I had a fellow mama reach out to me the other day and say,” How the heck do you juggle everything you do!? You amaze me every day!” Instead of feeling flattered by this comment, I instantly felt like a fraud.
How often do we put someone else on a pedestal? We see their posts on social media, get a glimpse of their bubbly face at work, hear them chat about their upcoming vacation. We wonder what WE are doing so wrong that we consistently feel like we are simply trying to keep our head above water while that mama over there has it all together.
I try very hard to keep it real, raw, and honest. And this right here is exactly why. I never want another mommy to think that I have it all together when I don’t. At all. Not even a little! I’m glad that someone thinks I’m killin’ over here, but the reality is that 75% of the time I’m truly just winging it and hoping for the best!
After getting this message, I realized how important it is for me to share more of the real life stuff, not just the healthy recipes, arm flexes, and smiling little girls. I want to show other mamas that none of us are perfect. We are all doing our best every day to be the best mama, wife, friend, sister, cousin, student, manager, you name it — that we possibly can.
Remember, mama, that all we see from the lives of others are snapshots. Not just that, but usually we are seeing their highlight reel. We see glimpses of their life. We don’t see what it was like at 7:00am and everyone in her household was trying to get out the door. We weren’t there when her infant was up 5 times the night before due to teething. We don’t know about the fight her and her husband had that left him storming out the door and her in tears. We don’t know that her cousin was just diagnosed with cancer. Or that her dog peed on the couch…again. Or that her bed hasn’t been made in weeks because there’s just no time. We don’t know how many times she ordered take out this week because cooking dinner was just too overwhelming. We don’t know that the clothes in her washer smell like mildew because they have been in there for 3 days. We don’t know that she’s $20,000 in credit card debit.
So what do we know? We know that for the 5-15 minutes we encountered her she had makeup on, her kids weren’t screaming, she was munching on an apple, her activewear was from LuLuLemon, and she was smiling from ear to ear. Girl, this does NOT mean that she does her makeup everyday, has perfect kids, eats healthy, has endless amounts of money, and is happy all the time. And if we saw her glamorous-ness via social media, well then props to her — she took 30 seconds to take a filtered photo in the one clean corner of her home. Bravo.
We know so little about the lives of our fellow mamas that we encounter on a day to day basis. You are not alone in your struggles. Not in the least little bit. Even that LuLuLemon wearing, apple munching, smiley, put together mama is floundering through this thing called motherhood.
I find that as moms, we are constantly longing for community. We don’t want to feel alone in this mayhem. We need to know that every other mama out there yelled at their kids this week and regretted it. Or that she made Mac and Cheese for the third night in a row because her toddler threw the broccoli across the kitchen. Or that she ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s to make her feel a little better before bed the other night.
I’m here to make sure you know that you are not alone. We are in this together. It takes a village, ma. I also want to make sure that you know that even though this season of life is hard and chaotic, it can also be beautiful. Being present and mentally invested is something I’ve recently begun working on in tremendous ways.
Yes, the tantrums feel like they last hours. Yep, that colicky baby is sucking the life out of you. But, the moments of joy in between? Can they even be put into words? I find myself so often playing with my toddler or holding my baby girl on my hip while mentally going through my to do list, thinking about the next phase of my blog, remembering I have to get that birthday card for my friend, or focusing on the mess of toys that I’ll soon have to clean up. It takes practice, and trust me I’m still working on it, but when we purposefully give ourselves permission to be present with our littles, we learn how to appreciate them so much more. It takes the edge off those tantrums and make those long sleepless nights a little more bearable.
You are not alone. You got this. Be there. Be with them. Cherish it. Know that the tantrums and tears will pass. Hold onto the giggles and the snuggles — no matter how few and far between they may be some days. You’re an amazing mama. Don’t doubt that.
Xoxo – Lyss