Head + Heart - My Messy Beautiful

A True Heart Moment
This essay was featured on Momastery.com as part of the "Messy Beautiful Summer" Series

Husband scooped up Little Man and we made a hurried exit from the park, a wave of shrieks trailing behind us, polluting the air like a dirty exhaust pipe on an eighteen-wheeler.

Big Sister and I sprinted ahead, pretending we were not attached to these two strangers who were disturbing the peace, garnering glares and stares alike.

These are the moments, the daily events, that cause a non-attention-seeking introvert like myself to shrivel up like a Shrinky Dink in a hot oven.

Before I had kids, I did anything to avoid making a scene or drawing attention to myself.  Now, with kids, my days usually contain at least one giant explosion, usually occurring under the microscope of the public eye.

My Heart knows that this is just a phase, and this, too, shall pass.

My Heart knows that someday I will ache for that little face with big, crocodile tears running rivers down his cheeks.

My Heart knows that sooner, rather than later, I will be older, and he will be gone, and I will visit that same park and feel my heart crack open at his palpable absence.

My Heart will wish him back to age three-and-a-half.

But my Head will counter-argue, reminding me of those turbulent days that passed in slow motion, just trying to survive from one tantrum to the next.

My Head will erase any temptation of approaching those young mothers at the park with a smile and an “enjoy this time, it goes by so fast!”

My Head will know that is not what they need to hear, as they wipe runny noses, doctor skinned knees, and enforce time-outs.

As I’m entrenched in these days now, my Heart knows not to wish my children’s lives away, but my Head can’t help but cry out for an easier path ahead.  A light at the end of the tunnel, where it all won’t be so terribly difficult.

The Head and the Heart are at constant battle, tipping the scale precariously from side to side throughout the day, like a tugboat tossed about in a storm at sea.

Some moments I am overcome by the blessing of it all, these children and their wonderfulness.

And then there are the moments when I am buried ten feet deep in the desperation, exasperation, and frustration from trying my best and yet often feeling like a parenting failure.

That weariness holds me in a Vulcan death grip until I can flee the scene and lock myself in the bathroom to practice deep breathing, scarf a cookie, or play a round of Candy Crush on my phone.

Boiling point is brought down to simmer.  Sea waters are calmed.

And by the end of the night, after the scene at the park is long forgotten, we come back to each other, Little Man and I.

We crawl into his bed, turn off the lights, and I snuggle his plump, warm body, as we find each other’s eyes in the soft glow of the night light.

I savor his little boy scent – traces of peanut butter and soap – and I brush the fringy bangs off his forehead, which not long ago was encircled in curls.

He puts both of his chubby little hands on my cheeks, pulls my face close and whispers, “Mama, I wuve you,” as if revealing the Secret of the Ages.

Warm currents of honey-coated electricity flow through my veins, soothing all the wounds of the day.

"I love you, too."

My soul inflates, a hot air balloon about to take flight, and I know I can do this all over again tomorrow.

Tonight, and most every night, The Heart wins.

And thank God for that.

Written for Momastery's Messy, Beautiful Warriors Project, in support of the paperback release of Glennon Melton's "Carry On, Warrior", one of my favorite books of the year. Glennon inspires me, keeps me sane, and makes me laugh.  I treasure her unique, authentic, and hilarious take on motherhood and life. Thank you, Glennon, for paving the way for Messy, Beautiful Warriors like myself.


  1. Love that 2 of my favorite bloggers are now linked! xoxo

    1. Me too, thank you for leaving me some comment love!!! xxoo

  2. Such a great reminder. A wise person once told me (I have five boys, ages 7, 4, 3 and just-turned-2 twins) that the years are fast, but the days are slow. I think it is with the heart that we focus on the moment, here and now. It's the head that gets us in trouble when we start thinking about tomorrow or yesterday.

    Thank you for your post!

    1. Yes, yes! Focus on today only, and the rest will take care of itself. Thanks for reading!

  3. Mine are 13 (ok 14 on friday) and 16 1/2.....this is beautiful and true, and I am not going to muck it up by saying another word.....xoxox

    1. I know I will blink, and mine will be teenagers, too! Thanks for the kind words :)

  4. Thank you for sharing your brutiful brave--you're inspiring!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

  5. Everything you say about Glennon is true about you. You are inspiring.

    1. Wow, thank you. The same can be said for you, lady. So glad the world has blogs so we can inspire each other from 1,000 miles away!

  6. That is amazing! Her writing and TEDx talk has helped me a lot as an addict.
    But you – you are amazing all in your own right, one of my favorite bloggers. What I love about this post is how you turn the mommy advice on its head. What people go through is hard, and telling us we should enjoy every second (whether we're parents or not) is counterproductive. Love this.


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