It’s just been me and the kids this week….Five people picked to live in a house of crazy…(Wait…wrong show..although there are times where we’d be the perfect bunch of loonies for that type of thing.) Anyways, the kids and I were
stuck here at home, while my husband went back to Ohio to attend our niece’s wedding. Before he left, I had all these ideas in my mind about what our week would look like. We would curl up in my bed at night and read Harry Potter. (Not one chapter was read.) We’d eat popcorn, giggle, and snuggle up. (There was popcorn one night, but I wasn’t giggling..just praying time would pass more quickly..) We’d bake cookies, run through the sprinkler, watch old Disney movies, and have a magical time. (Nope, nope, nope, and nope.) It wasn’t exactly magical. It was altogether regular. Too regular if you ask me…The kids were…well…kids! They fought, got into “no-no’s”, and did things like force-feed their brother marshmallows, drink toilet water, and drag my afghan through the compost. (All true.) Life was happening all around me, and I didn’t have the respite of my husband to help keep my sanity in check.
In the middle of his time away, David arranged for one of our friends to come over and relieve me for a bit (Which she did, my favorite Starbucks in hand…just because she’s awesome..yes, be jealous…). I should have been excited, but when he told me she was coming over, I freaked out. I was mad…..like texting in all-caps mad…The house was not picked up. My hair was wet. Two of the kids were not dressed “cute.” There is a box-spring in the upstairs hall. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the downstairs toilet. Was he serious? Have someone over? Even worse than the fear of my friend seeing my home and children be less than stellar, was my fear that I would appear incapable….less than….flawed…unable to handle everything on my own. I wanted to be the very thing this blog rages against….I wanted to be Supermom.
Instead of being excited to get out of the house, accept some help, and exchange some vulnerability with a trusted friend, I was focusing on my “image.” My husband graciously pointed out in a text that I always say I don’t get to be alone enough….While that is true, I didn’t want anyone to know that I needed that time…I didn’t want anyone to know that my kids stress me out….that I sometimes wait until bed to pick stuff up….that I don’t wear cute outfits around the house….that I’m not super..I’m just mom.
As I write this now, I recognize how RIDICULOUS I was being…..and so completely opposite of EVERYTHING I’m about. There is not now, nor will there ever be a “Supermom.” Just ain’t happening. I don’t care how hard any of us try….It doesn’t matter how awesome your cooking is…how clean your house is….how perfectly dressed your kids are…how put-together you look (even silly places like drop-off at school or the park…really ladies..I implore you…wear a freaking hoodie and jeans, and let those of us who don’t care about fashion blend in…)It doesn’t matter if we do the best crafts….a ton of learning activities….put our kids in dozens of lessons..We’ll always be chasing that title. And, I’m here to tell you….this is GOOD NEWS.
We get to be REAL. Who wants to live a lie?Running around like a crazy person, frantically vacuuming your house and making your kids grab Lysol wipes, just so things will “look” perfect anytime someone comes over…Spending hours at night working on uber-elaborate treat bags, muffins, (you know, any little project in which you are intentionally trying to “out-do” everyone else for attention, recognition,etc….and don’t pretend that you don’t know what I’m talking about…)when you could be relaxing with your husband, reading a good book, or doing something for YOU….Spending money you don’t have on certain brands so you and your kids will give off a certain image….Those things….aren’t fun….Living a lie is hard. It’s work. It’s stressful….and really….I don’t know any mom who needs MORE stress. We’ve got it bad enough. We don’t need to go heaping more on ourselves as we crazily try to be something we’re not. (Perfect….in case you didn’t catch my drift yet…)
Listen….EVERY mom wants a break. EVERY mom gets frustrated, annoyed, and for lack of a better word, bothered, by their kids from time to time. EVERY mom has days where she frankly wants to stop….just go on strike (admit it…you’ve daydreamed about that)…This thing called motherhood…it’s a tough gig. Crazy hours. Crummy pay. Very little personal space. You’re stuck in an animated, very sticky, crumb-laden, chaotic world…..and saying that out loud is not a crime (and don’t feel like you always need to follow it up with some platitude about motherhood being such a blessing, yadda yadda…It is OKAY to admit that it is hard and not always uber-pleasant!). Being a mom is tough. Let’s just put that out there. Admit it. OWN it. Accept it. Let’s just cut out the act of being perfect and put our energy towards something worthwhile. Maybe if we all stop trying to out-do each other, and keep up the appearance of the bright, shiny, television scripted mom, we just might have more energy and patience for our kiddos.
My friend wouldn’t have cared if I answered the door with wet hair. I’m pretty sure the box spring up in our hallway (dear god, someone take it…) didn’t jeopardize our friendship. I could have come to the door crying in my sweatpants (which I am proudly wearing at the moment), and she would have loved me anyways. This act we’re trying to maintain….we just don’t need it. I don’t want people who love me for the “act.” My family and friends….I want them to know and love Bekki….not “Supermom.” Be you. (Please? ‘Cuz I’d really like to just go ahead and be me….and it’d be pretty great if you joined me…) Flaws and all. Because, let’s face it…being imperfect, relaxed, and authentic trumps pretentious and pretend (and exhausted, stressed, frantic,etc) EVERY time. Be true. Be YOU. (Yes, that’s horribly cheesy, but wise…) Let’s keep honesty from being such a lonely word….Be honestly imperfect. Honestly flawed. Honestly tired. Honestly happier for admitting those things. Honestly relieved for knowing you’re not alone.
Well done, Bekki. You spoke for many moms with this blog. This striving for perfection happens in so many arenas of our lives, and you have touched on the most vulnerable, one’s Momma skills. Keep it up!