I’m strolling through Target with my toddler and baby, both sitting nicely in the cart, when a sweet lady compliments me on how lovely and well-behaved they are. I smile politely and thank her, while in my head I’m laughing to myself. We do make a cute picture, but really, if only she knew how my kids behaved at home! Or, in fact, how they were behaving in Target just last week! You see, it’s easy to see one snapshot of another mom’s life and think: you know, she has it all together.
We’re used to seeing lots of pictures of well-dressed children posed happily, and hearing each other gush over the positive things about our children. In fact, odds are if you look at your own social media, you’ll see the same thing. But really, we all have our good days and bad days, even those of us who seem to be doing it all!
As women and especially as busy moms, we perform a delicate balancing act all day, every day. Work, kids, home life, social life, and time with your significant other, along with making time for training, and eating healthy…even writing it all out is exhausting!
There are days, yes, where everything falls into place. Your older child is being a loving sibling to the baby. Bringing you diapers and playing with the baby when she gets fussy and making her laugh. You take that work phone call and no one has a melt down. They take a decent nap and wake up refreshed. Then you get the kids packed up to run errands and are out the door within a reasonable timeframe. Maybe one cries a little here or there, of course, but nothing major. It’s days like that where I feel like I’ve got this mommy thing down!
However, my kids are great at taking me down a notch and reminding me that my life can be a shit show. For example, I’m just about to sit down to reply to a work email and my baby starts crying. Or, my kids are moaning and crying and I just can’t listen to it for even 5 more seconds. In those moments, I’ll find myself muttering “shut up” under my breath (not very motherly of me, I know!) Or I’ll remove myself from the situation and stand outside for a minute and watch them from the window, just to clear my head of the incessant crying and whining. And , I’ve even given them chocolate cookies to keep them occupied for just a few more minutes so I can finish up some work.
So the truth is, no one mom has it all perfect and figured out. No one’s house is spotless and organized all the time, no one’s kids never cry, and everyone has had some setbacks in their work life. We are all busy moms, in this together. There are good days and bad days, live for those good days!
So next time you see a Facebook post of a friend baking the perfect cake with her three well-dressed, happy kids, just remember: we are all a mess sometimes, some are just better at pretending/showing just the good side than others!