“Why aren’t there more hours in the day?”
“Clean clothes, washed hair, AND makeup… at the park. Really? WHEN did she have time?”
“Where IS my makeup, anyway?”
“How is her house so clean? Do they even own toys? How does she get her kids to clean them up?”
“What is she doing in that picture? Are her kids SERIOUSLY completing an elaborate Pinterest-craft while she whittles homemade Montessori toys?!”
…Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch. But if we’re being honest here, we’ve all had these thoughts of mom self-doubt. “Why does it look so easy for her? How does she keep everything together so effortlessly?” They creep in during our darkest moments. Those times when we snap at our husbands for asking a simple question, because gosh darn it, “he should just know!” When it takes 5 times longer than expected to get out the door and STILL someone forgets a shoe. Those times when we’ve had an impossibly long, hard day and all we want is to escape into social media… only to find that it makes us feel worse.
Why is there this pressure to “have it all together”? Where is it coming from? For starters, there’s this veil over social media that shows perfectly curated little squares of ideal motherhood. Siblings cuddled up in an armchair, loving on one another. Gorgeous living spaces that look like they’re straight out of a magazine. Baked goods and healthy recipes and family dinners around a beautiful table. I can’t say I’m not guilty of it. After all, who doesn’t want to show the world their highlight reel? They’re most adorable and beautiful moments? But let’s get one thing straight, mama: that’s not anyone’s REAL reel.
I’d venture to say that our REAL life looks a lot alike. It looks like toddler tantrums and messy buns and chicken nuggets for the fourth day in a row. It looks like snappy attitudes and saying you’re sorry as you lay in bed at night. It’s not always pretty, but it’s real, honest motherhood. I’m proposing that we all vow to remember that the real, nitty gritty, honest moments are just as important as the filtered ones. Why? Because whether mom life seems to be your calling or seems to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done (or some combination of both), we’re all just in the thick of it. Trying to raise happy, healthy little humans that will create good in this world. We’re all on a journey to do our best and to be our best.
If you’re struggling through motherhood right now, comparing yourself to others, wishing you could do better or be better, it’s time to stop. It’s time to copy the next few sentences down and hang them on the mirror, mamas.
If your kids are fed: you’re doing a good job.
If your kids are loved: you’re doing a good job.
If your kids feel safe and warm at night: you’re doing a good job.
Keep your head up, mama. You’re doing a good job.