Happy Week-After-Mother’s-Day to my fellow maternal warriors in spit-stained shirts and yoga pants, oh we with unwashed hair and smudged two-day-old mascara. We are the proud stewards of saggy stomachs, a too-full calendar, an ever-emptying fridge, and a gaggle of needy offspring who we’re apparently totally responsible for. Pass the coffee (or better yet, the wine).
My day of adorable brunchy-homemade-handprint-card glory has come and gone and I didn’t get THAT post up yet. You know…that perfect insta/FB pic (#nofilter, natch) of me and my brood in matching garb and matching grins with the perfect caption about how #blessed I am to be their Mommy. I spent all day Sunday liking the sweet Mother’s Day posts from my virtual friends (and their husbands ❤️) extolling the virtues of loving, self-sacrificing, example-setting Mommy superstars while showcasing a sweet pic of their crew in flattering lighting. God bless you moms – truly – if this was you on Sunday you rock and I really did like your post. But you know what? That just wasn’t me. At least not this year.
First off, can I just call BS to the whole “if I didn’t post it online it must not have happened or it must not be very important to me” bulllloney that I self-impose? What is that? As with most social media posts, the attention and affirmation we all seek by advertising our obviously adorable and well-adjusted children and our success and fulfillment as their mother is nuts. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve done my share of online Mom-bragging and its fun both to react and rake in the reactions to my lovely/thoughtful/punny posts. Sharing the highs of life with friends and family near and far is definitely one of the best parts of living in the intenet era. But those glowing posts only tell part of the story, amIright, and this year I simply didn’t feel like telling that story. It’s not that motherhood isn’t amazing and my kids aren’t darling. I just didn’t have my mental/emotional/spiritual/physical self in a place where that sweet virtual post would have mirrored my practical world and I just didn’t feel like faking it. Maybe you’re with me.
Whether you have one kid or five, they’re all little or all spread out, if you’re home full-time or part-time, motherhood is a grind. An underappreciated, unglamorous, glorious grind. If you’re a Mom, you know we’re all in the business of guiding our own miniature women and men through their formative early years. It’s not for the faint of heart or mind or body. It’s the snack times and meltdowns, the bad dreams and parties you didn’t get the invite for, the report cards to sign and legos to step on, the soccer practices you’re late for and the lost tap shoes of daily life. The endless questions to give your full attention to, constant interruptions to dodge, ridiculously petty sibling issues to solve, tangled hair to brush, crappy diapers to change, Wii batteries to replace, Ripstick-induced-boo-boos to kiss, “healthy” meals to prep, meals to convince/bribe your child to eat, barely-eaten meals to clean up after…need I go on? And tucked inside all those issues are the bigger ones. The deeper, scarier ones. The lying, the sneaking, the teasing, the complaining, the meanness, the carelessness, the hitting, the sass, the lack of self-control. It’s the yucky sinful hearts of our precious, fallen kids rearing their ugliness when we least expect it but we’re expected to handle with the perfect balance of grace and consequences. Maybe that’s just my house?
Oh and then there’s me. I lack sleep (thanks to my super sweet newborn), lack connection with my husband (ships in the night), lack girlfriends/community support, lack time to accomplish all I want/need to do in a day, lack patience, lack the ability to be all that I want/need to be to these five adults-in-traning I’ve been trusted with. Along with what I lack as a mother, I have also gained. I’ve gained (more than a few) pounds, gobs of stretch-marks, a borderline-unhealthy addiction to coffee, my first case of poison ivy, giant nursing bosoms, literally unending laundry, and an excessive amount of pictures on my cracked Iphone that I am always looking at but never seem to be able to use to return a text to my bff or answer when my mom calls.
So, Happy bleep-ing Mother’s Day to us. Moms who are trying our darndest to do it all and do it all well but so often feel like we fall short. Short of the expectations of our husbands or society or parents or neighbors or Facebook friends or church ladies or coaches or Pinterest or worst…ourselves.
Here’s my advice (to myself and anyone else who wants to listen). Lower your expectations. Seriously. There are days where if my kids are semi-fed and mostly-healthy and have been hugged at least once and the house didn’t burn down, it should go solidly in the win column. Maybe my floors are still dirty, our meal wasn’t Paleo, I did’t get that trendy workout in, we didn’t do that gorgeously messy science experiment, my greasy hair didn’t get washed, and I didn’t kiss my husband (yet) but that’s motherhood. There are Mommy-moments that are so rich and so sweet and so so irreplacable that they take my breath away. Or maybe its that foul diaper or the mystery leftover rotting in the fridge. Either way, hang in there my fellow imperfect-but-trying-and-crazy-about-our-crew Moms…and if all else fails, Snapchat, espresso, and Jesus go a long long way. 🙂