Society tells women they can have it all, but that often leaves women exhausted from trying to live up to an unrealistic standard of motherhood.
Everyone Else Has It All
Doesn’t it seem like that? Everyone else can somehow manage to have it all together and you’re just kind of flapping in the wind hoping for the best.
All the other moms have the well-behaved kids, the perfect hairstyle, beautiful homes, impeccable fashion, plenty of money, the bikini body, the doting husband, a dog that doesn’t bark his head off at the mailman.
They all have it all together, but you’re somehow the only who doesn’t.
When I first became a mom, and especially when I frist started staying home with Bubb, I was pretty convinced that no matter what I did I just wasn’t a good mom.
I just wasn’t mom-ing hard enough.
I would see these moms on social media posting beautifully curated photos of their little ones helping to make cookies or silently playing with trucks by themselves and then look up to see my son coloring on the walls or sneezing into the cookie dough that took us 30 minutes and a lot of tears to “make together”.
Every time I would walk through the house and pick up yet anohter dirty sock (why are there always socks everywhere??) or step on another Lego I would silenly curse and think “how are these other moms keeping it together? Why are their houses so clean and mine always looks like a child-sized tornado ran through it?”
I would see moms at the park in the their workout pants that were clean with their perfectly polished toes and think less of myself. How were they somehow maintaining an exercise schedule AND regular manicures? I busted a sweat buckling my kid into his carseat.
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Side Note: I am currently reading The Minimalist Mom and Present Over Perfect is next on my list. I believe both of these books speak to the spirit of this post. Which is to let go of the idea of perfect parenting.
They Actually Don’t Have It All…..
And then one day it finally clicked- social media is a liar. It’s lying to me.
Because for every one adorable, perfect picture there are a dozen “behind the scenes” moments of tears and frustration. And not just from the kids!
The main reason I started this blog is to create a community where moms can relate to one another. And build some sort of commraderie that’s firmly cemented in mountains of laundry, dirty dishes, and unwashed hair. Also cold coffee because……..forgotten lattes.
What I finally discovered is you can’t have it all.
You just can’t.
There’s no such thing.
Let me say that one more time YOU CANNOT HAVE IT ALL.
And that is an incredible idea. Because it frees us from the exhaustion of constantly striving to reach an unreachable goal.
If you came over tomorrow and my house was spotless top to bottom and every aticle of clothing was washed, folded, and put away you had better believe that I put a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner and my kids spent a great deal of time with their favorite babysitter.
Because there’s no way I’m cleaning my house AND making dinner AND providing an entire day’s worth of educational, self-guided activities for my kids. No way.
And if you come over and my kids has a string of adventures to tell you about you had better believe the laundry and dishes are piled up, toys are everywhere, but I spent time with my kids.
And I probably put a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. Again. Because who doesn’t love a good frozen pizza?! Also, cooking is hard.
And if by some miracle I make a delicious dinner, do the dishes, do one load of laundry, play with my kids, AND have a decent conversation with my husband before bed I probably didn’t exercise that day. Or I didn’t check my Facebook account, or repsond to e-mails or something.
Something went untouched that day. Because you cannot have it all. You cannot do it all.
And that is not an insult. It’s not a slap in the face. That realization, that we as women cannot have it all, is the escape we’re all looking for.
It’s the realization that gives us the ability to relax and stop feeling guilty because that same load of laundry has been in the dryer for a week.
And it gives us the power to enjoy our life more instead of stressing about what every other mom is doing.
It gives us freedom from competing with other moms. No need to compete, none of us can have it all.
The point is that nobody can have their cake and eat it too.
And when we put pressure on ourselves to do exactly that we will constantly fall short.
Instead, the best we can do is prioritize and make an effort every single day. And know that our priorities might change day to day, especially as a mom. But some days my number one is laundry.
Some days my number one is food prep and grocery shopping. And some days my number one is spending as much time with my older boys as I can; or sitting around so I can nurse Baby Bear all day. It depends on the day really.
I think the best moms aren’t the ones who have the best social media accounts or the cleanest houses; the best moms are the ones who are responsive to what their kids (and their households) need right there in that moment, society be damned!
So let’s all stop pretending like we’re doing it all, because we’re not. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
And the next time you go to post one of those perfect, adorable pictures online, maybe consider posting one of your laundry pile along with it!
Drop a comment below and tell me what you think – can you have it all?