I peed my pants in Target last week.

Like, literally. Dribbles ran down my leg after an unfortunately-timed sneeze. Thankfully, I was wearing black wide-legged exercise pants so the other shoppers and my children were none the wiser. My boobs are currently so hard that my Littlest keeps pointing and touching them and looking up at me giggling, eyes wide. And I’m fairly certain one of these days he’s going to have a flashback and latch right on to one of these fun-bags only to be terribly disappointed that the taps have run dry. My bottom is still possessed by hanger-onners from my first pregnancy requiring some ointment “at all the right times in all the right places.” And one of my nipples looks as if a bacon bit fell off my fork whilst I munched a salad and clung to my areola in an attempt to not fall to its death. And that bacon bit sits upon some currently very round and perky post-mastectomy boobies.

When I write all that down, it feels like I’m a bit of a hot mess express. And yet, I like this kooky, broken, messy girl quite a lot. Even though I am not a woman who has it together.

And if you’ve read my words before, you know I am so happy for that. I am proud of that, in fact.

That’s right. I don’t have it together AND I’m proud of myself.

Two things women aren’t supposed to say, right? Because we are moms. We are wives. We are ultra-human superheroes. We are supposed to be self-deprecating and not too pushy or opinionated. And if we’re to have anything together it’s our shit. 

Women of today’s era are often expected to bring home the bacon and fry it up. Or if we don’t bring home the bacon, our pan collection had better consist of Le Crueset’s bright hues to create perfectly balanced meals for our savvily-dressed children who are involved in sports, music, and balloon-animal-making. We are not supposed to coddle our children. But we absolutely can not tell them we disapprove or give them negative consequences. We must never say that we don’t like our children, even though we always love them. We must never leave the house undone, un-make-upped and our clothing, if expandable, must have a certain logo on it to show that we wear clothes that will take sweat but aren’t really made for it. We are expected to birth children and be back to the grind 6 weeks later, with a smile on our face and our brains in tact. And if, instead, we are staying home with our babies, we must get them socially intelligent as soon as they can spit up by giving them music classes and water babies experiences. We are the schedule makers, the organic bakers, the movers and shakers, and the give not takers. And our bodies, well, they must also be un-flawed — bright, tight, and bearing no signs that we’ve pushed out tikes.

We are expected to have it all. Do it all. Be it all.

But I gave that up. I first gave it up before my world came falling down on top of me with the word “cancer.” And then any residual evidence that was left of trying to keep up with Jones’ or pretend to be something I’m not was cast away in favor of sharing the real journey through treatment. Because being someone else is to be working harder, not smarter. 

Because as much as I want to be the woman who has it all together, I really like the woman in me who doesn’t. I really like the girl who constantly shares TMI. I like the mom who is a mix of hard and soft for her kids. I like the chick that is comfiest in comfy pants. And I am great with the person who rarely puts on a stitch of makeup these days. About 7 months ago, I realized more than I ever had before… I really like myself. And if someone doesn’t like what I am, that’s okay. At least they know who I really am. What I really am. And what kind of human I want to be.

I walked around without hair the whole winter. I said no when I was too tired. I accepted help from others whenever it was offered. And I figured something out. For anyone else, it might seem like my life feels messy. But really, what I discovered is, my life is a messterpiece. Life is just better when you get to be who you really are. Who you really want to be. Life is better when you don’t let it all rule your world. And instead, you take each day for the goodness that it is. 

Life is better when the truest you can be unleashed and set free to blow about in the wind and touch other people in the way it was meant to. 

As you look around and think that everyone else has it all, know that no one has it all together. Most people are peeing their pants in Target. Or picking boogers out of their kid’s nose. And farting in exercise class. Or dealing with stuff that’s hard behind the scenes. And the irony is that they might even be wishing they had it all together like you. When really, you may both have it all and don’t know that “having it all” means different things to different people. 

I don’t have it all together. And I’m finally at a point where I truly own that and celebrate it. And I’m proud of that. Every day that I have breath in my lungs. 

You do not need to do it all, to be it all. You do not need be someone else. You just need to be who you are. And completely rock at it. I guarantee you will be the best you the world has ever seen. 

Write down what makes you funny. Write down what makes you kind. Write down what makes you happy. Write down what makes you sad. And then look at all of your answers and you will find the most incredible thing… yourself. And I think you just might love her. Be proud of her. And celebrate her. Even if she pees her pants every time she jumps a jack. That might even be the thing that makes you love her the very most of all. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at http://babyonthebrehm.com/

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