I know the comment should have made me feel like I’d finally made it as a mother and for a second it did, but the next second I realised that I had done a shocking thing.. Here’s the comment I received after one of my last blogs “you seem to have it so together. You even write articles about it“. I bet even if you reread it you won’t even be able to work out why I was so upset about this statement. There were more, and one by one I felt more disappointed in myself “Bec, your an amazing mother, you have the most wonderful take on parenting”, “How good are you” and it went on.. And as the comments kept rolling in I felt more and more ashamed. Here’s why….
Motherhood is tough. It’s no joke. Yes it about loving these beautiful tiny humans that I take pride in having created but I don’t have time to sit and dwell on that during the day because I’m just too busy. Busy wiping bums, looking for a lost shoe, being ordered around by my 2 year old, stopping my 10 month old from putting another leaf in her mouth (my friend actually found a flower in her mouth the other day – true story), singing to annoying songs that get stuck in my brain for days and participating in pretend play for so long that I do start wondering whats actually reality.
Sometimes motherhood is just about coping. Its being able to laugh at yourself when you reach into your bag to get your business card and you pull out a half eaten cruskit, a crayon, a used wipe and something else so sticky and you don’t even know what it was. I’ve had days where I put them to bed at night and just congratulate myself on having fed the children three nutritious meals and kept them alive another day. I shut their doors and expect a standing ovation and some kind of award ceremony. I don’t congratulate myself on how I taught them to be upstanding, god fearing, well rounded, well adjusted, happy children. No I congratulate myself for KEEPING THEM ALIVE peoples! Because sometimes that’s all that I can hope for.
So I realised that I’ve committed a few sins and I’m going to fess up to you. I’ve made you believe that I have my shit together and I really don’t.
SHIT TOGETHER LIE #1: Dry Shampoo. I go through a bottle a week. So when you ask me how do I get time to get the girls ready in the morning, get dressed and shower and wash my hair. I didn’t. Fake it till you make it. Dry Shampoo it all the way.
SHIT TOGETHER LIE #2: Instagram. Just remember I’m not posting photos of Rafaella’s reflux vomit artistically painted all the way down my back. No, I’m posting photos of being out for drinks with my husband, or chilling at the Western in Seminyak.
SHIT TOGETHER LIE #3: I cope with the balance of work/motherhood. This is where I feel like I have failed all Bellies and Beyond mothers and I am completely all about the working mother. I raise my fist and say power to the working mama! I have received a few messages asking me how I have managed to work and have kids. Those that also know me well know that my hubby (Gd love him) works insane hours. Let me tell you, I.HAVE.A.POSSE.OF.HELP behind me. I have a mighty ducks formation of fam backing me up. I am so lucky that I am surrounded by people that love to take care of my kids. So lets shut that one down right now..my shit is only somewhat together because of the posse.
This is what I’ve decided. Next time your at a play date and the mother pulls out her homemade bread with her homemade half peanut butter, half free-nut butter, take a deep breathe and don’t go into the head space of omg how does she get time for everything…remember whats important! And the next time your giving your child delicious, processed packet food and the other mum giving their child organic, wheat free, gluten free, salt free, sugar free, everything free snacks.. don’t let her give you those judgemental eyes and make you feel like a neglectful mother. Don’t be down on yourself because you didn’t think of that. Yes she’s got the food thing down pat but she probably doesn’t have her shit together in so many other ways.
From now on I want you to look at me and see my tired eyes because my baby needed a few extra cuddles throughout the night, I want you to look at my clothes and realise that yes I might be wearing a Sass & Bide top, but I also wore it yesterday (and possibly even the day before) because Rafi was too frustrated on the floor to play so I had to hold her and I didn’t have time to choose a new outfit. Look at my house and you’ll see its a mess.. I couldn’t get my shit together to clean my dishes because half way through it Mikah wanted to have a tea party with me and I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) say no. You’ll see loads of dirty laundry piling up because I dug a hole in the dirt and made it mud so we could all have fun making mud cakes together…
Can you see what I’m trying to say? Mothers who don’t have their shit together make for the most fantastic mothers. They are the ones that are spending every waking minute wondering how they can make their children’s lives that much more magical. They are the ones that are trying to enhance every moment and make memories that last forever (for both mother and child). They are the ones that are not the teachers but rather the students, they are learning from their children about whats truly important in life.
So next time you are overwhelmed and comparing yourself to the mother who seems to have it all together, just remember – Mothers who don’t have their shit together are the best mothers of all.
Sweet Dreams, Bec xI