Hard Is Not Bad

The other week I got together with a new momma. In a vulnerable moment she confessed "I don't know why this is so hard for me and easier for everyone else?" Hearing her say it out loud helped me recognized a lie. This is the lie that is so easy for us to believe. Actually, it is more than just one lie, it is a whole narrative. It is the story we are telling ourselves and the fibers we are weaving together to form our understanding of motherhood. 

Well I want to change the narrative. I am rejecting the lie and telling a different story. Let's confront the two biggest misconceptions about motherhood together:

1. It is easy for everyone else... 

Nope. It isn't true. It just isn't. MOTHERHOOD IS HARD. In that moment I got to tell my new friend that she is not alone. That it is so hard for me too. I am on my third child and it has been hard with each one. Not only that, every momma that I have ever talked to tells me it's hard. I can't always articulate what exactly is hard about being a mom but if you are a mother you know the weight. Every other mother is carrying that same burden and it's okay to say out loud that you struggle under the weight of it.

2. Hard is bad...

This is where I really want to rewrite our thinking. Somehow I think we have gotten the message that effortless or easy is good while struggle or hard is bad. Even more, that it shouldn't be hard. That hard is wrong. That if it's hard there is a problem. That hard is less-than. That hard means you are lacking. I am not going to accept that equation. I think it is hard because we have given ourselves to a worthy pursuit. Like climbing a mountain, or running a marathon, or any other worthy pursuit, of course it is hard! And that's not bad. 

So here is where it lands for me. I think motherhood is a struggle and I am going to rise to the occasion. I think it is a challenge and I accept. Not only that, I refuse to hide my struggle. And I refuse to look on it with fear or shame. Instead I am proud. The joy, beauty, and wonder of it all is not diminished one bit because it is hard. I think the struggle is part of the beauty. The part that is hard is also the part that is mixed with the joy. The part that pushes me over the edge is also the part that makes me compassionate and strong.

For me this isn't effortless. It takes ALL OF MY EFFORT. And I am glad to give it. 

If you don't know me, I am the one with the tired smiling eyes, the wet hair under my felt hat, a soft mid-section, and surrounded by my three babes - proud of it all.

-Jenna Jones

                                                                                                                              

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
— Mother Teresa

I am a momprenuer living in Billings, Montana. My three little ones are Judah (5 years), Mia (4 years), and Aurora (6 months). I tell them daily that they are God's gift to me! My parenting style would be best described as messy and happy. The baby years were hard for me y'all! As soon as they are big enough to adventure, create, and wipe their own butts I hit my sweet spot. When they are little I give them lots of kisses while chug down coffee and promise them we will be great friends in a couple of years. 

I run my own website and marketing business from home (www.jennajonesdesign.com). While websites are my forte, I am full of business and marketing hacks to help small businesses and non-profits get off the ground. I come from a crazy (the good kind of crazy) Italian family. They are passionate, creative, love to work hard, and love to play hard. I would like to take credit, but a good part of my work ethic, business intuition, and creative mojo came built in. I have this entrepreneurial compulsion that won't sit still. My husband, Josh, and I both own our own businesses, have helped plant churches, launch ministries, remodel houses, and rent properties. It is really is a lifestyle!

I grew up dreaming of being a missionary to a naked tribe - Swiss Family Robinson style (maybe for our retirement!). We've served many years on staff at local churches and now we have our own non-profit, Billings United, and we lead quarterly city-wide Worship Night. We get to see over 20 churches come together with one voice to sing out praises to our God! Our vision is to awaken hearts through worship, to gather and unify the church, and to contend to our city.

 

Jenna's Mom Look:

1. A great felt hat. Seriously, who has time to do their hair every day? I wear my hat almost every single day - Indiana Jones style.

2. Patterns. Patterns do an amazing job of camouflaging those lumps, rolls, and bulges!

3. Polyester. Makes it easy to wipe off food, poop, pee, milk, and spit-up. Also, it doesn't stain!

4. High-Waistline. I don't even try anything that is going to hug my mid-section. I mostly stick with dresses, long tanks with leggings, or high-waisted skirts.

5. Don't Stress Sizes. Just buy what looks good on you. No prizes for fitting into a small (or medium!).