I wasn't quite sure how to take the comment as there was no follow up conversation after that, I believe more than anything it was an honest observation. But it got me to thinking, "She doesn't seem stubborn on my blog but...isn't it understood that my kids are ages four and two and, at the end of the day, normal kids with 'asshole tendencies'?" (Yes, I'm sorry to swear but toddlers definitely can have asshole tendencies and if yours do not, well...congratulations). After some thought I came to the conclusion that maybe based on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, our pretty pictures and sweet updates of our goings-ons, people really did think our life and kids are perfect and, well, I am here to tell you loud and clear: OUR LIFE AND KIDS ARE NOT PERFECT.
Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for our life and I love our kids more than I can possibly articulate, but should you ever meet them, you must remember that what I share in photos and blogs are snippets of time, and - yes - mostly happy times (of which there are many!) but do not expect them to be adorable little robot children who will run when you call and hug when you bend down to greet them. I mean, sometimes they do that, and sometimes they are absolute angels...but sometimes Haven will look you straight in the eye when you give her a friendly "Hello!" and say, "I. Don't. Like. You" with clipped, perfect articulation just to drive the point home. Sometimes Mira will stick her tongue out you as you wave to her and Isla might just have a little "diva" moment if you ask for a high-five. Believe me, we are working on squishing these bad habits (behavior charts for the win!) but in the meantime, understand that our girls are not always happy, smiling, perfect creatures doing adorable things in beautiful locations. PLEASE do not be fooled into thinking that our girls are any different than other kids simply because we live on a boat in the islands. For example, I have Googled the following over the last few weeks: "Am I screwing up my kids?" "Are my kids jerks?" "How to deal with a "spirited" child?" (Good LORD how do you deal with a spirited child!?!) "Do I yell too much?" and "Tactics of the Super Nanny" No real conclusions have been reached based on these rather futile searches, but what I did discover during these forays into the interwebs was a bunch of other moms on the same page as I; confused, a little lost and worrying that we might be dropping the ball.
But we are not dropping the ball, and I know that. We're doing a lot of stuff right and we're doing some stuff wrong. It's inevitable. This is parenting and nobody, NOBODY gets it right all the time. I have my mommy strengths; an extremely affectionate nature, very patient (to a point), and an instinctual aversion to helicoptering (to name a few)...and I have my parental weaknesses: a temper, a need to 'control', and an almost OCD-like need for order (kind of hard with three tots!). These traits (along with many more from both Scott and me) will play out in our children's lives in one way or another. Some will have positive consequences, some will have negative consequences some will just be. Our parents screwed things up, their parents screwed things up before them and our great-grandparents before that... the cycle goes back to the beginning of time. But with every generation, we learn, we tweak, we change tacks and do our best. We do our best. We have all turned out okay (well, most of us anyway) and our kids (most likely) will follow suit and do the same. They will not be perfect, but they will be okay.
Social media in a lot of ways is a wonderful thing; it's brought me a tremendous amount of satisfaction, joy, friendship and community to my life. But there is a yin to the yang and I think the one-sided nature of it is part of that. We share the prettiest pics, the happiest times and everyone's life looks pretty damn awesome. But the truth is, no one knows what is really going on behind the curtain and things are not always what they seem. We have our struggles just like anyone else. They might not be the same struggles you have, but there are bumps in the road none the less. Our marriage is far from perfect (have your read about the divorce rate for parents of twins? YIKES!), Scott has very little work/life balance, we run a business that is constantly eating away at family time (there's no such thing as time "off" when you own a biz), we live a very public life that can be open to scrutiny (both outspoken and covert) and we have three children ages four and under. Two of them are two year old twins. (It. Is. Intense). It's not easy and it is a lot of work. But along with all that are all the positives. We own our own business. We live on a gorgeous tropical island. We just bought a beautiful new boat. We have three healthy children who are the loves of our lives. We have wonderful friends. We have a loving family. We meet interesting people every single day. Our girls have a wonderful, adoring community around them. We spend 90% of our awake time outside, in nature. We have so, so, so much....We are very lucky. When I am sharing our happy moments, I am just that: Happy. I am grateful and it's my nature to see the positive in things in life rather than dwell on the negative. But there is negative, make no mistake. Just because you don't see it, does not mean it's absent.
So when you scroll through our blog and our Instagram account, or when you toggle through my Facebook posts, please remember: we might not be in the exact same boat, but in one way shape or form, we are all in the same boat, somehow, someway, it all evens out in the wash. Where you might thrive, I might struggle. Where I struggle you might thrive. And it might not be so obvious based on the tiny percentage of our life that I share. So if and when you meet our (adorable, spirited, slightly feral, strong-willed, beautiful, wild and precocious) little girls and they are less than charming to you, my sincerest apologies. And if you meet them and they are the wonderful little creatures I prefer to highlight and chronicle every day, know you caught us on a good day.