I recently had a girl's night with a wonderful group of friends. We spent a lot of time sharing things about our lives and just really expressing the way we feel as a woman and as a mom. It was amazing the things that were said because for the most part, no one thought they had anything to share. But it was like, everyone had something bottled up inside of them that they didn't know about and we all really needed to share that. Get it off our chest. Talk to someone who would understand us and not judge us. Come to find out....we all had a lot of the same feelings. The same feelings of sadness, guilt, anxiety..... We were all just women/moms trying to juggle our so called perfect lives, when in reality, we are far from perfect.
And with all that said brings me to this..... What kind of mom are you? I thought about this from a mom's perspective but in reality many women, whether they have kids or not, want to portray that they have a perfect little life, when on the inside they are dying to just be real.
We live in a world of pinterest, facebook, fitness magazines, the blog world.... a world where we, as moms, are constantly comparing ourselves to the next mom. It's hard to just be us when the next mom is over there making a three foot dinosaur cake for their son's birthday party, the other mom is doing her daughter's room with a running water fall, or this mom looks like she did when she was 16 even though she has three kids. "If only I could be like her." "If only I could do that." How many times have we secretly said this to ourselves?
The pictures we put on facebook are probably 9 times out of 10 not what our houses looked like yesterday or in some cases, an hour ago. There is no way I would show you what my house looks like by the time Saturday night arrives in fear you may call the cops that my house is unfit and unclean for my boys to live here. :) But why not show you that?? That is the real life Cowan house. That's how my house really looks on a Saturday night, unless you tell me you are coming to visit, and then I guarantee you it will look like a housekeeper just came or at least that I had been cleaning all day. What you'll never see...is this?
Yep, that's my laundry room and all the laundry I have done this week and still have not put away. Oh, stop gasping for air, I'm sure at some point in your perfect life, you too have had a pile of laundry like this. I just haven't had time to put it away. Maybe today that will be my task to complete, maybe not. But I know one thing, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'm just going to be thankful that we have clothes to wear and until they are put away, start digging husband and kids to find what you need. My friend said she found herself always trying to take a picture of her little boy doing something cute that she actually missed the moment. How many times have we done this? We are concentrating so much on putting it on facebook that we miss the actual moment of what they are doing and then we try to get them to recreate that moment just so we can take the picture. She also mentioned a family picture she had on facebook and it's such a good picture. Perfect family shot. She said, "What you don't know is right before or after, I think before she said, is my son was having a complete meltdown. Tantrum of all tantrums." Did we see that picture? Of course not because that is not what a perfect family picture looks like or is it?
What about Pinterest? Do you constantly find yourself trying to bake and cook every delicious thing you repin? Do you constantly daydream about having the money to redo your laundry room the way that pin shows it or having a flower garden that looks like something in a magazine? Oh I do. All.the.time. Especially the birthday party ideas. Something you may not know about me is I love throwing parties!! I love decorating for them the most. Every year, I stress more over the decorations for my boys parties than over my pile of laundry. Clearly. I have all these great ideas or I simply wish I could rent this place out or do this for them but guess what, we don't have that kind of money! I see others throwing these extravagant parties for their kids and a small part of me just wishes I could do something like for my boys. But guess what? Malachi and Lawson don't care about how much their party cost. I always make their cake/cupcakes. Not because I'm sentimental and it's really something special I want to do for them, but because I can't bring myself to spend $30 on a cake when I can bake one for about $3. And the decorations.....yep, all homemade by yours truly. Why? Because I don't want to spend money, money that I don't have, on "real" decorations. And it wasn't until this year that I became ok with homemade stuff. I made a scoreboard for Malachi's Mavericks party. Who knew a box, with some white paper wrapped around it, and a black sharpie would be his favorite thing at the party. (It's still hanging in the playroom.) The cost of that scoreboard? Nothing. I had everything but the box and luckily my friend just moved so she had plenty of boxes.
It certainly wasn't a fancy party but to him it was the best party ever. Not because it cost a lot of money, but because I used what I had to make it a special day for him. We want to be that mom that has those extravagant parties and everyone just goes on and on about how wonderful it was. I promise you this, my four year old, your ? year old, does not care about the cost, he/she cares that you took time out of your day to make them feel special. That's all.
So you have two kids and feel like you look like you have 5? I know how you feel. Why? Because that mom you just read about on that blog or saw on tv or read about in a magazine, is a whopping 120lbs and she just had her 4th child. Mom's may I remind you what those little critters do to our bodies. They stretch them in ways we didn't think were possible. And then when they get here, they run us ragged until all we want to do is sleep on some sheets that haven't been peed on that day or spit up on that night. Who cares that you've been wearing the same pants and shirt for three days in a row and haven't brushed your teeth in two days. Reality? You are a mom! That's what our life is now. Going to the store with spit up on my shirt, stare if you want too but I have a precious baby at home (no, Lawson doesn't spit up anymore) who is healthy and full of giggles and I am ok with having spit up on my shirt. Oh, and you think I'm wearing a fanny pack under my shirt? Wrong. It's just my after baby belly. I still haven't figured out whether to tuck that sucker in my pants or let it hang out. And since you thought I was wearing a fanny pack, I guess I'm letting it hang out today. I'm trying to get back in a little shape, I even joined a boot camp. (what was I thinking??) But you know what I realized, I'm never going to look like those moms on tv who just had a baby two days ago and are now a size two again and I'm ok with that. I'm working out to feel good for me. My husband thinks I look fine and he has never said, "Man, I wish you were a size 2." But the truth is, we all wanna look like we use to before kids and maybe one day we will. But until then, be happy with the body you have. Eat healthy, workout if you want to but don't be pressured to kill yourself just because that mom can run a marathon while breastfeeding and doing homework with her 1st grader. God gave you a bundle of joy not so you could look at yourself and say how disgusting you look or how fat you feel, but because he knew what an incredible mother you would be. And those stretch marks.......Oh sister, those stretch marks have taken over my stomach. And I don't care!! I secretly like to call them my battle scars. Lord knows, having a kid is sometimes like fighting a battle. It hurts like nothing else and for the love of God, can it just be over with. But every time I look at those stretch marks I'm reminded of the two amazing gifts that were given to me and I would do it all over again even if I knew my stomach would look like it did.
It doesn't matter what kind of mom you are.....super crafty, awesome cook, can't boil an egg, fitness guru, wishes you could walk to the end of the street without panting, paper airplanes are as crafty as I get, etc. just be the best mom YOU can be. At the end of the day, if your sink is filled with dishes, (10xs10 mine always is) your laundry isn't done, you didn't buy your kid a big fancy cake and it's homemade, be ok with yourself. Look in the mirror and say, you did good today. You are still alive. You are not perfect but no one is. Tomorrow is another chance to do something else. Let's stop comparing ourselves and portraying every part of our lives as perfect and just live in the moment for that day. People say it all the time and I'm now realizing how true it is.....They grow up way too fast. I don't want to miss a minute because I was trying to be someone else besides the mommy they needed me to be. God gave them to me because he knew who I was and that I was the best mommy for them. I will choose to do the best I can and not worry about what could have been.