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It’s tempting to pretend that there aren’t ritz crackers hidden deep inside my shag carpet, along with some other things I probably don’t want to know about. It’s tempting to pretend my four-year-old doesn’t rock the same “favorite” dress three days in a row, and that I don’t currently smell like men’s Old Spice deodorant. Sometimes I’d rather my life looked like a Instagram feed of awesome. I’d also rather my butt looked like a bubble instead of a wide pancake, but we all have to live our truth.

The thing I’ve noticed is that when I don’t pretend, I find my people (the ones who don’t pretend either), and to me that reward is everything. Literally everything.

So to the women, the moms, the people, who don’t pretend…

THANK YOU.

Thank you for your bravery.

There is no one more beautiful to me than you.

There’s no one more beautiful to me than my friend with a messy bun on top of her head, a kitchen sink overflowing with dishes, a screaming baby on her hip, and a struggle she’s in the middle of.

There’s no one more beautiful to me than my friend who walked through a terrible miscarriage open and vulnerably, and is now holding her rainbow baby in her arms.

The reality is that life is raw and unpredictable.

There’s no one more perfect to me than the ones who walk bravely in their imperfection.

There’s no house I’d rather be in than the one where real people live. The ones where there are messes, dirty laundry, true stories, laughter, and tears. I will take my friends with all of it, and a glass of wine on the side.

There’s no greater gift than to be invited into another person’s truth.

So please don’t think when you don’t pretend it doesn’t matter to people. It really matters. It changes the status quo and it reminds all of us that we are alright and that messes can be beautiful.

Maybe just maybe, our kids will learn not to pretend too. Maybe just maybe, they will come to us when they’ve failed and made epic mistakes. Maybe instead of hiding and lying they will share their tears and share their struggle with us, like we’ve shared our struggle with others.

All we can offer our kids, our friends, our partners, our world, is ourselves. The truest, rawest, most honest version is the most powerful one (whether we feel that’s true or not). When we stop pretending we are are one step freer, and when we stop pretending we free others to do the same.

Our kids, our families, our friends, don’t need a Pinterest worthy living room (although those are nice), they don’t need socks that match every day, or someone who never ugly cries. They need us.

So while I was thinking it would be cool to have kids dressed like miniature fashionistas instead of children who rolled out of a Goodwill bin…those days will be few and far between.

I’m okay with people seeing that this mama is a hot mess.

It makes it easier for my tribe to find me and I firmly believe…

I’m enough as I am, and you are too.

This article originally appeared on Wonderoak

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Jessica Johnston

Jessica Johnston is a writer and mom of four kids. She is an avid coffee drinker, risk taker, and TMI sharer. She is a firm believer in keeping it real and believes our imperfections bring us together. She writes at https://wonderoak.com/. You can follow her there, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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