Hi there! I am so incredibly excited to be over here on Moms without Answers today.
If I could actually see your faces, I would be smiling ear to ear because there would be another human with the ability to talk in full sentences right in front of me. I would feed you chocolate and all the coffee your heart desires just to get you to stay and talk with me because I would so desperately be wanting the voice of a friend in the middle of my day. I would sit down with you and talk over coffee, like we had been friends forever, because that’s just the kind of person I am. I know no strangers. I have this problem with inserting myself right into the life of strangers because making friends is like a game. It gives me this unusually weird high. Making a new friend puts me on cloud nine, and I promise I am not a weirdo.
If I was sitting with you right now, I would be thinking and feeling all of these wonderful things I mentioned…Yet, at the same time, my stomach would be in knots and I might be considering running out the door just as quickly as I came in. My heart is beating, my body temperature seems like it is 102, and I am taking breaths like I just finished running a marathon. I am listening to every word you say, while planning my reason for escape and taking deep breaths hoping the feeling passes and you can’t see right through me.
I’m an extrovert struggling with anxiety and it’s challenging me in every possible way.
I don’t want you to see right through me. I want you to see the “me” I talked about at the beginning of this little coffee date. The one who is crazy about making new friends, who would give you the last cup of coffee just so you would stay and talk for a while. Not the one who isn’t sure if she can make it through this play date before she has a panic attack. Not the one who barely made it out of the door without crying because her kids were running around her house like wild chimpanzees.
I want you to see the “me” who has it all together.
How often do we do this in our journey through motherhood?
We don’t want anyone to see us just as we are, we want them to see us how we wish we were. We want people to see us when our hair is done, our make-up is perfect, our attire for the day isn’t stained with spit-up and hasn’t been worn all week. We want ourselves to look presentable. We want our kitchen to be spotless, the toys to be picked up or at least contained. The beds to be made, the bathrooms to be elegant and smelling….like flowers. We want our homes to be put together. We want our children to be happy and obedient doing everything they are told. We want our life to be perfect. We want our life to be put together. We want everything to be at its best.
We want to be at our best.
But mama, it’s exhausting. It is so incredibly exhausting trying to be perfect. It is so hard to look like we have it all together on the outside, when on the inside we are close to falling apart because we just want to know we aren’t alone.
It is exhausting trying to hold yourself to a standard of motherhood you were never supposed to measure up to. Perfection was never asked of you, mama. Perfection was never expected of you. Perfection was never a goal for you to attain.
What would motherhood be like if we embraced grace instead of perfection?
What would it be like if when you saw that mama at the grocery store with that exhausted look on her face as she juggled her kids in the check-out line if you leaned over and told her she was doing a good job?
What would it be like if you reached out to the mama with no make-up on, yesterday’s t-shirt (we all know what those days look like, don’t pretend you don’t) juggling her children in the coffee line, and told her you would buy her a coffee and bring it to her seat?
What would it be like if you washed the dishes in that mama’s sink while she sat at the table trying to finish the coffee she has heated up three times since she woke up?
What would life be like if you told that mama who was just standing there trying to catch a moment to breathe that you understand (whatever it is going on in her head, you understand) and that she isn’t alone?
What would it be like if we offered a mama grace instead of expecting perfection?
Let’s take it even further…what if we offered ourselves grace instead of expecting perfection? What if we could embrace motherhood in all of its beauty and chaos in a really real form and not expect ourselves to have it all under control? What if we could embrace motherhood on the good days and the bad days and offer grace for each one of them? What if we felt the freedom to be real, completely real, in motherhood embracing our celebrations and imperfections?
What if we didn’t think we had to have it all together?
Mama, what if you gave yourself a little extra grace today?
Don’t expect perfection. You were never meant to have it all together. You don’t have to do this on your own. You don’t always have to know what you’re doing.
Embrace grace. It’s okay to not know, it’s okay to be exhausted, and it’s okay to not have it all together.
What would motherhood be like if we weren’t afraid to be real? What would motherhood be like if we took the pressure off of ourselves? What would motherhood be like if we embrace grace and not perfection?