Motherhood – and well, parenting in general – is messy business. It’s a life of constant chaos mixed in with messy schedules, messy moments, and messy kids – this we know. Anyone who is a mom can tell you that it’s full of a lot of craziness and less-than-perfect moments, yet we all tend to share the good and skim over the bad. The truth is, there’s a lot more of the “messy” side of things than most of us care to admit.
The Messy Side. While there are a lot of different kinds of moms out there, we all come with our own “messy” baggage as well. Sure, there are the literal ones who keep a messy home because schedules and life get in the way of a neat and tidy house (guilty) – but that’s not the kind of “messy” we mean.
Hidden Side. When we say the “messy” side, we mean the moms who are struggling to keep their crap together on a pretty much daily basis, but they do it one way or another. We mean the moms who are fighting anxiety or depression, the ones who have difficult family ties, or pasts that aren’t exactly painted with roses. We mean you.
Real Life. These are the moms, the real-life moms, who have gone through some crap (and in some cases, still going through it), but still manage to get up and show up for their families. That’s not to say that those who haven’t gone through something aren’t awesome too – you are – it’s to say that these things are all a part of, well, LIFE.
Mothers. “Mothers are depicted in movies, books, and tv shows as the peace keepers who always know what to say. We are inherent providers – we are the fixers. The glue that holds everything and everyone together. But the mothers with the tattered back-story, who wake up every morning to be the best versions of themselves, well, those are the mothers I know,” writes Jorrie Varney for Scary Mommy.
What We Show. The truth is, real life is messy. It’s filled with moments we aren’t so proud of, or moments that make us somehow feel weak or unequal to others. So… we try to hide it. We tend to keep these things hidden and bottled up out of fear of being judged by others we presume have their crap together much better than we do.
Hiding Our Faults. The problem with this is (besides not living as ourselves) everyone is hiding something from public view. That mom you see at the drop off line with her makeup freshly done and every hair in place? You didn’t see that she had a meltdown with the kids that required her to fix her eyeliner before she stepped out of the car.
Everyone Else. Human nature gives us a really crappy inclination that pushes us to compare ourselves to everyone else around us. It sucks and it’s ridiculous. It needs to stop. Everyone around us is doing their best just as we are, but if we all understood that we are ALL struggling and living “messy” lives in one way or another, imagine what that would do for morale?
From the Outside. “From the outside, it looks like everyone else has their s**t together. It looks like they are getting along just fine. So, why can’t I? What’s wrong with me? This thought has rattled around inside my own mind,” Varney writes.
Keeping Quiet. When we do this, we shut down the feelings we have instead of owning up to them and putting them in their place. Moms tend to put their feelings of insecurity on the backburner in order to push through their day and get everything done that needs done (you’re freaking awesome for this, by the way).
No Time for Messy. “Sometimes we feel messy or broken – maybe both. But, we are mothers, so we button it up, or tuck it away. We push our feelings to the side, and store our skeletons in the closet, because we have s**t to do, and there’s not time to be messy. Right?” Varney writes.
Wrong. Messy is life. Messy is who we are – who we ALL are. There is time for messy because it’s there already whether you want to admit it or not. Want to be free from the guilt and the feeling of not living up to others? Own it. You are messy. We are ALL messy. And we are ALL awesome moms in our own right because we show up and get it done.
Who I Am. “Sometimes I feel like I’m failing. I feel overwhelmed on a daily basis, and sometimes I suck at expressing myself. I have relationships in my life that are broken beyond repair, but I keep going. My s**t is nowhere near together, but I don’t care, this is who I am,” Varney says.
You’re Not Alone. We are all just trying to get through each day. Some days may be easier to deal with than others, but we still get through them. Other days may be tough, but we need to remember that no matter what it looks like to others, we’re all just moms living our normal, messy, lives – one day at a time.
In It Together. “To the mom who feels messy or broken, you are not alone. Not even a little. Most of us feel this way at some point. We all have things, some big things, some little things, and some things we can’t explain – that’s OK. It’s OK to be messy – most strong women are,” Varney writes.
It’s Where Your Strength Comes From. What we all need to understand is that our strength – what we need to get through every day as a mother – comes from these messy moments. It’s part of who we are and it’s something we ALL have. You’re not alone – and you’re freaking awesome – so own it, momma. You rock.