The most difficult thing I’ve ever done is be a mother. I’ve been through some pretty big trials throughout my life- but those trials have had an end. Not motherhood. Every single day, I’m responsible for someone else… well, two someone else’s. I can’t just drop everything and go on a spontaneous trip, or go out for drinks on a Saturday night, or schedule a hair cut whenever I want. I have to think about how two little people are going to be taken care of, and how they might feel. I’m not saying I don’t love being a mother; quite the contrary. But I will say I have made some major life adjustments, especially in the area of my career, that wouldn’t have occurred if I didn’t have David and Caroline.
Motherhood is hard. It’s hard always putting someone else first. It’s hard seeing your body change. It’s hard being so damn tired all the time. It’s hard having to think so much. It’s hard being consistent with discipline. It’s hard not sleeping in. Damn, do I miss sleeping in
But you know what makes motherhood even harder than all of the things I mentioned above?
Our culture’s expectations of how mothers “should be.”
We are fed a narrative that tells us we should look a certain way, act a certain way, and sacrifice everything for our children.
Motherhood doesn’t mean you have to loose yourself in your children. It doesn’t mean parenting the same way or acting a certain way.
Because we believe we have to be a certain way, we compare ourselves. Comparison is the thief of joy, people! Women have told me they think I have it all together… puh-lease. My car is filled with goldfish crackers in the nooks and crannies, too, and more days than not I have my children’s bodily fluids on some part of my body. I don’t wash my hair enough, and I still have boxes I have yet to unpack- 7 weeks after moving later. My life is a mess, too, folks. All of us have messes.
Embrace the messy, give yourself grace. Don’t buy the story you’ve been fed that mothers have to be perfect. They don’t. Moms only need to love their children fiercely and love on them. That’s the definition of a perfect mother.