This mom-truth needs to be heard … so pay attention.
After the collective gasp settles, please stay with me, because I know I am not alone. Remember the days of being all things to all people and keeping an immaculate Pinterest worthy house filled with well dressed, well-behaved children, with your hair and nails perfect? No? Me either. Because that was never a thing. I throw ZERO shade on the “perfect” moms … the ones that appear to have it all figured out … the Insta-famous, well-groomed, Joanna Gaines-esque Superwomen we are all supposed to aspire to be. You want to know why? BECAUSE THEY STRUGGLE, TOO! In their own ways, they fight their own battles and cry their own tears. You might even be surprised how similar their battles are to your own. And I love you (seemingly) perfect mommas with your minimalist, technology-free (except for Instagram) lifestyle and your alpaca that you shave with a straight razor to spin wool to make clothes for your family! The funny thing is, we’re all that “perfect mom” to someone else. The sad thing is, none of us actually feel that way.
So can we stop already? I vote we exhale and release each other and ourselves from the unofficial nonexistent contract none of us signed, but all feel obliged to pretend actually exists.
I will start. Here are three ugly, anti-perfect mom confessions for you.
- I don’t like kids.
Not yours, and sometimes not my own. I prefer the company of adults. When my friends bring their kids over (I think we will be able to do that again someday?) I LIVE for when the planets align, they all get along, go to their respective corners, and draw or play video games or WHATEVER, but the key is THEY DON’T BOTHER US. If I ask for a play date, it is because I decided I like the mom enough to want to hang out with her, and I think your kid will keep my kid occupied so we can have grown-up time. Additionally, can we please just text each other and say what we want? For example, “I am a mess today. I am not sure I can bother to brush my teeth, but will you please bring your child to my house and binge Outlander with me or keep me company while I fold laundry? Oh. And bring wine.”
- I don’t like to play.
I have a degree in theatre, but turns out, I only like to play pretend with grown-ups who are really good at it. I feed my kids, I clean them occasionally, I make sure they don’t injure themselves (most of the time). Now I have to entertain them too? Nope. Can’t do it. Not today. Maybe not for a few days in a row. And when I DO go full throttle pretend…they realize how cool I am! They want to do it all the time! And I have stuff to do, y’all. Play is not for this momma. It is for daddy and grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles … and those other kids I don’t like. But not me!
- All of this is only partially true…except when it is 100% true. And I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.
Truth is … I have had amazing playdates where the mommas and the kids all hang together, and our hormones hit the right balance, and we build and create and pretend. I also LIVE for those full on play sessions with my kids where I actually allow myself to escape the work stresses, laundry piles, sink full of dishes, and inbox full of emails. I have also been at the playdate where I shoot laser beams out of my eyes at the other mom LONGING to go in the other room and drink a glass of wine and eat stale goldfish crackers at 11:53 am because I know we both want to. And I have screamed at my kids and plunked them in front of a screen because I WANTED to return emails, or talk to my mom on the phone, or (gasp…again) zone into my own screen for a while.
The main focus of this post … TRUTH. Can we all just PLEASE be honest about who we REALLY are … as moms, but mostly as imperfect, messy, sometimes barely living, sometimes highly functioning humans. Give yourself permission to speak your truth and allow others to do the same. Because we are all doing the best we can, except when we aren’t. Sometimes we are great, and sometimes we fall short. I mean … some days I for real fall flat on my face. But I get up, kiss my filthy kids (who missed their bath for the third night in a row, but it’s okay because we swam today, right?) goodnight, and start over again the next day. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with me. And there is nothing wrong with you. We are perfectly imperfect.