I have stumbled a bunch in all the years I’ve been a mom. Like today.
Like yesterday too.
Like the years and months before.
My one son is struggling at school with reading. And I cannot seem to figure out how to help him. Well, I’m hiring a tutor, but that is causing me to feel inadequate as well because instead of me seeing that I’m helping him I just slap more guilt on me the mom with the kids who cannot read. Every email that the teacher sends to me seems like a big fat gigantic red mom F in some ways. And then the tears fall. Oh the tears, my friends, the tears.
Tears because I want to be a good mom, but holy moly, motherhood is so ridiculously hard sometimes.
You’d think after twenty years of it I could be the Solomon of moms with the thickest of skins and unbelievable tricks and tips. I would be the one that had it together in the school pick up line versus being the last mom in the line. It’s just exhausting to feel like one gives and gives and gives and still falls short.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s just me stumbling so much.
I’ll look at all the other moms and dads waiting in the pick up line and school and I’ll start to wonder about their stories too. I’ll wonder about their lives as I see them sip their coffee or glance at their phone or try to hold back a yawn. I’ll wonder if they had to struggle to get their kids in the car. I’ll wonder if they didn’t know what to pack for lunch. I’ll wonder if one of theirs struggles with reading. I’ll wonder about life.
And in that wondering, I realized I’m not alone in the stumbling thing.
I don’t want you to think you are alone either if you happen to fall.
Feeling like you don’t measure up or feeling like you’re failing – it’s so tiring. Sometimes we just need that proof that we’re doing a good job even though it seems like we’re stumbling through this motherhood journey.
But, listen, listen, listen.
I cannot type this without tears falling from my own eyes.
Maybe because I need to hear it too.
You are doing a good job.
No one said motherhood was going to be sunshine, roses and glitter all the time. So much of motherhood is a gigantic mess and much work. It’s in late nights and dealing with kids who fight over the most ridiculous things. It’s in folding laundry over and over and over again. And washing dishes and wiping hands. It’s in drilling math facts and thinking they have them down only to get a note from the teacher that they don’t. It’s in having someone cheer you on when you feel like you want to put your head down an quit.
It’s a whole tremendous crazy amount of giving.
And when you give, you do not fail.
It’s a lie of the world and of our minds to equate stumbling in mothering with failing.
Because, chances are, sweet mom, you are like me.
Loving, giving, caring – even in the exhausted and not having all the answers.
Motherhood isn’t about perfection. It isn’t about perfect A’s. It isn’t about little robot humans that never disobey. It is, instead, the most messy crazy beautiful lovely tiring adventure that WE get to live.
So now, now, I want you to breathe. I want you to inhale and exhale.
And know that the broken me, here in my new home in Nashville, is linking arms with you.
Because we are not failing in our stumbles
We are mothering.