dear not so perfect but very real mom


You are not alone.

If we got together and peeked at each other’s lives you might discover that my life too is of that not so perfect caliber as well. Sure, I love pinterest and pin a bunch of things, like, ahem, maybe close to one thousand, but the things that I really do? Honestly? I can’t think of more than five. They’re interesting, inspiring, and creative, but most days I find myself working to keep things on track that I don’t have time to do those extras. Yeah, I share pictures on facebook, but most often they’re of the fabulous and cute and fun moments and not those moments where I’m fretting over the family room floor where the bag of chips was just spilled and crushed.

In fact, right now, I’m almost caught up on laundry. Almost, and I say it with a laugh because for the entire weekend I worked on getting caught up because I was so behind. I’m sure there is a pin or an article or an awesome system on laundry. Actually, I know of a site for just laundry written by a friend of mine. Did she write it because she’s perfect and has the system down? No. She wrote it because she, too, needed to develop a plan and a target for that pesky thing called laundry.

 

 

Right now, I have dishes in my sink waiting to be washed. And it’s morning, and in my ideal morning I would have had them done before I went to bed, but last night I chose to watch Chopped Masters with my daughters versus spend the time in my kitchen. That? A wise choice, a choice that values them more than those dishes. Which, will get done in the next hour anyways. Yet, it’s easy to look in the kitchen in these very wee hours of the morning and to think that I don’t have it all together and miss that in that instant I chose to do the real important.

But this perfect mom thing? This superhero mom? The mom that never loses her cool?

Well, she just doesn’t exist. Ever.

As I’ve been working on writing my book I came to this realization about motherhood nowadays and how the phrase surviving motherhood has become one that you and I hear. What’s interesting is that one thousand years ago we needed to simply survive, and now we need to survive and we’re also surviving motherhood.

Why the extra? It’s from the extras. The extra time, the media, the pressures of a culture where time can be emphasized on things beyond simply putting food on our table. Which, no matter what, is still very challenging for many and so now there is not only the real need to survive but also this unspoken of pressure of surviving and measuring up. But now, you and I, and the moms at preschool or in the line at Starbucks waiting to try the hazelnut macchiato and the moms at home with the newborns and the moms in the office working away and the moms driving and all of us moms together live in a time where we are being told you must be perfect and happy and creative and do every single thing you had to do in the past and now you must raise perfect kids and you the mother must not make a mistake. Ever.

And instead of thriving often it feels like surviving.

 

 

What about the difference that you’re making in the world?

Which you are, right now. I know that sometimes it doesn’t feel like such a difference when you rinse those dishes and put them in the dishwasher and sweep the floor {again} and tie some shoes, fold some socks, teach math facts, say the prayers together, shovel the driveway, vacuum the chips up, and drive to soccer. But, it’s a difference. Those kids, who call you mother, watch you and know that you’ll be there for them. That matters. They know that when they wake up and cry mom that you’ll come. Will you always be chipper? No. If you’re like me some mornings you’ll simply say it’s not morning go back to bed so you can get just five more minutes of sleep. But you’ll get up, and you’ll help them get dressed, and help them get to doing what they need to do. That is what matters.

Don’t let the perfect mom ideal discourage.

Remember those pins? If finishing those pinterest pins defined the mom that had it together than I wouldn’t be sleeping. All of this excess information, as I wrote in overloaded world, is just there as information that you and I can choose to do. Or not to do. It’s not a requirement for motherhood success. ย Instead I want you to embrace all you do accomplish each day. Start looking at your day and celebrating you, your family, and motherhood. Don’t tell me it’s just anything, because you know how I feel about adding just in front of anything. Don’t qualify motherhood – embrace motherhood. If you could pin every single thing that you did in one day that made a difference you would have a board full. In one day.

Think about that.

 

 

And you know what? Not liking it, having a hard day, struggling, wondering if you matter, and if you’re making a difference are normal days. But so are the good days. Which you have – you just need to start recording them and remembering them. If you have a good day mark it down, write a friend, but remember. Start to look at your life with the lens that celebrates the good, the powerful, and the simple beautiful things as well.

You and I can be a generation of women that celebrates the power in motherhood. We can encourage each other to rise up, to begin again, and to finish well. We can push the myth of the perfect mom to the curb and instead embrace the real mom with all of her flaws but the tenacity and spirit of a fighter. Instead of spending time watching, judging, and comparing – we can be a culture that extends a hand, listens, encourages, and supports. You know why? Because our children watch. And our children are going to do life, and do this parenting thing together.

So dear not so perfect but very real mom, you and I are in this together.

It’s not a competition. It’s a journey, a life that we’re doing. This motherhood portion? It’s part of our story – it’s that part that makes us stronger, pushes us to our limits, sharpens our spirit, and unearths the hero in us that is so often forgotten. And it’s for doing something absolutely amazing – it’s for being the mom, the not so perfect mom, who loves her kids and knows she makes mistakes, but still keeps on going.

 

The not so perfect but very real mom inspires.

You inspire.

Do motherhood today. With your head held high, brushing off the mistakes, vacuuming the floor, loving on your kids, and celebrating the victories.

From me. The mom, who is now standing up to go finish those dishes before the kids get up, to you.

~Rachel

 

21 Responses to “dear not so perfect but very real mom”

  1. April 15, 2013

    Angel Reply

    I love you. That’s all I can say. Your words touch me each and every day. Thank you for helping me see the good in my life, and for helping me realize I am not alone in this journey of motherhood.

  2. April 15, 2013

    Reagan Reply

    Thank you, I woke up with a guilty pit in my stomach today. I needed to read this!

  3. April 15, 2013

    Reagan Reply

    Thank you, I woke up with a guilty pit in my stomach today. I needed to read this!

  4. April 15, 2013

    mamalotsoftots Reply

    I agree with the previous commenter. You encourage me with your reminders of what is real and realizing we just can’t do it all, be happy and even tempered all of the time.
    Thank you so much!
    ~Sarah

  5. April 15, 2013

    Jeppesen Family Reply

    Thank you!! You are very real and inspiring. Thanks for buoying me up:)

  6. April 15, 2013

    Kristin K Reply

    Thank you for always reminding and sharing with us the “real.”

  7. April 16, 2013

    Melissa Armstrong Reply

    I wish there was a love button. 1000 loves.

  8. April 16, 2013

    softpearl Reply

    You nailed it…again! I love your blog entries. Always encouraging and inspiring! Thank you!

  9. April 16, 2013

    Nicole Reply

    This is great. I was just talking to my husband the other day about how social media causes a lot of “mom guilt” and jealousy because we all think someone is doing it “better”. But really, we are all the same (or close to it) and in the end, our families need our love the most… not our creative Pinterest finds, perfect recipes, or spotless house.

    Nicole

  10. April 16, 2013

    lmworley416 Reply

    Pour out your heart to the Lord! He hears! Praying!
    Psalms 42:1-5 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
    My email address

  11. April 16, 2013

    happymumma Reply

    Rachel, your posts inspire me, without fail. I had to mention this post in my blog.
    I’m probably not alone in this, but when I thought about becoming a mother I had this picture in my head that was beautiful and involved me being on top of everything and having plenty of time to play with my babies and meet with other mums and have dinner on the table by the time my husband got home from work.
    As much as people can warn you that things don’t always (often don’t) work out like that it came as a shock to me that I would have to be happy to just ‘survive’ and not to have that thriving picture in my head become a reality.
    I’ve struggled with that a lot, but I’m learning everyday that this messy, struggling, hanging-by-a-thread reality is beautiful too. Because it really IS beautiful. It’s evidenced in smiles, and giggles and cuddles and just the love that makes all the stress matter less.
    Thanks again for a great post Rachel.
    Tracey

  12. April 16, 2013

    Alicia Reply

    I need a link to your friend’s laundry site please! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. April 16, 2013

    Alicia Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. April 16, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    That’s so beautiful. Thank you for your inapirational and encouraging words!!! Yes, we not-so-perfect moms are heroes in our childrens’ eyes. We are. Because we’re their mothers.

  15. April 18, 2013

    Dana Brown Reply

    came across your blog today, on a day when I feel like NOTHING I do is right…thanks for the reminder that not everything has to be perfect to work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. April 18, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    As a Foster carer I also have the Dept overseeing my parenting and that could easily make me feel worthless if I allowed it. I measure my success by the health and happiness of my kids,not by amount of housework I get done each day.

    I am kind to myself and find by taking that to fill up that loving cup I have so much more to give to the kids in my care.

    Great blog, thanks for taking time to help and encourage others.

  17. April 18, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you ! How refreshing to read your article. It’s not a competition indeed and we will get it wrong at times and we have to support and inspire each other and our kids will learn from it. Yeay!(sigh of relief)x

  18. This was so beautiful and just the thing I needed to read today, this morning, before I go tackle my own pile of dishes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you.

  19. May 7, 2013

    isabel Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been feeling so bogged down with this “mothering” phase of my life that often times, I feel as though I am failing… I appreciate your honesty! I guess I should do the dishes?? hehehe.

  20. May 8, 2013

    Beth King Reply

    Time to go do my dishes ๐Ÿ˜‰ for once they are today’s!

  21. August 22, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Your blog posts are amazing. Lots of mommy blogs out there but yours is just so raw and touching…hitting exactly where I am as a mother and really making me think about my role and how much I matter in my kids’ life! Thank you & keep up the good posts!!

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