My brain doesn’t shut off sometimes.
I’ve blamed it on the caffeine intake and the love of Starbucks and that extra shot, but the truth is that it’s my own mom doubts and worries and that pesky to-do list that make my brain stay vibrantly awake.
It’s this super connected world we live in that sometimes feels so isolating and lonely.
And full of mom doubts. And worries. And things to-do.
I know you feel it.
I know you feel the expectations placed on your shoulders and the weight of everything to do and sometimes it can just feel so unbelievably isolating and that the entire world has it way way way more together than us. I’ll look at the other mom in the Starbucks line waiting for her latte and notice that her kid isn’t whining for the hot chocolate and then overhear no extra shot (how in the world does she survive) and then I’ll compare.
I’ll compare my cart with the moms at Target and sometimes stuff those Cool Ranch Doritos that my family loves underneath the gluten free cereal so that they don’t see those in my cart because gasp that’s not really healthy. I’ll compare my not so quiet stern voice with the moms who get down on their knees and look at the racing toddler in their eyes and then get frustrated with me.
I’ll read updates on Facebook and wonder why we’re not in the backyard having water balloon wars (um, hello sore fingers.) Or I’ll look at the gigantic Pinterest boards bursting with ideas and remind myself that I’ve only done one and that one probably should be on the Pinterest fail site.
And then, well, then I remember.
I sometimes forget all the things that are done and get sucked into this world of mom comparison that leaves me and you and all of us moms who are trying to do our best feel alone.
Comparing equals loneliness.
That’s what I’ve learned.
So what that there are Doritos in my cart or that I forgot to use coupons or Cartwheel or that my kid had a mini meltdown in the checkout because I, as usual, said no to the $4.99 conveniently placed Lego set. That stuff doesn’t judge me as a mom nor does it judge you.
We live in a world of labels. Constant labels that we love to slap on each other. And yet we write and talk about how we’re tired of labels and just want to get along and support each other and love each other and then in the same breath there’s this gigantic sticker book of labels for us as moms. Labels and expectations and some mom guilt mixed in.
That mom guilt part is heavier than the labels.
I’ll feel guilt about things and then compare and then feel alone.
The lonely mom part is the worst.
So to you, if you’re like me, and I’m guessing we probably share a whole bunch of the same worries and mom guilts and Target cart analysis moments – what if we made a pact to not compare? Or at least attempt to not compare – because I know it’s hard.
What if we loved each other for us just at the core of being moms?
That’s what I want you to see right now.
Not all the things that we’re so quick to point out that aren’t right. We apologize for not having everything together – not having it perfect – but what if not having it all perfect was exactly how motherhood was supposed to be? I mean if we all had it together all the time there would be no need for books and support groups and Pinterest and all the things that give us ideas. Ideas aren’t bad. Support is awesome. And books give suggestions. Because this is the truth:
Motherhood is messy.
The second we expect it to be tidy all the time would be the second we expect our kids to never make a mess. And when I feel the most alone is the times when I’m making the assumption that your life isn’t messy too. Well, we all have messes – relationship, money, tiredness, crazy kids, and on and on and on. And I say it’s time to love and not judge.
It’s time to smile at the mom in Starbucks and Target and in the school line. A real genuine smile. And to not judge. And to be proud of our messy and most beautiful lives.
Then I think a bit of that weariness might fade just a bit.
Because you have so much to be proud of.
So so so much.
When you’re done reading – instead of thinking of the next thing that you have to do I want you to take inventory in all the awesome that you’ve done. Even if it feels most mundane. I want you to not hide you, but be proud of you. I want you to know that loving your kids sometimes is messy and has mistakes but that you keep trying. I want you to be proud of all of those moments in life that no one sees but where you give of yourself for your family.
I want you to look in the mirror and smile.
That is what I want you to remember today.
From me, the mom at Target and Starbucks with sticky counters and kids that still want that cheap toy even though I constantly set the rules to all of you.
You are not alone, dear friends. There are a whole bunch of us moms on this crazy journey walking with you, loving our kids and doing our best.
ps… If you happen to run into me at my Target and see that blue bag of Doritos on the top – well, now you’ll know why. 🙂
I get an email from you every so often and I see them, but don’t always read them. I save them all, telling myself I’ll get around to reading them soon. Sometimes, I’ll scan the titles and one will stand out to me and I’ll actually take the time to read it. At that time, it’s what I need to hear. It’s what I need to know, that you, and other moms too, think the same as I do, experience similar kid or mom moments, and whrill of other emotions. THANK YOU for always being there when I need it most. THANK YOU for knowing just what to say. And THANK YOU for making me feel a bit less alone!
Thank you. Yes…constant comparison between the mean girl in my head (as I like to call her) and other moms who “appear” to have it together. Gentleness. Forgiveness. And…finding joy 🙂 instead of negativity about being a mama/parent.
Thank you for all the inspirational blogs . It’s nice to know your not alone in your thoughts.
This is so beautiful and exactly what I needed to read this morning. With the advent of social media, I feel like comparison with other moms has become second nature. It’s in our face all of the time now what other parents are doing. It’s so easy to go on Facebook and see that someone is having a blast with their kids at the beach while you are scraping Oreo creme off your couch. 🙂 and then comes the mom guilt. Oy vey! Thanks for putting things in perspective!
Have a great day!!
Yes, you’ve stated it well: there’s a lot of pressure to be a great housekeeper, gardener, cook, mom, & wife. It’s nice to know that I might not be the only one looking around to see the stares as my 1-1/2-year-olds spill Cheerios and my 4-1/2-year-old won’t stop playing with the credit card machine pen at the check out.