I immediately felt terrible. I felt like I had just found out I am daily setting up women to feel like they're falling short. I was a participant in the "best mom ever" contest. I was part of the problem. See the truth is, I often feel like a terrible mother. I feel like my son doesn't eat healthy enough. I don't spend enough of my time crafting amazing activities to further his development. I don't find enough time for exercise and my house is not always clean. I often feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to juggle all of the parts of my life. I am constantly falling short to my own expectations. I constantly compare myself to other moms and their facebook posts. As I write this blog my son is watching The Lego Movie and playing with his toys on his own. He had dry cereal, peanut butter, and bananas for breakfast. He didn't get dressed until almost 11:00 a.m. We have not done any homeschool activities in weeks. We haven't even played in the backyard for over a month. Its too hot and I don't feel like it. I have piles of laundry and dishes and I just can't find the motivation to tackle them.
But here is the thing: none of that is ever on facebook. I (and we) want people to think we are amazing and perfect because as mothers it seems universal for us to feel like failures. We are afraid we are failing our children. We are afraid someone else is doing it better than we are. We are afraid of people finding out that we aren't as wonderful as our Facebook profile would have others think. We see moms on facebook and think to ourselves, "they can do it all, why can't I?" The answer is they're thinking the same thing. And they feel that way, in part, because of how hard we work to project an image of perfection.
I think its time to be open and honest about our lives as mothers in our culture. I want to be perfect, but I will never be perfect, and neither will you. Sometimes I let my kid eat dogs twice in a day. Sometimes I let him watch too much t.v. (try often), sometimes we don't get dressed at all. Sometimes I don't clean and the only excuse I have is I was being lazy. Sometimes I don't get my meals planned and we're scrambling for dinner at the last minute. Ladies, these things do not and should not measure our success as mothers. We place value on things that do not accurately measure how we are doing as parents. We keep putting only our best foot forward to avoid judgment and it becomes a stumbling block for all of us because none of us are actually doing it all. We all want help. We all want true support and understanding. We all want to know we are good moms.
So lets come together and be transparent. Lets help each other understand how wonderful we are and focus on loving our children and meeting their needs. Lets not be caught up in a never ending contest to "win" at being a mother. None of us will win at the end of the day and we will eternally feel like failures. Focus on supporting each other and we can be invincible.