Recently I have had friends tell me, “I am such a complainer, I’m sorry”. Or, “I don’t mean to sound so negative all the time”, or “Why can’t I just get it together??”
I admit, I have had these thoughts myself from time to time. But then I have to stop and think of what I tell my friends when they say these things. No you’re not. You are not a complainer, you are not negative, you have it together as much as anyone with many small children can!
We extend grace to everyone around us except ourselves. We are so quick to tell our friends they are doing a great job, but neglect the person who needs to hear it most; ourselves. I am doing the very best I can. I know that, I really do. So why do I beat myself up when I don’t do what I think I should be doing?? Jeremy will often ask me where I got these insane standards I set for myself. And honestly? I don’t know.
I look at the other Moms around me and instead of seeing how I can serve them and what grace I can give them, I am comparing myself. They are thinner, they are taller, they come to all the school events, they have a successful job, they bake, they keep a clean house, they, they, they. And for some reason, I think I should take everything multiple women are doing, and perfect it in myself. Not one of them are all of those things I listed, so why do I think I should be??
I am not a complainer, but sometimes I have things I need to complain about. I am not negative, but sometimes I get really down and frustrated. I am often scattered, but I do my best to keep it together. What is wrong with me telling my girlfriends that I am frustrated? What is the problem with me venting to my friends and family when I have had a hard day? How has it become commonplace to keep everything in and not to let anyone see how hard this really is?
I think that is part of the reason that so many of us struggle. We are reaching for this unattainable goal of perfection. This unrealistic goal that we think can be achieved because we don’t talk about it. We are so afraid of being seen as weak, that we don’t give others the chance to lift us up. We are so afraid of being seen as something negative, we never let others shine their light and perspective on us.
I am always happy to listen to my friends. I will validate them when needed and give them a shoulder to cry on. I will do this because that is what I need done for me. None of us are perfect, we are all in this together. The sooner we realize this, the happier we will be, and the quicker the “Mommy Wars” will end.
None of us are perfect and none of us can do this alone.
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