I’m coming up on five years of writing and publically sharing the joys and struggles of this journey called motherhood and life. At first it was mostly stories of my daughters, but then as my first experience of depression in motherhood peaked a year later my writing became more about me and motherhood.Now five years later I’m starting to separate the personal family posts I wrote from the more universal motherhood journey posts I wrote. Though they will go into two different notebooks I want my daughters to have both, the stories of our joy and the stories of our struggle.

I pray when they look back on their childhood they recall the joy and all the love; that their memories are full of our best times as a family, but I want them to know it all. I want them to know I and we struggled. In a world where truth and fiction get blurred and time erases the pain of struggle and heartache when you are living and breathing in those moments you want somebody to get it, you want to know you’re not alone, and even as much you know it’ll pass you still need the reminder. So I share my struggle, I share my pain, I share my doubt, and I share my failures. Because that is real life. It’s not a picture perfect highlight reel on social media or the funny, happy stories Grandma and Grandpa share at their 65th wedding anniversary. There’s a whole lot of hard painful truth in between.

I want them to know the struggle of loving their spouse but not knowing how to get along at times. I want them to know the struggle amidst the chaos of raising kids of losing that connection that once brought the two of them together. I want them to know the struggle of making time for each other again. I want them to know the struggle of stressing about money and wondering how they’re going to make their dreams a reality much less pay all the bills that month. I want them to know the struggle money, stress from work, kids, and keeping up with a house puts on your relationship. I want them to know the struggle of stretching themselves so thin as the last baby falls asleep they finally give into the tears as they allow the darkness of the day’s struggles to consume them for a moment. I want them to know the struggle of feeling like somedays they’re not enough. I want them to know the struggle of fear and the unknown.

Even though I may be next door or a phone call away time will diminish my pain and heartache of any struggles I have or may face, but in those old written posts they will find my struggles in the real raw time of the moment. If I have any gift at all with this writing thing this is where I can hopefully make the most profound connection of all. I want them to know in those moments they’re not alone. I want them to know they are enough; they’re just being too hard on themselves. I want them to know there’s something great waiting on the other side of their struggle. I want them to know the work they’ll put into their marriage, into their kids, into themselves is the greatest work they’ll ever do. I want them to know despite the possible picture perfect stories being told around them they are the writer of their own beautiful, flawed story. I want them to know faith is their greatest ally in their struggle of fear and the unknown.

So in almost five years with hundreds of posts I have maybe shared struggles others wouldn’t, and hopefully I share my joy and successes in the same deep, over abundant way because the struggles and the joys coexist in real life. I want them to know our real life story someday. My oldest I feel recalls too much of the things I do wrong, where my youngest recalls more of the things I do right. But I need them each to know both and to know through the highs and the lows this family was the driving center of everything.