Can mums (and women in general) please know it's okay to be real! You are not alone…
The other day I stood in my closet and I just screamed.
It was a scream of frustration. Of feeling lost and unimportant. Of fighting, fighting, fighting and never feeling like I measured up. Of feeling overwhelmed. Of not wanting do one more thing and yet knowing that the to-do list had a dozen one more things to do. Of being tired of dealing with fighting over boys that decided today was the day to irritate every one of their brothers. Of my phone dinging.
Of me feeling alone.
I wasn’t going to write about it.
After all, I had just returned from Pittsburgh where I stood in front of a room of women, of moms, where I told them that they are enough and that they can do this and that I believe in them. And here I was.
I wasn’t going to share that I got to that point in my day where I just had enough.
But we don’t talk about those days as moms.
Let me rephrase that – we don’t share about those days that much. We live in a world of edited disclosure of life. We live in a world where Pinterest tells us that there are 52 Easy Crock Pot Meals that we can make (insert guilt for the cold cereal we served last night) and 119 Cleaning Hacks Using Vinegar so That We Don’t Have to Use Chemicals (insert guilt for the Lysol below the sink) and 13 Reasons Why Motherhood is the Best (insert guilt for the times when it certainly doesn’t feel that way) and 44 Handmade Christmas Gifts for Kids (insert guilt because we don’t have time or money to do this but now we think we should).
We live with Facebook status updates with friends outside of DisneyWorld (insert guilt for never taking the kids to Disney World) with the words we are so blessed that make us sit there wondering why some are blessed and others are not.
We live with options options options options – so much that it can make our heads spin and hurt. And then, instead of loving who we are as moms, the options have this crazy superpower to allow us to question almost every decision because inevitably it’s not the right one and we become more frozen in fear and indecision than my kids toys which were left outside and are now frozen in piles of snow (insert guilt for not getting everything put away and following the 8 Easy Steps for Fall Cleanup Post that is out there).
There are articles endorsing this parenting method and another slamming it to pieces. There are those adamant about the evils of vaccines and those adamant about the evils of not vaccinating. There are worries about GMOS, plastics, artificial sweeteners, over scheduled kids, under scheduled kids, and influenza. There are pressures to have our kids in sports at three and speaking languages at four and attending science classes at five and being in advanced reading at six and being on the honor roll at seven and doing leadership training at eight and on and on. There are voices endorsing only breastfeeding and then those talking about bottle feeding and then those talking about co-parenting and then this type of labor method and this type of parenting style and this type of family and marriage and what is best and I could go on and on but I try to keep these posts to a certain number of words.
And then there is us.
With a world of expectations that we must sift and wade through and decide if it’s really important even though the world and everyone is screaming at us that this is the only way even though none of the only ways ever match with another.
We make a decision and then come across 18 ways why it’s not the right thing.
So we doubt. We read. We try.
We feel like we don’t measure up. We buy the coffee from the neighbor kid for the fundraiser because we feel like we need to do that but then it makes our budget tighter and we didn’t feel like we could say no.
And sometimes, sometimes we just want to be loved and to feel like our contribution to this crazy thing called life is making a difference. And when we don’t or when the expectations press down on us like a ton of bricks and when we’re constantly feeling like we’re dropping the ball or when we’re simply simply simply tired we get to that point that I was at on Sunday night.
I think that somehow we forget that we’re only human.
Somehow motherhood became this expectation of greatness and awesomeness and there are so many of us out there that are running so hard to just keep up that we’re out of breath and we don’t even have time to sit on the sidelines and catch our breath. And we don’t give ourselves grace to have those moments where we stumble and fall down and cry tears of exhausting and sadness and feel the emotion of life and not rationalize it with the logic of life that will tell us that we’ll be okay.
When I’m at that point I don’t want to be called supermom.
I just want to be told it’s okay.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s okay to feel super frustrated at your kids. It’s okay to be angry that your life isn’t where you want it. It’s okay to feel worried about money. It’s okay to feel like you’re not getting everything done. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to feel like you’re doing it all and you’re tired. It’s okay.
It’s okay to be real.
I think that’s the part that we don’t talk about too much.
I think social media allows us as women to like a status and to move on. It lets us pin things adding to a list of things that we never got done. It allows us to read quotes that are inspiring but doesn’t often allow us the space to feel.
Feeling isn’t a bad thing.
We weren’t designed to be without emotions and thus always perfect.
Because the truth is – I didn’t stay there. I had my moment of overwhelm. A bad day. Or just a bad hour. And then I moved on. Did the next thing. Put the boys to bed. Said I was sorry for being curt and crabby. Felt some guilt over not always being strong but then realized that there is not ever one Pinterest Pin out there that says 21 Ways Mothers Should Always Be Strong.
You know why?
Because deep down we all know that there are moments where we just need to be told you’ll be okay and that you will get through and that you matter. Motherhood is not ever ever ever about perfection.
It’s about starting again.
It’s about sifting through the barrage of social media expectations and knowing that even if you never ever ever did one more thing on any of those lists that you are still an awesome mom. It’s about looking at the mom next to you and loving her in her brokenness and encouraging her to keep going.
It’s about believing in each other and admitting that sometimes raising kids isn’t always sunshine, rainbows, and glitter.
It’s about not sitting in the weakness moments but having the courage and the bravery to try again.
Even if it means coming out of your room and gathering your boys together and looking them in the eyes and telling them I love you so much. So so so much. And I love being your mom even when I get tired. I know. Because I did that.
So dear mom reading this raw and real and vulnerable words of mine I want you to know two things. One, there is no expectation placed on you to be supermom. Just be you. Try your best. Love your kids. Give yourself grace. And see the amazing things that you do in life. Two, you will be okay. Your kids will be okay. And it’s okay to have days where you’re overwhelmed. It’s okay.
Because the bottom line is this -> You matter.
On the Good days. The bad days. The normal days.
That’s the real truth.
So gather your resolve. Look at yourself in the mirror and see you for not everywhere where you could list you didn’t think you measured up but rather start to see the truth.
You are strong. Powerful.