I speak often to moms and sometimes I think I’m looked at like I have the wisdom to make all of our lives perfect. I always chuckle, thank them for their faith in me, and tell them that I’m just another mom wandering on this crazy motherhood journey but that I just happen to write about all the stuff for all the world to read. So when I write about feeling like I’m failing, there’s a good chance that that day that was where I was too. And the happy mom post from this summer?
I am in the midst of fighting for happy too.
So I started to think about things that we should all remember about each other in this motherhood journey because it’s so easy to compare ourselves with others. And in that comparison it’s just as easy to assign a lower grade to our own lives.
Remember comparison robs you and me from joy.
So can we all just remember this? These five things about motherhood, that in my opinion, are almost universal. And can we just be kind and loving to each other too?
1. We’re all new at this. Yes, that. No matter where we are in the motherhood journey. The truth is that the whole thing was new to all of us at some point and at whatever point we are at – it’s new. And honestly, most of us have no idea what we’re doing – we might not admit it – but there are so many nights where we just wing it. I think, in fact, that most of motherhood is winging it and then one day realizing that we actually had it together and made it through. Maybe I should write a book called Winging Motherhood and Living to Tell About It and we can all stand up and cheer because we’re just doing it.
2. We’re lonely for real. We might not admit it too often because I think culture teaches us to have it all together, but sometimes we just want that friend that is like come on in and her house isn’t perfect and she pushes toys from the couch for us to sit down on. We kind of all want to know that we restarted the laundry because we forgot it or that homework drives us nuts or that we cant stand figuring out what to make for dinner at times. I think the lonely part of motherhood is because so many of us have developed walls of I’m fine and instead we should be like let’s just figure this out together and I’m here for you. Without judgment.
3. We’re all feeling a whole bunch of emotions all the time. Whether it’s worry fear wonder amazement overwhelm joy sadness happy crazy super crazy anxiety tired and so forth – we’re really just a person dealing with a wealth of emotions in the middle of motherhood. I still cry at the strangest things – Hallmark commercials, watching my second grader walk into school, worry over whacked out labs and so forth. Even though we may look like we have it all together there is a good chance that under the surface all of our minds are thinking and dealing with a whole bunch of stuff.
4. We’re all wondering when it will go by so fast. When one day we realize that it does, but truly that it goes by so fast when we’re in the middle of crazy doesn’t seem too true. We all know about time and how important it is, but we all probably vacillate between wanting to savor the moments with wishing it was bedtime. And then, then we worry because we know we should do more and enjoy the moment but we’re tired and we don’t want to miss the moment and then we wonder if we’re the only one and and and…. well you get the picture. Well, the truth is that time will go by. And some days it will seem super fast and other days slower than getting stuck in the Molasses Swamp in Candyland. Don’t fight time. Don’t put that expectation on you – just expect a plethora of time emotions.
5. We’re all too hard on ourselves. Yes, we are. And sometimes we don’t see it, but my friend, it’s true. Think of how many times you’ll tell your friends how it’s okay to take a rest or to let the dishes go or that the kids will be okay after a bad day and then how hard you are when you have the same moment. We are just hard on ourselves. What if we made a collective pact to instead of being so hard on ourselves that we look at our day and find one awesome thing that we did? Can you do that? Can you see it? Because I know it’s there – even with all the thoughts about that it’s not – there is one thing. All those one things add up. So no more hard on yourself – start to see yourself for the awesome that you already are every day. In fact, challenge a friend to share with you and you with her your one thing that makes you more than enough.
So yes, if you happened to find me in the hallway after I’ve spoken or you catch me at Starbucks or Target and you asked me what to do that’s what I’d tell you. But more than anything, I’d tell you to not forget you in the midst of motherhood. To celebrate you and all the unique and beautiful qualities that make you – you. To not hide them under layers of busy and expectations, but to instead work to cultivate them and highlight them. Because that happy part that I’m searching for?
I lost that when I lost me and am journeying with all of you to find it again.
So now, now I remember me in the middle of motherhood. And points one to five.
You are enough.
ps. Point six. Or seven if you argue about my last point – it’s that we all have messy houses at times. Okay, now breathe. Oh yes, and crabby kids. Oh yes, and we’re tired. And motherhood still can be awesome.