Then I need you to breathe. Yes, breathe. Set down all the worries and fears and good mom stuff…
And then read this.
You see, I wanted to be perfect at motherhood before I began, I think.
I wanted to know how to deal with a colicky newborn and was frustrated that I couldn’t fix it. I hate, and I mean, hate the learning curve that WE ALL HAVE TO DO but I thought I should have just known.
I think we all might just enter motherhood expecting to have downloaded into our psyche the mom manual of wisdom and forget that we actually have to go through stuff to learn how to mother. Yeah, read on, for real, because chances are, this just might be you too.
Oh yeah, we can observe and watch, but until one becomes a mom and deals with the nuances of trying to figure out how to function on two hours of sleep and attend a meeting and get to ballet class and get dinner on the table, well, no book will teach that.
That’s life learning.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care for the challenging parts – the negotiating in Target’s check out line, the meltdowns at the front door because we can’t find the right jacket, the late homework, the never knowing what to make for dinner, the bedtime routine that’s not a routine but is just called a routine so I feel better about my mothering ability. I just kind of wanted to have it right before I started.
It’s kind of like my third grader with multiplication facts. I think he thinks he has to know them without actually having to figure out what 7×7 actually is.
Eli, I’ll tell him, you have to work to figure it out. You can’t expect to just know it.
And yet, in motherhood?
I forget that I’m a work in progress.
You are too.
A work in progress.
I’ve been notoriously hard on myself as a mom and forget to give myself grace where I’d have tons of it for others. Like get this – an email home about my fifth grader and his late assignments often results in me thinking that I’m a bad mom because I’m the mom whose kid has late work. See what I mean? I make it about me, not the fact I’m mothering and that he is human.
I know it’s hard to remember that one is a work in progress. I know we don’t want to be the mom who doesn’t have it all together. But, friend, listen – what if none of us have it together and we – you and me and the mom in the school line and in Starbucks and on Facebook – what if we remember how we’re all works in progress?
Isn’t there a whole bunch of grace there?
It’s almost like a sigh of freedom, I guess.
I want to do my best. I want to love my kids. I want you to do that too. And I want you to replace all those negative thoughts about when you were too hard on yourself thinking that you should have all the answers with words about your strength and how you can do it.
You are a work in progress.
And oftentimes – that is the most beautiful thing.
Remember that today.
And tell your friends.
Because then all of us are just a little bit less alone.