I saw a video that jolted me out of my funk today. It was by Gary Vaynerchuk (language if you have kids) and it was about the idea of stop being a scholar and actually doing life. It inspired me. Made me think about the pressures put on us as moms. So with that, thank you Gary for inspiring me and for inspiring these words about motherhood ~Rachel
You didn’t sign up to be a perfect mom. You didn’t sign up to know all the answers or know when to do all of things between a and b. You signed up to mother. Without an operating manual designed for your life and for your kids. Without knowing the rules and the realities and what it really felt like to not sleep for weeks or to fight for a sick child or to ration food or to deal with working and relationships and the dynamics of a motherhood journey in a very socially shared world.
We could spend our days and months and minutes and years comparing our todays with someone else’s yesterdays and instead of seeing the joys we’ll see comparisons of two lives lived that don’t deserve to be compared. Comparison and worry leads to fear which leads to pressures which leads to a whole lot of joy lost in life.
Why are we so afraid of falling down and failing?
When did the pressure to become perfect and have the answers for a life happen?
Especially if we haven’t even experienced the life journey until now? You don’t know how to parent a newborn until you have a newborn. Or a fifth grader until then. And so forth. And yet, sometimes the grace that we extend to everyone else falls so short on our assessment of ourselves.
Our kids need us to mother.
And more often than not that’s in a messy imperfect world.
Sometimes I think they need us to stop wondering if we’re being good moms and instead just be their mom. A mom who knows she’s enough when she’s not perfect. A mom who loves her kids.
You can read about all you could should could have should have been doing. You can spend your time worrying that you’re messing up. You can research trends and choices and weigh this or that or this times that or it all. You can live in fear. You can spend the days hoping you’re better or wishing that you didn’t mess up.
You know what?
Yeah, I’ll say it. Mess up.
Don’t fear it. Don’t worry. When we allow ourselves to just mother we give ourselves that grace to not know what to do at 3am when the 7month old is screaming. We can be frustrated that we have to work when we dreamed that we would stay at home. We can be without fear of judgment of others because we know that even in the times when we fall flat on our faces that we are doing it for our kids.
We’re doing our best.
Nobody said that motherhood was easy and yet somehow we so easily slip into letting the hard times grade ourselves as moms. When we breathe and set down the expectations we can somehow learn to love our lives again. Even in the messes. And we learn. We learn how to change that diaper or what not to say when the four year old is having a tantrum. We learn about patience and showing up and having friends. We learn how to mother. Being afraid of the mess ups and the failures is crippling to the soul. Freedom to make mistakes and try again is what makes us real.
Do not be afraid of messing up. Messing up is often where life happens. Life isn’t about being perfect all the time. Life is about living life – laughing, trying, skipping, giving, loving, crying – and experiencing life. We all have moments where we feel like we’re in over our heads and we wonder what in the world am I doing and yet you and I we still do it.
See that picture?
You know what?
This doesn’t mean that you don’t have bad days. It doesn’t mean that it will be glitter and sunshine and rainbows and roses from this day forward.
I’ve had bad days. I’ve had a bad week. In fact, I’ve had a bad month. Bad days don’t make me a horrible mom. It’s part of life. But despite that I believe it deep within me that I make a difference in this world.
And so do you.
So my job, my spot in this life, is to inspire you and to encourage you enough so that when you turn off your computer or shut this page or your phone you stand up and do the stuff we talk about. That you are the friend who is willing to look at everyone else stuck in this crazy world of expectations and to say enough. To know that it’s okay to have Goldfish or to use plastic cups or to have ice-cream for dinner or to not know what in the world you’re doing and to love your friends for where they are knowing that they, too, are just mothering.
So let it go. Just for a bit. Be the best you you can be.
Mother, try again, mess up.
Stand up again.
That’s what I want you to do.
I don’t want you to be afraid of messing up.
I don’t want you to be afraid of your kids not turning out perfectly.
I don’t want you to be afraid of what others think.
I just want you to live life. To mother.
To love those kids.
Yes, just love them.
Because at the end of our days we are not going to sit around with tally sheets listing every way we messed up — we are not going to compare and talk about the mess up moments — we are going to talk about the life that we lived.
We are going to talk about our lives. Our imperfect, hard, trying again, laughing, taking pictures of the rainbows, crying tears together not quitting lives.
The life that you live, the life right now.
You are doing a good job.
Wait. You are doing a great job.
Just mother, my friend.