I may not know you. I don’t know your background or your history. And I don’t know your family. But, as a mother, there are a few things that I do know…
It’s very easy to look around and see how well others are doing. Especially with Facebook and Pinterest displaying all the calm, collected photos of our lives. What do you think others would think if they saw what your home is really like, or how you respond when you are stressed, or what you look like without any makeup on?
We don’t live in a perfect world. People do judge us, though not usually as harshly as we judge ourselves. In today’s culture, we are obsessed with perfection and it holds us to a level that isn’t realistic; with our bodies, in our homes, for our children. It can be really overwhelming and isolating.
And then you add in all the mother bashing that happens online, behind closed doors, and even face to face. It’s easy to feel like everyone is just doing better; that others have it all figured out….and maybe there are some moms that do.
In my teen years, many people called me a baby whisperer. I could calm any crying child and put kids to sleep without even blinking an eye. And then I had my own children. Without strings attached, anyone could walk in and do something effortlessly for several minutes or even hours. It’s a lot harder to do it day in and day out; especially when you aren’t sleeping well (or at all)! If I’ve ever looked at your circumstances and thought to myself that I could do it better, I’m sorry.
I have run a daycare in my home and cared for multiple children on a daily basis. I LOVED this job, it was busy, fun, crazy and great for my kids. It made me want to fill up my house with little feet all belonging to me. But, until I had 2 children of my own close together in age, I didn’t understand the demands on a mother of having little ones all the time. I love them dearly and I am so grateful that I get to stay home and raise my children. However, I apologize to you because I really didn’t understand before just how demanding and physically tiring it can be.
It wasn’t because I thought that I was a better mother than you, but because I was struggling trying to keep up with you. I want to have a beautiful home, a calm house, children who are loved and well mannered, and a wonderful marriage. But what I feel makes these things wonderful, is the journey.
A perfectly cleaned house is a breath of fresh air that you can sit in and relax once accomplished. The satisfaction of a job well done. We love our children; on good days and bad ones. They don’t always have perfect manners because they are children, they are learning and we learn from our mistakes. My marriage is wonderful because it is enduring, because I can stand beside my husband and know that he loves me and accepts me for all my good parts and my not so good parts; and I him. I’m realizing more and more that it is completely ok to be where you’re at, while still trying to improve. Yet in the process, let’s try not be so hard on ourselves that it becomes damaging to us and those around us.
So, let’s accept each other as we are. Let’s speak kindly of each other and to each other; building every mother up instead of tearing her down.
So, here is my hope, that these pedestals we have placed each other on be taken down. Let the Jones’ keep up with themselves.
And my prayer is that we will walk humbly alongside each other in love and support.
With kindest sincerity,
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