Let’s put it out there mamas: Most of us have no clue what we’re doing when it comes to mom life. We are learning as we go, we wonder if we’re doing enough, we sometimes feel guilty or self-doubt, and we play the comparison game far too often.
Don’t let what you think you see other mamas doing make you feel less than. Very rarely is what we see the real or whole truth.
Does this make sense?
Example: smiling photos of my kids on Facebook doesn’t mean there weren’t tears, screaming, and negotiation to get there. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t. Each photo opp is a gamble.
I’m learning that amidst our social media-saturated climate, most of us look like we have it together in the mom life department. Yet that’s far from the truth. And some of us are really struggling while trying to keep up with the false realities of others.
So let this mom share a few things:
Mom Life Insights
The bins inside my seemingly tidy playroom are a disaster. You come in my house and see tidy, I see Monica’s secret closet on Friends.
Were they once organized for a hot second? Perhaps. Are they now? Definitely not. It’s a jumbled mess inside those cute wicker bins.
My little guy was recently in a crying rage, just because, in front of all the carts at Trader Joe’s as people stared and awkwardly veered around us (did he not remember that TJ’s and Target are mommy’s happy places?!).
Did he also eat chocolate animal crackers and watch his iPad at 6:00 am this weekend because mom and dad were wiped and wanted to sleep? You betcha he did. We also found a fruit by the foot wrapper by the chair. He’s still alive, healthy and happy.
My girl mailed us a letter from sleep away camp distraught that I didn’t pack enough clothes so she was forced to wear her dad’s undershirt (she likes to wear it to bed) around camp. For the record, I packed like 25 shirts. Also for the record, she will survive. But, if I’m confessing: I also packed two conditioners instead of a shampoo. Oops.
Let’s be Honest Here…
While I’m putting it out there: my kids rarely make their bed, and I usually pack their lunches. I don’t make them do as many chores as they should, they sometimes go to bed without a bath if I’m too tired, and there’s not always a rainbow colored assortment of food on their plate.
I’ve screamed at my kids and felt awful after. I’ve done it more than I care to admit. I’ve also walked away and locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes so I didn’t say something I’d later regret. I’ve also laughed when they said “ass” or something crude.
The thing is — amidst all that mom life stuff — I’m a GREAT mom. So are you.
We are all doing the best we can. Too often mamas put up this facade like our children are perfect little angels and we have it all together.
There will always be some kids that are better behaved, some moms who make the best homemade dinners while I’m bringing home pizza or a rotisserie chicken, there are moms run that PTA like the boss they are, and others incredibly grateful that they do.
We all have things that we are amazing at, but mamas, we can’t be amazing at everything. That’s why we all exist. We’re a tribe here to support each other.
So let’s start by being more honest and transparent when it comes to mom life.
Mom Life is a Learning Process
I’m learning as I go. I talk with a few close mom friends about the crazy that goes on inside our homes. Sometimes it’s crazy beautiful… and sometimes it’s just crazy. Sometimes I really impress myself (like, pat myself on the back and say “killer pep talk, Alyson!”), and other times I walk away thinking, what the heck was that?
What I have learned is that if we care this much, mamas, we are doing an amazing job.
Those chocolate animal cracker breakfasts mean quality time later because we’re not exhausted shells of a human beings.
My daughter wearing daddy’s undershirt means she’s learn that you don’t put clean clothes in the laundry basket all the time otherwise… you’ll be miserable with what you have left, and have a lot of laundry to do.
A messy bed makes it easier to read under the covers.
Our home and our priorities are likely different than yours and that’s totally OK. What does universally matter?
What Really Matters When it Comes to Being a Mom
It matters that our kids know that we love them fiercely.
It matters that they know they are capable, strong, smart and beautiful.
It matters that our kids practice kindness, gratitude and inclusivity.
It matters that they know that it doesn’t matter how many times they fall or fail; it only matters how many times they get back up.
It matters that they know that even if I don’t agree with them and even if I don’t totally understand, that I am here to support them.
It matters that that they know no one is perfect, and yet, we were made exactly how we are meant to be.
And it matters that you know that, too, mama. None of us are perfect, but we are the perfect parent for our children.
I often have no clue what I’m doing… but I’ll tell you one more thing I do know: motherhood for sure is one incredible journey I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Join the Conversation
AmyJanuary 15, 2022 at 9:07 PM
I am a new mommy as of 8 months ago. I went from a career to a stay-at-home mommy status when he turned 4 months old. I never thought I’d quit my job to stay at home, but I decided no one will ever give him the kind of love/care that I could. Cue…. the distressed, confused and exhausted mommy! The pressure I put on myself to be the “perfect” mom is on another level. While I secretly yearn for a little empathy, I use to be “the one” to judge ever so harshly on other moms (previous to actually being a mom). I feel delusionally happy while reading this because I think I’m functioning on 2-3ish hrs of sleep and everything includes tears at this point. While this may seem like I’m openly admitting to failure, I’m not. I am so happy and proud that I wake up every day with a heart exploding to love this little boy. I can’t squeeze him enough; I truly believe this kind of love should be illegal. That all being said, the currents have changed drastically from what I had envisioned for myself years ago but I cannot be happier. I am now a hot mess challenging myself every day to be everything to my son and husband that I feel like I’m slowly losing me; I don’t want to lose my identity. Being almost 40, I tried for this little man for 5+ years and after a couple of failed IUI’s and a round of IVF, I have this miracle. I just want to be everything for him and my husband while not losing myself. Can we have both?
KellyJuly 9, 2019 at 8:18 PM
One of our classic moments was a Christmas picture I took of our three teens for the family card that looked beautiful (I still have the photo framed in our family room). The second after the picture was taken they broke out into a three-way fight that ended with my daughter slapping her younger brother. It was so ridiculous that it was funny but I had to keep it together and tell them to knock it off. Our oldest turned 30 this year and they all turned out to be very decent people who support themselves. But I always think back to that fight and have to smile when I look at that picture.
AlysonJuly 12, 2019 at 9:34 AM
That’s hysterical Kelly! Isn’t it so funny the moment that is captured vs. the reality of it all?!
KayJuly 9, 2019 at 8:47 AM
Love this! Well said.
LeeAnn RobertsJuly 9, 2019 at 7:56 AM
Yes yes yes to every word you wrote! I could not agree more!!! Thanks for your honesty and I think you’re doing an amazing job Mama!
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