Dear Fellow Moms and Moms-to-be,
I want to share a secret with you. It’s something I’ve really been able to hammer down in recent months, especially as my offspring count recently doubled. Are you ready for it? It’s going to be good…
IT’S OK IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER.
Yep, that’s it. So simple. Yet quite profound.
When I look at parenting (and more specifically – mothering), I’ve come to realize that it really is ok if you don’t have it all together. Often with tv shows, celebrity role models and other put together mommas, it’s hard not to “keep up with the Joneses” when it comes to raising your children. (Don’t forget – those perfect moms on tv – just actresses who are ‘playing house’, celebrity moms – their kids throw tantrums too, and they often have the help of nannies to raise their clan.)
And I am guilty of this.
One night I was getting together with some of my bible study ladies and bringing my kids, and after running around like a mad woman to get them packed after work, putting together a plate of dessert for the potluck and making sure they were in ‘somewhat presentable’ outfits – i.e. made sure there weren’t any huge mudspots on the big one and wiped my little guy’s sour milk smelling neck – I found myself pulling up to the house relieved that I made it “on time” – i.e. within 10 mins of start time. When I was getting Landon out of the car, I noticed he had huge clumps of brown dirt from an afternoon digging in the yard. I quickly tried to scrape out some of his dirtiness and after picking a nail or two, I stopped and thought – “really Ginger, who cares if has dirt packed under his nails?!” It wasn’t like we were there for a photoshoot or heading to a special event. It was a relaxed get together with girls who I have shared deep secrets and crazy news over the past 5 years, why should I feel like I need to try to make life seem ‘perfect’ when they clearly know many of the struggles and challenges I’ve faced.
It was so freeing to realize that I didn’t need to be perfect for them. It was ok that my kids were dirty, or that I was a little behind schedule. It’s ok that I don’t have it all together.
And I thought about so many of the women who probably feel that same amount of pressure – to be the perfect mom, the great wife, the awesome homemaker, the diligent worker, and I felt a little sad that our society puts so much pressure on women to have this crazy role. And, if you know me, you know that I for the most part don’t care too much of what others think. I don’t wear make up, do my hair or often wear anything outside of casual workout clothes unless it’s a special event/church/etc. I am pretty strong in my opinions and often feel pretty confident about myself and my life. And while parenting is so challenging, I think I do an ok job at it. Definitely not great but also way better than terrible 🙂
So to all the moms/moms-to-be, an encouraging word from one of your own… It really is ok if you don’t have it all figured out. It’s ok if your kids socks don’t always match and he has a little dirt on his face. It’s ok if your kid has a melt down in public – we’ve all been there – it doesn’t make you any less of a mother.
There will be up days and there will be down days, but remember that 10 years from now, no one is going to remember that your nails weren’t done, that you ordered too much take out during those crazy first months, or that your house didn’t ever seem to get ‘clean’ again once the kids came along. They will remember the way you interacted with your kids, the memories of family excursions and the crazy stories that come with raising these little buggers!
Another struggling mother