots. He arrived for Christmas. He was a special last minute request from my 5 year old girl Blake. She told Santa she wanted, "A giraffe two people must carry." Unfortunately, that day mom wasn't listening all that well. Two days before Christmas she told her Grandpa want she really wanted for Christmas was this Giraffe so big that two people must carry it. Grandpa made a few calls, used his special connections with Santa, and Spots arrived Christmas morning. I don't have a big house and he takes up too much room, and I think we have celebrated about 10 birthdays already for him and it's only March. But my girls love him. He is groomed, carried around (with two people-of course) and has become a fixture in our home.
I have come to the startling conclusion that parenting sucks. (sorry mom! -She hates that word) But it does... It is lonely, hard, completely unrewarding, smelly, exhausting...etc. My 4 month old baby won't stop screaming, my 2 year old who is completely potty trained for over a year just peed all over my kitchen floor, and my 5 year old thinks it is appropriate that all play eventually ends up as saber-tooth tigers and someone is going to die. Yep... sucks.
My husband works a million hours in the winter and I feel like I am barely surviving, eating chicken nuggets way more than is allowed by my pediatrician, constantly wondering if I brushed my teeth that day, and tired of my children telling me how fun it is when dad finally gets a day off.
I want to run away-move to Costa Rica and have my children visit every other day with a supervised nanny. I feel like I am literally trying to carry a giraffe all by myself. He weighs too much but I keep trying to lift with my legs, make something happen. I've been to the gym in my past life... I know how to lift correctly :) I feel like the giraffe occasionally turns to look at me with a face that says, "Seriously... there is no way you can do this. I am way too big for you." I ignore his snide looks and keep pushing, but to no avail. Occasionally he takes a great step on his own and I think I am succeeding and then suddenly, he stops, placing all his weight on me as if I am a tiny giraffe chair. Of course, to my left and right mothers with more children and more on their plate seem to be miraculously carrying their giraffes with one finger on the way to the gym, drinking a green smoothie that they pinned on Pinterest. And I am there... alone... pushing this giraffe even though it is impossible for me to carry alone.
But then something wonderful happens... a miracle... Somebody steps in to help. Somebody with yummy green leaf fronds comes to help, bribing my giraffe in the right direction. They lift the front end and I lift the back and we get the giraffe moving!
Last week my mother helped watch my kids when I was nursing a neck injury, and my hubby had the flu. And then he gave it to my children. And my baby stopped nursing... and I was absolutely done. And my mom helped me carry my giraffe. She took me to and from the hospital with my 2 year old flu baby in the car with her, and spent the two hours she waited for me driving all over nowhere so she wouldn't wake her up. Then she collected all my children and kept them the entire day, while I occasionally checked on them from her bed. I couldn't carry my giraffe alone that day and I got helped when I needed it.
This last month has been crazy and Luke and I forgot to celebrate Valentine's Day (I know; it's March). So Monday came and a friend offered to watch my kids for a few hours... all of them...even the screaming baby. After a romantic outing, we went to pick up the kids and she called to say she was keeping them. OVERNIGHT!
I SLEPT TIL 7:45!!! I took a bath! I shaved my legs!!!! Somebody was helping me do the seemingly impossible... She helped me carry my giraffe.
And every time someone swoops into help, like my dad taking my 5 year old to the Lego Movie because everyone else was sick, they remind me that I am not alone. Parenthood may suck; But I have never ever loved anything more. And each time someone helps me, or I get the opportunity to help them, I am reminded that we are not alone.
Not only does it repair my trust in humanity and remind me I am human, it also reminds me that I have a Savior who is always helping me carry my load. I have a strong testimony that Jesus Christ is my literal Savior and He is walking beside me, carrying my load, and most importantly, carrying me.
I AM NOT ALONE. The giraffe is not too heavy; I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father and He LOVES ME. I am a strong independent intelligent woman (who should remember to brush her teeth more often) and I can accomplish great things. I am the wife to my best friend and to an incredible husband and father. I am the mother to three of God's greatest treasures and I wouldn't trade my life right now for any beach in Costa Rica...Ever. I even love my giraffe.