After agreeing to write a “blog” for the March newsletter, I pondered for several days about what I should write. I contemplated an exposition on how awesome the Celebree teachers are and how glad I am that they are helping to shape my children’s lives. I thought about writing some flowery, poetic piece about how wonderful children are and how lucky I am to be a mother. And then I thought about the hard stuff —the stuff that no one readily talks about, but most of us, if not all of us, have been through. We all know how awesome the teachers are. We are all bombarded daily on social media about how great parenthood is and how all of our friends have perfectly behaved children who would never dare to break a rule. (Can you sense the sarcasm there?) So, that left me in the somewhat challenging place of talking about the hard stuff.
Appointment-keeper. Artist. Bath-giver. Bodyguard. Booboo-kisser. Book-reader. Budgeter. Cheerleader. Chef. Coach. Counselor. Decorator. Dental hygienist. Employee. Entertainer. Finder of lost things. Fort builder. Friend. Gift-buyer. Grocery-getter. Hair stylist. Heart-mender. Homework-checker. Hostess. Housekeeper. Investigator. Keeper of secrets. Jacket-zipper. Landscaper. Laundry-doer. Listener. Lunch-packer. Maid. Manager. Mediator. Nanny. Nighttime-rocker. Nurse. Nutritionist. Perseverer. Personal assistant. Potty-trainer. Protector. Referee. Shoe-tier. Singer. Sleep scientist. Social coordinator. Stain removal expert. Stylist. Teacher. Therapist. Toy-fixer. Under-the-bed-checker. Superwoman.
Angry. Anxious. Beaten down. Bitter. Doubting. Exhausted. Failure. Hopeless. Impatient. Insensitive. Jealous. Numb. Questioning. Resentful. Short-tempered. Sleepless. Tired. Weak. Wondering. Worn-out. Worthless. Never good enough.
Accepting. Caring. Comforting. Compassionate. Devoted. Funny. Generous. Gentle. Giving. Intentional. Jovial. Kind. Loving. Loyal. Nurturing. One-of-a-kind. Organized. Patient. Resourceful. Selfless. Strong. Supportive. Sympathetic. Understanding. Wise. Perfectly imperfect.
I can’t count the times that I’ve sobbed quietly in the shower with nearly unbearable hot water running over my back or buried my head in a pillow to let out a few good screams because I had simply had enough of life; because I was never good enough; because I tried to be everything to everyone, except myself; because I felt overwhelmed and underappreciated; because I felt lost; because everyone else on Facebook seemed to have a perfect life while I spent my days picking Cheerios out of my hair, scrubbing spit up out of clothing, and praying that my marriage was strong enough to survive this whole crazy mess. The worst part is that I kept all of this to myself. Everything. I bottled it up inside because it was my problem. I bottled it up because surely no other mother has ever felt this way. It was just me. I was a failure. And I was alone.
Over time, with support from family and friends (and a no-nonsense therapist), I have learned that being perfect is not attainable; being everything to everyone is not realistic; taking care of everyone else while ignoring myself is not sustainable; keeping my problems bottled only makes things worse; I am not alone on this crazy ride; sometimes mediocre is my best and that’s ok; I will fail, but that does not make me a failure.
Being a mother is single-handedly the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But it’s a whole lot easier with a strong support system. After all, misery loves company, right? I encourage all of you to reach out because you are not alone. Call your friend that you haven’t talked to in a while. Go out for coffee with that new coworker. Do something for yourself. And, most of all, admit that you are perfectly imperfect and that’s ok.
Celebree Parent and Perfectly Imperfect Mom of Two