Dear real-life mama:
Not the pretend one. Not the one that hides behind a screen to make her life look like one out of a magazine.
Not the one that is afraid of people’s opinions about who she is and what she really wants to say.
Not the one that is desperate for anyone else to tell her how to live her life or parent her kids.
I want to talk to the mama that wants to surrender the idea of having it all together. The one who wants to let go of the dream of being the perfect parent with amazing, abiding children. I want to talk to the one that is ready to accept the chaos and the mess.
If you’re there, hear this. You don’t need to idolize the mamas with the perfect photos, the perfect postpartum body, and all the expensive baby gear and clothes. (Many of them are literally paid to make you feel like you need all of it). Some of them are amazing women that I, too, adore, but remember that they are just like you. They struggle, their kids are naughty, their marriage has the same obstacles as yours. But just like you, they want their life to appear pretty. Let them influence only a tiny sliver of your life, maybe to fold the huge pile of laundry taking over your bed, or to try a new craft, or to change the shirt you’ve been wearing for 3 days. Let them inspire or motivate you. But don’t let those people dictate your happiness with your own life.
Don’t idolize someone else’s motherhood, but rather, find ways to praise your own.
Know when it’s OK to ask for help. Know when it’s OK to have your own way of doing things. Know that it’s OK to have hand-me-downs and cheap clothes for your kids instead of designer jeans or a $50 baby sweater. A dressed kid is the best kid.
Your motherhood is the best motherhood.
Your kids’ childhood is the best childhood.
Your marriage (along with everyone else’s) is hard freaking work. But in between all the imperfections, it’s perfect for you two.
Own what you have in front of you. Work on the parts that need help, and love the parts that are amazing. Don’t wish for one second that you could trade any part of your life with someone else. You haven’t seen their dirty laundry. The grass is already plenty green where you’re standing.
It’s OK to look for inspiration or motivation elsewhere, but guard your heart and remind yourself that you don’t need all of it. You already have the best gifts. You already have a life that someone else out there would kill to have.
On the days when your kids are all crying for different reasons, it’s 1:00pm and you still don’t have a bra on, and you wonder how the hell you ended up nursing a baby on your dirty hallway floor…Just soak it all in. You’re there, in that moment, for a reason. If you feel defeated, then allow yourself to suck at life for that day. Accept your “lose a turn” card and try again tomorrow.
You develop a confidence and understanding that can’t be taught when you learn from the shitty days and mistakes.
Dear real-life mama: I think you’re more beautiful when you show the imperfections and the mess. When you’re honest about the hard things. You’re relatable, you’re real, you’re completely you. Take pride in a motherhood that is so special and inimitable, that it’s impossible to duplicate. Treat your motherhood like your very own fingerprint: there isn’t another one out there like it.
Dear real-life mama: Let’s do this. I want to be more like you.