I ran to Walmart the other day, in a frenzy, because I forgot team snacks. And the game had started. And I had put it on BOTH calendars(paper and phone) and was assured that Siri would give me 2,398 reminders so I would not in fact forget.
And I forgot. #facepalm
While I was racing through the Wal-Mart with pit stains and sweat in all the wrong places(ya’ll it is NOT Fall in Texas. It’s HOT), two other mom’s and one couple looked at me at different times and said, “ugh, team snack mom today too?” They were clearly rushing, which told me I wasn’t the only one pulling a last-minute snack run. Or at least that’s what I told myself.
Earlier, as I was screeching into the parking lot, I saw a good friend loading groceries into her car, and the baby had spit up all over his clothes and she was having to haul her groceries and her sweet yet smelly babe to the soccer fields. The babe is her #3, and I just thought, man, I wish I could tell her this gets better ha!
I see #momfail posts all the time and I’m like hold up, who said forgetting snacks or my parent teacher conference makes me a failure? I GOT the snacks after all and even if I hadn’t, the kids would have survived. They would have left and gone to Whataburger like everyone else and been totally ok, stuffed beyond belief with their patty melts and milkshakes. Because forgetting something(insert any other possible #momfail) doesn’t make me, or you, a failure.
Sometimes, our culture passes motherhood off as perfection, and it’s a big fat giant loser of a lie. And it makes me mad for all of us.
If you’re like me, maybe you forget A LOT of the things, because our brains are only so big. Our capacity to keep up with schedules and snacks and homework and instruments and groceries and meals and diapers and formula and wipes and first aid kits in our cars and our husbands workout socks(just sayin…) and their travel schedules and the DOGS is just only so much. We can only absorb so much before we spontaneously combust. It’s OK to forget stuff. It’s ok to lay aside this need to be perfect.
It’s ok to say OUT LOUD to yourself and to others(go ahead and self talk, ain’t nothin wrong with that momma) I am not a perfect person who has all my crap together(and everyone else’s) all of the time. And I am going to, right now in this moment, let myself off the hook. For today, and for tomorrow and for ten years from now when I’m trying to help my kids prepare for college(oh my stars, for me, that will be in FIVE TO SIX years!!!), I am not the “everything” mom. I’m the normal mom. The human mom. The forgetful or whatever mom. And that’s ok.
Because ain’t nobody got time for perfection ya’ll.
It’s unattainable. I have NEVER in my life seen a drive for perfection like the one that comes with being a mom. The competitiveness and drive for this Pinterest worthy existence plagues mommas everywhere. But why? Why are we so hell-bent on being the “got it all together” mom, all the time?
I think it’s because we have come to define motherhood, or better yet, “good moms” as moms who never make a mistake. Never lose their tempers. Never gain 10 lbs in one Summer because maybe they ate all the things because all the noise was driving them bananas(yea, go ahead and chalk this one up to first hand experience). Never fighting with their husbands or going to marriage counseling or medicating their children. We’re afraid to show our humanity. We’re afraid to show our mess. But ya’ll, how awesome would it be if we were able to share our mess(I’m not saying always. Time and place ya’ll. Time. and. place.) and have each other’s backs instead of racing against each other to be the best. And I’m not saying we wallow in our mess, no. We accept all of our imperfections and march on with a tenacious and victorious spirit, loving and taking pride in our current role as a mom.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 11 years as a mom it’s that the focus on being perfect and never ever EVER making a mistake is exhausting. EXHAUSTING. And maybe perfect isn’t even the right word, because I’m pretty sure no one sits around going, “gosh, I really have to work on being perfect today.” I think we know on some level that perfection is unattainable. So maybe it’s the perception of perfection we’re after. The need to APPEAR like we have it all together. The need to outdo the other room mom or be the mom that has the snacks a week ahead of time(and if you are this mom, thank you. Us forgetful ones need shorter lines at the store on Saturdays at 11am and if we all forget and go at the same time, well, that would be chaos. It takes all kinds to make the world work right? We need you plan ahead moms, WE NEED YOU) or plan the BEST and most impressive party. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we waste so much time trying to outdo? Maybe party planning is your jam and you totally get all the good feels from planning them. I think that’s awesome. But what if you hate it and your thing is Little Caesars hot ‘n’ ready at the playground with a few friends and some store-bought cupcakes? There is no reason either mom should feel superior or inferior based on what they enjoy or don’t enjoy. Find your gifts and use them well, even if that involves what feels like the most monotonous life possible. You are making a difference.
Do you love your kids? Are you doing your very best to teach, shape, grow, love, nurture, encourage, mold, and challenge them? If the answer is yes, who the heck cares how messy your house is or how many times you had to wash that same load of laundry.
I would love to see this trend, this competitiveness, this snobbery toward one another over stupid stuff that doesn’t matter, end. Can it end with us? Maybe just with a few? Maybe we just extend kindness to other moms and stop trying to compete with each other? Maybe just accept our role as a mom, and disregard what everyone else is doing? And I get it, it’s so much easier for me to sit here and type that than it is to live it out, especially in a world filled with everyone else’s stuff in our face all the time. And I struggle here too, in this mom space, every single day. I fight the urge to compete and live based on appearances. But maybe we can start with acceptance that God has put us in our place for a purpose, and go from there.
Because here’s what it all boils down to……..
We are here, in this home with these littles, or bigs, as a CALLING. This. This laundry and these dirty floors and this never ending sink full of dishes and seemingly ungrateful little people who can not find a single sock without our assistance, are our CALLING friends. Did you know that a calling is “a strong urge toward a particular way of life?” Another word used to describe it is a summons. It doesn’t say it’s easy or that everyone should do it. It’s a gift. It may not feel like it at times, but it is. We often think of a calling as something more noble right? Going over seas and building an orphanage or starting a non profit, becoming a doctor or having a vocation that begs for more attention and accolades. But so often we fail to see the day to day as a calling, as a gift.
Colossians 3:16 says, “And now, just as you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Put your worth in Him. Put your value in Him. Work as unto HIM, not yourself or your husband or your kids or to outdo all the other moms. Do it ALL(and by all, I do mean all. Poop on the living room rug and everything) for the very one who put you in this position to begin with. Who handed you this calling. Do it unto Him, and let your roots grow down deep, and your life will literally overflow with thankfulness, even when mopping that floor and scrubbing those toilet seats and washing that load for the 24th time. Do it all friend, and do it well, and you will be blessed with the gift of a thankful heart.