It seems like more and more moms are bombarded with perfection. The need to portray this picture perfect life – partly it’s our own fault – unfollow, unplug, delete social media – but yet we cannot. For one reason or another, we love social media too much to get rid of it. It does serve a purpose – it allows us to connect to those we love, share memories, pictures, and videos across the miles. But it also can bring us down. Don’t judge your motherhood based off of someone else’s falsified perfection. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Right?
However, sometimes the perfection becomes so overwhelming – the insta-famous moms and their perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect kids, perfect life – it’s just all too much sometimes. How are us ordinary moms supposed to compete with that? But remember, behind the flawless makeup and carefully posed pictures – they are just like you.
We all have those days, the ones where we are never enough. We constantly feel as if we are messing up, constantly weighing our options of what is dire, and barely staying afloat. Motherhood doesn’t look perfect, motherhood is messy. And it’s supposed to be that way. It’s totally normal. We are dealing with kids – crazy, unpredictable, tiny tyrants, but the most beautiful blessings. Children are the ultimate test of everything that we are. The tears of sadness break our hearts open into a million pieces, while the whines make us want to pull out every hair on our head. They give us purpose while we simultaneously lose ourselves in them.
Motherhood can be too much at times, but it’s rooted in messy, goodhearted love. Perfection isn’t the goal. Some days we are going to be killing it, looking flawless and perfectly put together (cue Beyonce), but more often than not we are going to be barely getting by. Sometimes our kids will go to school looking like model children with homemade lunches in hand, other times their hair isn’t brushed (hell, maybe their teeth aren’t either), but whatever the day, we love them (and they love us) just the same. On these days we feel as if we are only half in motherhood.
It is understandable why motherhood is so confusing, why we feel like even on our best days we are failing. It’s because the world sends us so many conflicting signals. There are so many books that tell you if your baby doesn’t sleep do this, or if you want your baby to never cry, do this. While these books can be helpful, they are not applicable to all babies or even one baby all the time. There needs to be only one parenting book written and it would go like this: “Motherhood looks different for every mother. Because each mother is different. Don’t judge yourself because your motherhood looks different than someone else’s.” And that’s it, nothing else needs to be said.
The fact that you even feel bad shows you are an amazing mom. You aren’t half in motherhood. You are all in. Every damn day. Just because your motherhood looks different than someone else’s doesn’t mean that you are doing any less or any more. Each motherhood is different. Something that comes easily to some may not work for someone else. That doesn’t make it right or wrong – we all mother differently.
Our stories of motherhood will not and should not look the same. We are all unique and our stories are our own. Written by our pen on our own paper. The beauty of this – we can write our story anyway that we see fit. Some days will be colorful and full of joy and laughter. Other days will be full of bruised knees and bumped elbows, and kisses to make them feel better. And yet, no matter how hard we try, some days will be full of dark days and long nights. Days of crying in the bathroom all alone, because we simply cannot do this anymore. These pages will bind together to form a story like no other, a story of our own, a private reflection of motherhood told by you and you alone.
Sometimes we are giving 110% (#bestmomever). Other days we are meh, okay just keeping these kids alive (#okayestmomever). The days look different, the ups, the downs, the darks, and lights, but each day we love our kids the same and provide them with more than they could ever dream of.
Photo Credit: Ashley W, Andi LaBrune, Kristen