Mud. Thick, sloppy, gooey mud. For much of the last two months since LM’s birth, it feels like I’ve been existing in mud.

It’s not that I can’t cook, clean, take care of my kiddos, play, do laundry, exercise or work. It’s just that It. All. Feels. So. Hard.

AE & LM’s coordinating outfits are from the awesome Etsy Shop PeriwinkleJazz

I have had no trouble falling head over heels for Little Man. I delight in him and his amazing older sister. Loving them is so easy (just look at them!). Cherishing them is effortless. Changing diapers, giving baths, walking to the playground – that stuff is hard. Why can’t we just snuggle in bed, staring lovingly into each others eyes all day?

I hesitate to label how I’ve been feeling. I don’t want to minimize anyone else’s struggle. And, I am doing the things of life – showering, cooking dinner, homeschooling preschool for AE, exercising, leaving the bed.

We have even ventured out to a handful of fall festivals. Again, it’s just not easy.

A few weeks ago, I had a meltdown. I sobbed as I felt the weight of “hard” on my soul. “Shouldn’t this be easier? So and so seems to do it with grace and ease.”

Later that day, I was playing Ants in the Pants with AE. She was struggling to get her ants to pop up. As her frustration mounted, I gently, lovingly reminded her “We don’t have to be afraid of hard things, honey. Let’s keep working on it. Hard is not bad.

I choked on that last sentence. It’s a philosophy I try to instill in AE. Early childhood educator Magda Gerber said, “If you can learn to struggle, you can learn to live.” I’ve long believed that the first step in learning to struggle is to accept the truth that hard is not bad.

So, I’ve been leaning into the difficult. I’ve stopped thinking things should be easier. I’ve meditated on the truth that the harder something is, the more it requires my softness.

And paradoxically, things have gotten easier.

I’m sharing this post with the Parent ‘Hood–come on over and join the community!

This article has 12 comments

  1. Katie Reply

    Oh Jenn. I needed to hear this today. I’m not sure I *wanted* to hear it. I *want* to hear that there’s some magical formula for just making everything easy. I’m so very afraid of all of the hard things right now. But fear makes you stiff, and as you say, the hard things require our softness. Thank you.

    And good to see you again, and more pictures of all those pretty faces. ^_^

    • Jennifer Hoffman Reply

      Oh, Katie. Thank you! You’ve been on my mind and heart. I’m praying for you, and I know that you are going to be the most amazing mama to T Rex!

  2. Tiffany Reply

    So true! I needed this reminder this morning as things have been “hard” (wonderful, but hard) since my little one arrived nine months ago. God is working, though, and I’m learning to trust Him more every day.

    • Jennifer Hoffman Reply

      Tiffany, if you described juggling that sweet baby girl of yours, work and school as easy, I would be worried about you! Thank you for reminding me that not only is hard not bad, sometimes it is even good! It sure is in the hard that I’m most reliant on Papa!

  3. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy Reply

    “The harder something is, the more it requires my softness.”

    Um, ouch. That is SO TRUE, but SO HARD to put into practice in my own life!

    I mostly wanted to say that these pics are adorable! You and that sweet baby boy in the Moby is my favorite.

  4. Shannon @ GrowingSlower Reply

    As always Jennifer you speak with so much wisdom! This is a lesson I am just starting to learn. I think the seed was planted after experiencing natural birth. That was hard work, but good work that was accomplishing something great.

    I do hope things get easier for you soon. I remember those first few months with my little one were tough as much as I was madly in love with him. I am sure it’s even harder with two, but you are doing so much good everyday! Hang in there!

  5. Sarah B Reply

    Beautiful post! It really is important to remember that Hard is not bad…and in a few months, it really won’t feel that hard anymore! Newest follower!

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