I think I mothered for the first half of my motherhood story completely afraid someone would discover that I had no clue what to do.
I mean, trust me, I didn’t. Do any of us really? No matter how much we prepare and how much we read and how ready we are there comes a moment when we sigh to our friend, with tears in our eyes, and bravely admit we feel a bit over our head in this motherhood gig. Oh we don’t call it that. We sass it up for Instagram and joke about needing wine at night or wear shirts about chocolate and coffee, but in reality, we’re all kind of there, trying, trying, trying but feeling like the daily battle of dishes, homework and laundry might suffocate our self.
And then add in the complete lack of knowing what to do?
And most people, seriously, aren’t that honest about motherhood. We see Instagram stories of babies in all white houses without a stain. Come on now, my best investment is my hand held steam vac for my non white couch where I steam out orange Cheetoh stains left by my thirteen year old who knows he’s not supposed to eat on the couch. Which, now, if we’re talking about this motherhood journey involves a bunch of judging too. You know it, I do too. Because someone is probably thinking they eat Cheetohs at that house? Are they GMO free? We never eat those. Which can lead to a spiral of negative thoughts about our own motherhood stories.
So we kind of hunker down in our motherhood trench and tell everyone I’m fine at the same time as wondering why we’re the only ones who seem like they don’t have it together.
And then, every third article on Facebook is about tips and tricks for moms or another letter to us or our kids and sometimes I just want to tell everyone I don’t need another article telling me I’m so awesome or this will make me better – I JUST NEED TO KNOW I’M NOT ALONE IN NOT HAVING IT ALL TOGETHER.
And more than that?
I’m honestly okay with my motherhood story.
(gasp, right? because did I really say that?)
And that? That’s hard to admit in a world that is constantly trying to tell you that you need to improve.
That’s exhausting. It’s like being stuck in a marathon on a treadmill that goes nowhere but makes you run faster.
Now, to keep it real, of course, I’d love that perfect looking living room, but that’s not my story. My motherhood story involves things like frozen chicken nuggets and me paying my kids to get their homework done and a whole bunch of love in this house. And you know what else? We kind of all want that – that love part. You see, everyone’s story has to look different. It would be SO BORING if we were all the same. That would be like walking into Target and ONLY seeing the Magnolia line of decorating products in one color and not anything else. Or the cereal aisle with just Lucky Charms (I’m choosing that one because, gasp, we like that in this house too.)
I kind of need us all to step back from the mom information overload of parenting awesome and to look at our own lives and say, you know what? I’m a pretty darn good mom. I love my kids, I try my best, and I show up.
Our houses don’t have to look a certain way. We can or cannot do Elf on the Shelf. I can pack lunches or buy lunches. We all WILL parent differently. If you ever need to really see that go to Target and walk down THE ENTIRE AISLE of pacifiers. You know why there is an aisle? BECAUSE WE ARE DIFFERENT. There’s not just one, and thank goodness for that.
There’s also not a perfect mom.
So don’t go comparing yourself to anyone else.
Your kids aren’t waking up in the morning and scrolling through Instagram wondering why you did or did not create the cool lunch box ideas. I put post-it notes in my kids lunch, just an fyi. I know some of you don’t do anything and I know some of you have cool origami notes that you custom fold. That’s the awesome part of motherhood. We are all different and awesome.
One last thought – we spend so much time telling our kids to be themselves and be confident – maybe we need that reminder too.
So scroll through Facebook. Read the articles that speak to your soul and remind you of your awesome. Try the Rueben Casserole you saw on video and the paint drip art. All of that is OPTIONAL, not required.
Love your kids. Do YOUR best.
That’s pretty near perfect.
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