Several years ago my best friend Maria and I attended one of those paint and sip classes.
The room was filled with people all painting the same image, following the same steps, and yet, when it was done all of our paintings looked different. Some of us spent more time on the trees, others on the moon, some had darker shades of colors and others had more purples. All of us made mistakes too. I remember mine and how I tried to fix it but I still knew there were spaces were I messed up.
My friend Maria couldn’t see the mistakes, you know.
And when we were done the whole class stood together sharing their paintings and not one single painting looked the same. They were all uniquely beautiful, but not one alike.
That’s the art of motherhood, my dear friends.
All of us start our journeys with this intent to be good moms, to raise our kids well, to live a life of joy. And just like the painting class none of our stories look the same. Some of us have times of mistakes or hardships. Sometimes it is easy and the story seems to just flow. Sometimes we can feel stuck in a season or a part of the story. And all of our stories are, just like the paintings, uniquely beautiful.
You see art is messy.
It rarely looks like the end product. There are times where we doubt, where we have to spend extra time, where we wonder if it will ever turn out to be anything beautiful, where we wish we could start over but we’re stuck, where we just keep trying, where we have times where it is easy. That is our motherhood stories.
Listen sweet sister, just because our stories, our motherhood paintings, don’t look the same means one is better than the other. They are both wonderful, both beautiful, both worthy.
You are enough in your story. You are enough when you fight for your heart. You are enough when you try again and again. You are enough when life is messy. You are enough when life is good.
You are brave.
That’s the other part, the last part. So often bravery seems to be reserved for the big moments in life, but bravery also happens in the in-between spaces. In the days when you just don’t know what to do next and you will yourself down the stairs and you make breakfast. In the times when you walk into a doctor’s office and demand answers. In the moments when you walk and walk and walk with a colicky baby. In the every day showing up to a life that is imperfectly perfect.
You see my friends, no where does it say motherhood is perfect.
But all of our messy, imperfect, trying, showing up motherhood stories are unique masterpieces.
Because they all matter.
So stand with your friends and don’t compare and don’t grade – but rather – love the collective story.
My book The Brave Art of Motherhood is now available. It is my heart for all of us – to fight fear, gain confidence and to find ourselves within the story of motherhood. It’s about celebrating the art and joining with others. And no longer letting excuses win.