I’ve realized something about life – no one has it easy.
I’m not sure when the idea that life could be easy or figured out made it’s way into my thought process. I think I thought that if I only did this or my kids got this grade or I changed the curtains or I got this job or we went on this trip then I would be happy. Or successful. Or the pinnacle of a mom.
But life doesn’t work that way. It works in this curvy, undulating, frenzy of moments that we all have no control over so much of the time. We can’t control those kids we have – oh we can try – but they’re independent and when they decide they’re not going – no matter what superior negotiating and reasoning skills we may have – those three year olds can create chaos. Same with teens.
And life has major hard stuff too. Like super crazy hard stuff. Divorce, death, finances, relationships, and on and on. And that stuff hurts. Deep.
So somehow we all have all of this hard stuff and we compare.
If only you knew.
If only you had been there.
Yet, yet, yet – we just can’t compare. We just can’t add the if only qualifier to our stories because instead of leading to community it’s leaving us very alone in a very saturated busy digital world.
We all have these suitcases of issues and triumphs and joys that we carry – and sometimes it feels like we may be carrying exponentially more than others or it may seem like our load is light. I think when we look at all the externals of another’s life we forget to look at the real important part.
The heart of the woman on the other side of the screen that we’re quick to judge.
You know what I mean. It’s so easy to see pictures flash on Facebook and make a presupposition about their life and then to compare it to our own. And in that comparison we’re either cutting ourselves down or cutting them down.
What happened to celebrating us as women?
Yes, just as women and mothers without all the baggage.
For you see we’re all walking forward – dealing with the tumultuous world of being a mom. And anyone who thinks that it isn’t wrought with learning and falling down a whole bunch – well, I’d love to meet her and learn her secrets. Because, for me, motherhood while being unbelievably beautiful, has been one of the hardest things I’ve done.
I love those kids of mine. I fight for those kids of mine. And so often, as you read, I struggle with feeling like I’ve failed or I don’t measure up or I’m the worst mom ever or mom guilt or or or. You know. And then, then when I compare or analyze my life with others I lose sight of everything truly important.
The little things.
The moments with my kids.
You have them too. And by the way this world works yours will be different than mine. You and I each have hardships. We have awesome things. And if we invest time in comparing who has it worse or has it better we are losing time simply being there for each other. Sometimes I think the loneliness is simply due to the checkmark of faux motherhood success that exists somewhere.
Sometimes I just want to stand up wave my arms and yell TIME OUT.
Yes, time out.
We all need to breathe. To remember what really matters.
We could spend all days comparing and judging and qualifying ourselves – from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding to sports to quality time to birthday parties to volunteering to work choice and the whole gamut of food options there. I see it. And I see the exhaustion that all of this comparing and judging and measuring up we all have to live in.
It’s easy to judge and compare. But here’s the truth:
We all want to be good moms.
What the gal across the street does or doesn’t do doesn’t define you as a mom. What you see on Pinterest isn’t required and what you scroll through on Facebook isn’t a measuring stick. What really matters at the heart is that you fight and love for your kids.
All this extra judging and comparing is exhausting. If only you knew robs us from joy. You know, life is just too too short to allow social media to define motherhood. Motherhood can’t be measured by likes or vacations or ideal situations. And no matter what someone will have it harder or easier.
But, but, let’s just all breathe.
And give each other a break. A break for being real, for being a mom, for loving, for trying, for having messy lives, for having beautiful lives, for having it together, for falling apart, for kids that stumble, for kids that excel, for husbands, for single moms, for much money, for hard times, for what we eat, for how we sleep, for all of it.
Love your kids. Love others.
The comparison doesn’t matter.
ps. Who can you encourage today? That makes a difference.