Do you ever feel that you aren't good enough? That every other mother seems to have it all figured out but you? That everyone looks so put together and with it but you are just barely keeping your head above water?
Because I do.
I do a lot.
I feel that there is something I am missing when it comes to raising my kids, that the other moms know a secret and just aren't letting me in on it.
But we're all the same, in that way.
We are all just trying to keep afloat, some just manage better than others.
I am here to tell you that I suck sometimes. And my life, my life is so far from perfect. Or easy. That I struggle, just like you. That I feel guilt in giving my kids warmed up processed crap from the freezer or that the laundry is still sitting in the washing machine from two days ago.
You aren't the only one, friend. I promise you this.
Throw out the idea that we all have it together, but you. There is no having it together. Somedays, all you need to do is keep the kids alive and survive until bedtime. It's ok..really. I am telling you that somedays that is enough. And you are enough.
When the boys were little, I had dreams of how my days would go. Fun activities where they would learn about objects sinking or floating. Fun painting with forks or string. Those days, are so few and far between now. Those day, now, don't look anything like they did in my head.
Most days I am a full-time referee just trying to keep them from killing each other. But that is important too.
Making breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (no matter how) is important. Feeding them snacks and filling sippy cups is important. Rewashing a load of laundry for the third time doesn't make you a failure or a terrible mom. We all do our best with what we have, this whole measuring up is overrated.
Instead of comparing we should be complimenting. We are all in this together believe it or not. It's not about who throws the bigger, better birthday party with all the handmade decorations found on Pinterest. It's not about that. Because in the end, those parties with the decorations that took you three hours to make are not going to matter.
How do I know this? Because that was me, I wanted those parties. Was it for my kids? I thought so at the time, but really they don't care. They just wanted me. And Ryan and their family.
And cake. As long as there are cake and presents. They don't care about decorations that were hand made or store bought.
To them its about the moments. Kids are simple. It's adults who make it more complicated than it needs to be. We need to stop trying to compare our middle with someone else's beginning or end. We are all in different seasons of our lives. And it would be a very boring world if we did it all the same.
There are so many things that mom get criticized about. I never realized it until I became a mom myself.
When I was pregnant with Oliver, I felt prepared for motherhood, as prepared as I could have been, not ever actually being a mother before. The day he was born, I felt this overwhelming fear come over me, a fear that I had never felt before. I was responsible for him. He was mine, and I was there to protect him. The first moment, I found myself face to face with criticism was when I was asked how I was going to feed him.
I planned on nursing him, but as many mothers know planning on one thing and actually having it happen, successfully, are two different things.
I tried, believe me I tried. And I cried. And I bled. And we both got thrush that just refused to leave. The first two months of Oliver's life were chaos, for him and me. I knew in the back of my head that I needed to put him on formula. Pumping wasn't working, my boobs, they were defective and in my ear I heard every remark.
"Breast is best."
"I only want what is best for Oliver."
"You're not trying hard enough."
"It worked for me."
Those words stung. To a new mom who was scared and already felt like a failure.
It crushed me.
That was my first encounter with measuring up. Telling myself that I wasn't good enough. That other moms figured it out. Or stuck with it longer and didn't give up.
I eventually learned to say, "Screw them!" Yeah, maybe it was a four letter word that starts with F and rhymes with "duck" but you get the idea.
The guilt I felt for not being able to nurse Oliver was quickly replaced with fierceness that I had never felt before.
Letting the comments roll of your back. Not falling into the trap that is being set out for you. Not stooping to the level of others who play that game, intentionally or not - that is what its all about.
There will always be someone who thinks what you're doing is wrong or not right because they did it differently.
I'm here to tell you that I am on your side. Even if you are doing something different than me, I won't judge you. I won't make you feel small in this world of Motherhood. That's not what this is about.