It’s 1 in the morning and I’m lying awake listening to the sounds of my oldest’s relentless cough. We are five days into her bout with this years influenza breakout and I can hear that she is not getting any rest. For me, rest is a top 3 necessity when it comes to healing from anything especially the flu. Despite all of the OTC medications, essential oils, and prep before bed, she is up and suffering.
My heart is breaking for my 10 year old. It’s tough in the first place to be sick but to be sick and not able to sleep? Ugh. I’m also super frustrated because I’m running out of practical ideas. I trudge (that’s how a 29 week pregnant woman walks at night) downstairs and start to figure out ways to help her. Some more meds, essential oils on the feet, cough drops, more nose blowing encouragement…there isn’t much left.
With everything done that I can possibly do, I return to bed. To my own sleepless worry. As long as I’m up I might as well see if anything exciting is happening in Facebook land. And that’s where I’m hit with a big ole dose of #momguilt. Some person, an unknown to me, but a “friend” of my husband has left a vicious comment on this picture I posted:
Here’s the gist of his comment: are these things I’m utilizing for my kids “the reason behind my kid’s illness vs. part of my intent to heal them. ” Ouch! I’m not an over-the-top crunchy mom. 5 kids and one on the way including a set of triplets has stolen some of my ambition to prepare my own organic baby food or only prepare the best and healthiest for my kids. And sometimes eating vs. not eating is more important then what I’m choosing to buy for them to eat. His comment still hurt though, a lot. Because lets face it moms, most of us are already internally wondering if we are doing a good job. When our toddler, who was fever free, hits 103 for the 3rd time we question our mom ability. “What am I doing wrong?” we ask ourselves. “Am I just that horrible of a mom, that my kids are this sick?”
Even when our kids are healthy, #momlife in general can cause all of our insecurities in our ourselves to come to the forefront. Even if we seem like we have it all together and are rocking the mom confidence, the truth is we are all teetering on the edge of “I’m a horrible, no good, very bad mother” thoughts. We just can’t help it. We yell too much. Our kids don’t have clean underwear. They had cereal for dinner two nights this week. It doesn’t take much and we are already wondering how much we’ve screwed up this mom gig. This feeling is something WE’VE created though. Now add on societal expectations and IG accounts of moms who seemingly have life 100% all together and we are standing on a cliff of uncertainty. That’s 2018 for you. Luckily there is a lot of encouragement out there for moms to STOP THE MOM GUILT MADNESS towards each other but today I want to take it one step forward: let’s start telling other mom’s that they are rocking the mom life.
I suspect that you have a group of ladies around you that are in dire need of encouragement today. Struggling to nurse a newborn. Toddler tantrums and potty training struggles. Helping a child catch up in reading. Tween angst and the accompanying mouthing off. A teenager’s poor choices. There are about a thousand different reasons for a mom to feel like she is failing and what she really needs is the ladies around her to SEE her. To see her successes and tell them back to her. To bring her coffee/tea/chocolate and remind her that she IS doing this mom thing well no matter what the world says or how she feels.
Today is the day when we look at each other and not only stop comparing but start encouraging. It is also the time to stop #fakingit on social media. Stop lying to others that you have it all together and be real. If you don’t want to post the “real” you? Then like words that should be left unsaid, leave the “perfect” unshared.
I promise to be real and not to hide that I am one #hotmessmama. Want to join me?