I haven’t written in a while, not because I have nothing to say, but because most of what I have to say seems so negative. While I created this blog as a place to write my journey and be real with y’all, it feels wrong to dump all of my worry and yuck onto a page. It’s so easy for something like that to color the way someone else sees the world.
Now, though, I’ve gotten a little distance and feel like it’s time to share. Why? Because I know I’m not the only one who goes through stuff like this, even though I often feel like it’s only me.
I know I’m not the only mom that feels like a failure. I know I’m not, but it seems like the people around me are doing so much better than I am! They get their laundry done, folded, and put away (gasp) all on the same day! My colors load is still in my washing machine. Four days later. I think… Might be longer… And their houses are always spick and span, floor boards polished even as their four-year old calmly water colors at the table and their homemade minestrone soup bubbles on the stove. They’re popping up pinterest experiments all over Facebook, taking their kids on cool excursions during the day, looking super cute, working out.
Me? I’m over here taking advantage of the baby’s nap cycle to quell the 15 billionth headache that’s spawned by me cooking up a little human inside my body. Wash? Ha. Hahaha. Right… When I’m out of underwear, #1 has no more dirty socks to wear, and the hubby’s jeans start walking on their own, that’s when it’s time to wash. Otherwise, it’s just a pile of stuff for the kids to jump in. Clothes leaves, rather than tree leaves. And I’m lucky if I’ve managed to sweep my floor once during the day, not that it’ll show. Chips and crackers and raisins are my oriental rug, yo. My one accomplishment? Home-cooked meals 3 nights out of the week. Yes, stir fry counts. So does spaghetti, thanks. It has added canned tomatoes and mushrooms and olives and stuff. Homemade. The other 4 nights? Hot dogs are healthy, right?
The thing of it is, I’ve been getting so wrapped up in everything going wrong. Facebook for sure doesn’t help. At all. Instead of seeing the real story of my mom friends – the baby food on the ceiling, the kid fighting, the bills all over the table, the unmowed backyards – all we see are the good things. And that’s no bad! What is bad is that I lump all moms on Facebook into a Uni-mom. Then, it’s not “Oh, So-and-so works out and does her own nails, so cool! And look, there’s a picture of this struggle that she has. See, she’s like me: has some awesome skills and hobbies, and isn’t Miss Perfect.” It’s “Uni-mom has gone to the pumpkin patch, run a marathon through Town Lake, created an organic meal fit for a 5 star restaurant, and run a successful business! I’ve not left the house at all except to get #1 and go to HEB, my back hurts from crappy ab muscles, we eat $.88 hot dogs regularly, and I wanna just be a Netflix bum.”
What I’m realizing is that I need to give myself grace. I’m a mom, not a superhero, as much as we like to tell ourselves that we are. Am I a chauffeur, cook, maid, teacher, lover, and judge? Yes. That’s pretty super. But I’m not everything all the time. And I most certainly am not a master of it all.
I’m great at being mom. I love my kids like nothing else. I make sure they have food in their bellies, clean clothes on their backs (though maybe not their feet), and are healthy little critters. When the urge strikes, I can make awesome gourmet foods. I can do cutesy little crafts. I LOVE taking them places. And, I’m not a failure for not doing all of these things 100% of the time.
Sometimes, I will have to sacrifice in order to take care of their basic needs. Soon, I’ll be getting a job. I’ll be sacrificing time with both of them but mainly #2 because I am unwilling to let my husband take the fall and I’m unwilling to face the possibility of losing our house. I am not a failure for not being a stay at home mom. I’m not even a failure for the things I fall short on. I’m just as super for helping to carry the load, and I hope my kids see that.
I am a failure when I shut down and shut them out. When I stop caring for them and let all of my self-hating get in the way of loving for them, that’s when I’m a failure. So today, I’m giving myself a little grace. The dishes are done and the kitchen is clean. Diapers are taken out (though not yet to the trash can, since it’s 1/4 mile away – yay apartments!). The kids are clean and fed. Is my floor spotless? Nope. Are my clothes all put away? Nope. But I’m ok with that. I’m not Uni-mom, and I know that each mom out there, though we put up our best moments, our funniest slip-ups, our cutest catastrophes, has a world we hide from everyone else because we’re afraid of someone saying we’re a failure.
You’re not a failure.
You are awesome.
You are super, even though you’re not doing everything. Because you’re not doing everything.
You’ve got this.