I love this picture of our family! The sun is shining, we’re all smiling, and I’m actually wearing make up!
On days like that one, I think I might just have it all together. Okay, not “all” together, but mostly together. Gordon wasn’t sure what was going on, but he was amenable. When he fussed a little, I knew what he wanted. When we went out for lunch (an anomaly), Gordon slept the whole time. I may have even done a load of laundry that day, and I’m pretty sure we had dinner. I totally “mommed” it!
Other days don’t come so easily, though. On those days, I can’t figure out why Gordon is crying. I can’t make bottles fast enough, or anticipate his moods, or have the energy to sing “The Wheels on the Buss” a fifth time. Laundry piles up, toys are everywhere, I’m a hot mess, and Robby has to make dinner. Now that Gordon is getting older (five months already!), these “off days” come less frequently. Still, there are times when I’m at a complete loss.
Mother’s Day brings to mind brunches, pretty flowers, and gift cards lined with platitudes. A mother’s life, however, is much harder and more difficult to describe. Sure, we talk to other moms about “mom life,” from the best toys to the secrets of getting a little one to sleep through the night. But we rarely, if ever, talk about the hard stuff…you know, the emotional toil of being a mom.
I know women who suffer from postpartum depression. They carry a heavy burden every day for a year or more after their little ones are born. Others struggle to keep their sanity and patience as they battle severe sleep deprivation for months on end. Single moms do double-duty, while the rest of us try to figure out how to keep our hubbies happy, as well as our babies. All of us deal with doubt, second-guessing, and even fear as we grapple with the heavy weight of raising a perfect little person in a fallen world.
“Tiny Human” by Imogen Heap, is the only song I have ever heard that captures these emotions. The video, below, is a bit artsy, but I think it’s perfect. Imogen gets it. She understands what it’s really like to be a mom, and she’s not sugar-coating it. Still, she declares that she couldn’t imagine life without her little one, and neither could I. (Get “Tiny Human” on Amazon. Also check out my last post for a link to Imogen’s “The Happy Song,” one of Gordon’s favorites.)
From time to time, I’ll share with you my experiences and what I’m learning as a first-time mom. But please don’t ever think that I have all the answers or I have it all figured out. Because here’s the truth you won’t find on perfect Pinterest boards, fancy Facebook posts, or glossy Instagram images:
NO MOM HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT. We’re all just doing the best we can.
This Mother’s Day, I encourage you to turn off the social media for a day. Enjoy the flowers and cards, and savor brunch with your family. Pamper yourself as much as you can, because you deserve it.
Later this week, start building a network of other moms you can rely on when you need a break or a sanity check. Start by calling a friend and having a heart-to-heart. Tell her what you’re struggling with, and listen to her problems. I’m sure you’ll discover that you’re not alone. Then make an agreement to touch base with one another regularly, just to check in. I text with a couple mom-friends often, and it’s been extremely helpful! (And texting is easier than calling when you have a napping baby.)
Whatever your personal struggles are, I assure you that you’re “momming it” just as well as anybody else out there! And, in case you wondering, you’re the perfect mama for your little one…that’s why God put you two together. (Tweet this.)
Now, go change that diaper. Then have a happy Mother’s Day!