Representing Reality

Recently I was at the dentist office.  The assistant complimented me on how put together and self composed I am whenever she sees me.  She mentioned she doesn’t know how I keep it so together with five children.  (insert nervous laugh and time for sharing some of my not so admirable truths)

As soon as she complimented me, I thanked her but had to be honest with her.  I mean, it wasn’t the truth.  I’m not ALWAYS put together, calm and composed.  Just like social media can make one’s life look perfect, so can some good makeup and a cute outfit.  My reality isn’t relayed in those moments of ‘put togetherness’.  To be honest, I don’t want that to be my reality. I love my busy life with my tribe of five.  Sure, I enjoy those short blips of having it together but my predominantly messy moments hold significant value as well. So do yours! The frazzled times are a truer picture of my every day.  When we share our ‘frazzle’ we can keep it real and encourage each other.  Also, often times hindsight is 20/20 so we can enjoy a good laugh over the chaos.

Real life looks different for each mama.  The beautiful thing is we all have different strengths and weaknesses.  Our differences make us even more equipped to help each other out.  I definitely want to see what you’re good at and get some extra tips on improving the messier areas of my life. And if you’re in need of some encouragement, maybe I can share some tips from my strengths department. I’m not above asking; if you really have it together all the time, please PLEASE share your tips with me.

The value in our vulnerable moments, though, can help us feel united and not so alone during some of the monotonous challenges of motherhood. For example, just last week I sat on the steps to our upstairs sobbing.  I had just gotten out of my allotted 5 minute shower (with an audience).  I wanted to put on a dab of makeup. I was hoping to maybe tame my frizzy hair.  My children had different plans. They woke the baby. They had dumped ALL the toys. They were arguing over EVERYTHING.  I sat there wrapped in my towel. My hair was air drying and getting frizzier each minute.  I wept.  I was a tired, frazzled mess! I just wanted a hot minute to feel human and less like a train wreck.  I was so overwhelmed I yelled.  In that moment I was the total opposite of put together.  Can you relate?

If you see someone in your mama community struggling, be real. For me personally, I love a quick solidarity glance from another mama in the store when my children are being less than angelic. I deeply appreciate when my friends offer encouragement. It feels great not to feel alone or judged. We’ve all had moments we felt judged. The feeling of judgment can be so isolating, making a bad moment worse!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s bad to have it all together. Celebrate those moments, enjoy them whole heartedly!  Trust me; there are days where I think “hey I’ve got this down.” Then of course someone shatters a jar at the grocery store or I’ve been walking around with spit up down the back of my shirt all day. Let’s laugh and be real together. It is too easy to feel like if we aren’t keeping up the perfect image, we’re automatically failing.

I challenge you. Help a stranger out. Offer an encouraging word to a mom struggling in the store. Compliment a mom you don’t know. Be kind. Be real!

P.S. If you ever see me out and I look put together, truth be told, my husband was probably home that morning so I could get ready.  

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