Hey, mom. Yes, you.
You don’t have to have it all together. I know. That’s crazy right? We’re moms. We’re supposed to be perfect. We are superhuman. We should be able to do any and everything and do it all with a smile on our face right?
Yeah. That’s what I thought, too.
I strived for perfection. I wanted to do everything and have perfectly well-behaved kids and a clean house and manage everything without breaking a sweat. I came into motherhood thinking, “I have so much experience with kids I’m going to be awesome at this!”
I was so, so wrong.
I think God may have literally laughed out loud at that one.
No, I had no idea what I was doing. I had never had a baby before. This new, tiny, fragile life in my hands was all my responsibility. It was terrifying.
And that’s when I first discovered how wrong I was about my views on motherhood.
A few years and two more kids later, and I can tell you right now I’m still learning and navigating my way through this with no real idea what I’m doing. It’s guesswork, mostly and following your instincts. And I definitely do not have it all together or well-behaved kids and a clean house.
I have always been a perfectionist. I like things organized and clean, and I like routine and being on time for things. All of that went out the window with kids. My house on any given day looks like a tornado and hurricane came through simultaneously and then someone came in and set off a bomb to finish it off.
And forget ever being on time for anything ever again. That’s a dream that is never coming true.
Quality, intimate time with my husband has become so rare that sometimes I wonder if that part of me even functions anymore. The days of dressing up and doing my hair and makeup are now few and far between. Pajamas, dirty hair, and no makeup are now my go-to most days.
My kids probably watch too much television and don’t do enough play.
Sometimes extra screen time is the only way to get through a day. They definitely don’t eat enough veggies and have far too many chicken nuggets. You do what you’ve gotta do when it comes to young kids. Any food is better than them starving.
And forget that naive assumption that my kids would somehow be well behaved because they are mine. Ha! I think we all said or thought that at one point or time in our lives. They’re kids. They are going to act out and have bad days. That part is inevitable. It’s all part of being a parent for us and part of growing up for them.
Going out with friends happens once every few months if I’m lucky. Not because I can’t make time but because I’m usually so exhausted from motherhood and life in general that going out takes too much energy and I just can’t.
These are the real parts of motherhood.
And guess what?
So why is it that we as moms feel so much pressure to do all the things and be perfect and never show any signs of weakness or vulnerability? This certainly doesn’t come from God. We are not meant to do everything and be everything for everyone at all times. We are not called or expected to be perfect.
So to the mom reading this right now, you are not a failure. Your best looks different from day to day. If you got out of bed this morning and all you did was make sure your kids were fed, safe, and loved—then you did more than enough. If your house looks like a warzone, that is OK. If you haven’t showered in days and you’re still in the same pajamas you put on after your last shower, you are still worthy and still a good mom.
Because a good mom is not the mom who has the fake Instagram, picture-perfect life. A good mom is one who loves her children fiercely and would do anything for them.
So don’t strive to be a perfect mom. Be a good one.