I received a comment this weekend asking me to change my message stating that it wasn’t good to endorse those days where we might stand in the closet and scream and to stop stating that it’s okay to have a bad day. It was in response to this post -> The Motherhood Days We Don’t Talk About That Much But We Should.
At first I wasn’t going to respond and I was going to let it go (feel free to sing or hum or hear the theme from Frozen now, by the way.) But, truthfully, I just cannot. Simply because I want to be a breather of grace and hope into our motherhood hearts and lives.
When we have hope and grace we also have space for joy.
When we live under the weight of perfectionism, comparison, and thinking that having a bad day isn’t normal then we lose hope, grace, and that space for joy.
And the truth is, at least in my house, motherhood is not always glitter, sunshine, and roses.
There are some days where I have stood in my room, with the door shut, and let out a scream of frustration. And sometimes it is over something silly like spilled milk. Not because the milk spilled, but because in that moment I didn’t feel like I was enough, measuring up, or was overwhelmed with life. It wasn’t going to keep me held back as a mom, it was, instead, just simply me, in the moment, having a crushing dose of motherhood and real life reality.
Motherhood is this roller coaster of moments.
One day you’re on top of the world looking down and everything seems to move perfectly in place. Other days you’re racing so fast around curves and up and down that you can barely catch your breath (or keep your eyes open). And then there are those days where you can hear the click click click as the roller coaster of life creeps upward and you have that angst, anxiety, and anticipation of what is to come. And then there’s the checking to make sure everyone is buckled in and have shoes on and the puking over the side and the crazy hair that’s flying all around as you try to make it through every day. And then there are the times where you have had enough and want off the roller coaster for a bit but are strapped in and are moving so fast and tears fill your eyes but you keep going.
I think it is unrealistic to think that every day of motherhood is awesome and that there aren’t moments where we’re tired. Or overwhelmed. Or where we simply need to be told “it’s okay.”
Because the truth is – it’s okay to not be perfect.
It’s okay to have days where we’re at the end of the rope feeling and to talk about it. Do you know why? Because if we don’t talk about it and all of that then we’re sitting in our homes wondering why everyone else has it together and then we wonder what we’re doing wrong.
How come I can’t keep my home as clean as her? How come her kids never have tantrums in the store? How come she seems to have the perfect life? How come my marriage is a mess and hers perfect? How come a little thing like spilled milk or permanent marker on the wall exhausts me? How come I just want a moment off and everyone else seems to love every single second? How come I am crying when I should be laughing?
You’re not doing anything wrong if every day isn’t awesome.
Here’s the real truth. Talking about real emotion and the hard days doesn’t make us bad moms. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have wonderful days. It doesn’t mean that we’re even endorsing sitting in the muck. It simply makes us real. And in being real I truly believe we push out the crap that holds us back from living life, loving our journey, and seeing the beautiful.
It’s when I have that moment of frustration with my five year old not getting his shirt on that it teaches me about patience. And then at night when he’s sleeping I look in and think about how much I love that little creature who has a will of his own and decided to test his mother today. It’s in those moments after I cried behind the bathroom door and wiped away my tears and tucked my shirt in and smoothed my hair back and walked back out and started again.
I didn’t quit.
You don’t quit.
Talking about real doesn’t mean quitting or failing or not loving motherhood.
It doesn’t mean gathering together and wallowing in okayness. It means simply talking about the ups and downs and straight tracks of the roller coaster of motherhood. It means laughing over our Pinterest fails and celebrating the ones that actually work. It would be one thing if our battle cry was mediocrity mothers. But it’s not.
Our battle cry is about bravery, realness, not comparing, and finding joy in the ordinary.
Maybe it’s not always glitter, but in the raw places of life we find the diamonds. And honestly, it’s in the hard, pressing, crazy moments that the diamonds and awesomeness are formed and cultivated.
When we have ups and downs and curves we can truly appreciate the gift of hands in our hands, the drawings on the walls, the friends that are there for us at 3am, laughing seven year olds, finished homework, the sound of silence at 9:35 pm, and our own unbelievable strength.
That’s what I want you to remember. Don’t ever be afraid to admit that there are times where you simply need to hear that you are loved or that you are okay or that you are doing a great job. It is not weak to talk and share your heart.
That is strength.
Carry on brave, powerful, beautiful, and real mom.
What a great read!! Glitter makes a mess!! 🙂
I have a lot of those days lately! I like to post on FB the pretty FB version and the reality version lol. Ex: “FB version- both kids are napping at the same time! Reality- they’re exhausted because they were both up until 4am vomiting!” Gotta keep it real!
Wonderful article!!! I’m afraid the ones having trouble with the pieces on motherhood being kinda rough are living in a dre world!! Wish I could have read this when I was raising my six girls… Thank you !! You mommas rock!!!
I LOVE that you’re open and honest about motherhood. And if we’re all honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that we can identify with the tough days that you sometimes write about. Those who don’t admit it are living a façade. I love your paragraph about life and the roller coaster. It perfectly describes so many of the different seasons of life. Thank you for all that you do because it makes the rest of us feel normal and helps us know that we’re not alone. Don’t stop writing like you do to appease one reader. There’s plenty of us out here who appreciate your work and feel encouraged by your words.
in a world where being real and honest seems to not be acceptable, I really appreciate your honesty and genuine encouragement. Thank you and please don’t stop! I, too, have so many kids I don’t know what to do at times and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. God bless you and your family
I couldn’t say it any better than Moriah C. above! Please don’t CHANGE anything! The whole reason I found your website was because I was an overwhelmed mom looking someone else to tell me it was okay to have those kinds of days. I am deeply grateful for exactly what you say each day! HUGS to you and yours!
Your message and stories are so important. “You’re not doing anything wrong if every day isn’t awesome.” really speaks to me today, reminding me that the world isn’t falling apart and I’m not failing if today I don’t feel as spectacular as yesterday. Because maybe tomorrow I will, and it’s ok even if I don’t. Thank you for allowing us to be real, and allowing real to be awesome. Thank you always for being in the muck with us and helping us find the diamonds that are hidden there (which are a million times more precious than glitter anyway).
Thank you for your blog and your supportive posts! There was a time when the days were dark, and your posts daily helped me see that I’m not the only one struggling. Your posts gave me hope and helped me see the joy in my wonderful family, even when I was at the end of my rope. When I was saturated with craft ideas I should be doing, Halloween costumes I should be making, and playrooms that were way cuter than mine, you helped me remember that none of that stuff is what’s important. The days are not as dark as they once were. There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of them is that I got a real perspective from reading your blog – I didn’t feel so alone and I had hope that things would be better, maybe even tomorrow. Your message is so powerful, and I am so grateful that you speak it.
I really REALLY really love this post today! Did I mention I love it? Just kidding… but seriously. So comforting and true and sooooo good for me to hear on a day like today. Thank you for always sharing the real.
This read was the best! You’re the best! You make us feel the best about us!! Thank you! Hugs!!
Thank you, April. 🙂
I love your posts, all of them. It lets us see behind the curtain of motherhood and in doing so releases from the unrealistic expectations of motherhood. It opens us to this new found freedom to relate, create community and create space for imperfection. Onward brave mother, onward.
Thank you so very much, Jill. I love your words.
I needed to read the post your reader emailed you about. That post has kept me going Rachael. Its amazing the feeling I had when I suddenly didnt feel so alone. We all get in the trenches at times and we can help pull eachother out. I appreciate your honestly and your willingness to talk about feeling that are hard. Much love to all you mamas!
Thank you, Crystal. I appreciate you as well. 🙂
I had been feeling for a long time that I was not ‘good enough’ and all those other things. I went looking on the web for something to read that would let me know that I was not the only one feeling that way – and eventually I found this blog. Having someone write about the realness of motherhood is so necessary. I find myself nodding on almost every word of what you write – as if you were here in my own house! All mothers-to-be should be reading this blog.
Thank you Kirsty. That is an unbelievably kind endorsement. I appreciate that you resonate with my words of realness…matters much to me. Glad you found this space as well.
A thousand THANKS to you & all these mothers who commented! I am so blessed to be able to read here about REAL mothers who struggle similarly — overwhelmed, need a break, dark days, comparing, feeling alone / isolated. I am also so blessed to have several friends with whom I can be real, some of whom really “get it” and are there for me when I’m in the pit. GOT HOPE? yes.
So glad that you are blessed with those friends Janet. That makes such a difference. 🙂
So glad to have found your blog and honestly, can we just be friends?! I feel like we would have a lot to talk about. I was just reading this post and thinking about last night when I got home with my 2 year old twins after a full day of work. I had just been at the doctor with one who had 102.9 fever and was diagnosed with pneumonia and we walked in the door to find our beloved little dog throwing up on the couch. My husband called to say he was going to be another 2 hours at work and my other twin was throwing herself on the floor sobbing and crying because I wouldn’t let her paint her highchair black with the paints that I got to paint bright cheerful sun catchers. As this is going on, my beloved little dog – who is house trained – decided to poop on the floor. Needless to say, messy, but blessed. Thank you – thank you – thank you for all your thoughts…you sum up with what I am sure so many of us feel. And remember, I’d love to chat sometime! 🙂
I love this post because I’m a big believer off women in general giving ourselves the grace in our lives to be lazy, sad, exasperated or just FEEL whatever emotions are coming. Feel them and accept them and then move on. If we can’t let this level of perfection go for ourselves, how on earth can we ever teach our children that you can’t be perfect at everything: sometimes you won’t win, you won’t have a great day, things won’t go the way you want them, and that feeling sad or disappointed is OK and learning to deal with disappointment (which will happen over and over again in life) is a very important lesson to learn?
It begins with us. Reality, acceptance and dealing. And we gain a bigger appreciation of the sweet parts of life of which there are plenty with our kids. But we are only human and our lives aren’t a Pinterest board of perfection.
Oh how I needed this today…was working on writing something similar but you said it much better than I would have. Thank you!!!
I’m no longer a mum with kids @ home but I still have those moments… frequently! Yesterday my HH (Hero Husband) opened a jar of pickles and threw half the contents and vinegar over his good trousers….. He made it worse by adding immedately: Don’t say ANYTHING You can assume I didn’t do it on purpose And I wondered, have I really become ‘his mother’???? Made me feel NOT so good, so I had to swallow not only my tongue but also my bad feelings about myself… I decided to laugh…. and all was well – but then I chose the ONE word SMILE for 2015. Works pretty well 🙂
Thank you. I totally agree.
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Well said. I am exhausted by expectations placed on mums and how around ever corner we are told what we should and shouldn’t do, only to be told a year later that was the ‘wrong way’. Put simply, kids need love and support. If we are doing that, then surely all will be okay.
I like your honesty! It helps other Moms to know they are not alone.
Your words “hands in our hands” reminded me of an incident when I was trying to teach my toddler to hold my hand in parking lots and she was rebelling. I saw another person was watching us from the other side of cars and she seemed to be following to make sure I wasn’t trying to steal someone else child lol. It was one of those days where this blog would have helped me know I wasn’t alone, where the only thing that glittered was the tears of frustration.
Thanks Rachel, for being real. That is a much needed voice. I’m in the midst of some difficult years with a child who is explosive and remains so despite many interventions. I am not even close to the ideals of Pinterest and perfect family life. So many people only talk about how perfect their children are. All I have is a weary love and persistence. Nothing that looks good on the outside. Maybe some people do have the perfect life and perfect children but that is an unknown to me.
Thank you!!!! It’s so nice to read all of your “real” postings and know that I am not alone in this crazy journey through motherhood! ♡
Besides it being real how else do we teach our kids that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and glitter…I think we are doing a huge disservice to them by not letting them see us struggle. . Those are the true life lesson learning moments that teach them to cope with this crazy roller coaster we call life
I couldn’t agree more. Again just what I needed today
Good post! I read your blog often and you always post excellent content. I posted this article on Facebook and my followers like it. Thanks for writing this!