My grandmother once told me she felt trapped inside an old person’s body.
I never understood, really, especially when I was younger. I kind of chuckled at it when I held my newborn baby and laughed at this idea of feeling trapped. I didn’t really get time, I didn’t understand its fluidity, and my sweet grandma, she knew that. Yet she still told me.
Yet every single morning I wake and I look at myself and I’m older. A wrinkle here a new sag there. New medical issues and less energy. And somehow I am starting to understand.
I see it with my kids too. When they were little their little squishy faces would eagerly look for mine and now, now so often they see me and look away. It’s part of life, part of being a teenager, but sometimes it makes me feel like I’ve failed.
I’ve failed because the anti-wrinkle cream with all its promises didn’t hold true.
I’ve failed because the kids I told myself would never be crabby teenagers now think I’m the devil. Not all the time, but enough that it’s hard for me to forget.
I’ve failed because now the doctor sitting across from me is younger than me and here I am talking about problems that I think if I had only ate better/had less stress/did more yoga would not have happened.
That’s how I think I failed.
Never mind the divorce. Or going through bankruptcy. Or all of those things that we hide behind layers of I’m fine and it’s no big deals.
I just worry that my kids would see me fail.
And I don’t want that either.
And then, then I think of my grandma.
She never told me about her fails. She never told me about all the times she stumbled and fell down. She never sat in those moments. Instead, she, in her hindsight, saw life. Saw victories. Saw the good. And wanted more of that vibrancy.
The truth is – I will fail. I have failed. But none of that defines me or motherhood.
You will fail. You have failed. But none of that defines you or motherhood.
I have been there for my kids. Day after day after day after day. I believe in them, I fight for them, I cheer for them. I show up for them. I love them.
I have been there for myself. Day after day after day. I may not have always done everything perfect, but I didn’t give up on myself either.
Is this not you too? I know you’re going to hear in your head all the times where you’ve messed up but I am telling you, begging you, asking you to LET THAT GO. Start to see you the way your kids do. Start to see all you do well. Not perfect, but well. Stop feeling trapped by what was and embrace what is.
Our world sometimes puts so much pressure on perfection that we lose the moment. We lose the real important. We lose what matters.
Being there. Like really there. Like sitting in the car waiting for the kids we love who we thought would always think we were amazing and now can’t stand us but we still show up kind of being there. Like relearning how to divide because there is a new math way being taught kind of being there. Like sitting on the front step waiting for them to show up after work being there. Like buying those school supplies despite the expense and hunting down the no prong plastic folder kind of being there.
I am really proud to be my kids mom.
Like really proud. I want them to know that. I want you to feel that too. And I don’t want your pride to be minimized by all the spaces you think you’ve failed, but rather I just want you to feel empowered and awaken your spirit and your soul to all the good you bring this world.
You are changing lives.
Even though you fail or stumble. You are their rock, their cheerleader, their mom.
You see, my sweet grandma, after she told me she felt trapped in that old woman’s body also lived a life of joy and love. And there never ever ever was a day where she didn’t love. And it really wasn’t about being trapped, but more of wishing for just a moment, just a breath more of all the spaces where I felt I stumbled and she saw triumph in her life again.
So sweet mom, who worries that she’s failed, remember that it isn’t perfection that matters, but rather love.
Thank you for loving.
Thank you for giving.
Thank you for failing.
Because if you never fail, it means you never tried.
So I embrace my fails, embrace those places. Because that means I have really really tried. Really really loved.
And that? That is motherhood.
And sweet mom, you try.
I know it. <3