Last week we had a picture-perfect day…
Cole slept in (hallelujah!) and then we went on a little family bike ride and played at the park all together. In the afternoon, we went to hang out with some friends, the kids popping in and out of the pool, chasing each other around; the adults had a beverage in hand and all helped watch all the kids while also having adult conversations.
I even had a *sigh* moment that just sat back and basked in how perfect the day was – not rushed, all together, lots of laughs. This is what I had imagined motherhood to be, what I pictured our little family doing.
But the reality is that most days are pretty far from that picture-perfect day!
And I have to reconcile what I pictured our family to be like and what our daily reality is. I see Instagram pictures, I’ve watched a million movies or tv shows that depict these families together on sweet little outings. Where weeks seem to be filled up with trips to the zoo and backyard barbecues, adorable mommy and me classes and plated dinners all sitting around the table. The TV stayed off for game nights and everyone played catch together in the yard. (Right, you’ve seen this movie too??)
Cuz that’s not how things are going around here…
Most days here, dinner is a hodgepodge of whatever happens to be in the fridge and no one is eating at the same time.
Most days, the three of us are only awake and in the same place for an hour or two, and that time is always busy with trying to feed, bathe and put Cole to bed.
Most weeks we don’t get to see friends or have social outings.
Most weekends aren’t filled with trips to family friendly activities, they are filled with rerun movies on tv and house chores.
What is it for you?
Maybe you thought t-ball or baseball would be so fun, that you’d all go and watch the games and cheer along – but instead one of you has to work late and the other is trying to just get there on time and not forget the snacks, and it is always so hot and the other parents just yell the whole time!
Maybe you thought you’d be back in shape by now and taking the stroller with when jogging majestically through the neighborhood, and instead still can’t fit back in those jeans and you aren’t feeling majestic when you’re out of breath just following the kids around the playground.
Maybe you thought staying home with the kids would be amazing but it is usually just hard and you miss working. Or maybe you are working and dread dropping off at daycare everyday.
What did you picture being a mom to be like?
Because I didn’t see it like all messy like it is.
But that picture that I have in my head isn’t real and comparing my day or week to it isn’t fair. Comparing our everyday to another’s Instagram feeds with their one picture perfect moment or to the media distorts our view and makes us feel not good enough. The distance between our reality and that picture can make us miserable – and more importantly it is going to make us miss all the good stuff right in front of us.
Motherhood IS messy, it IS hard, it IS endlessly picking up legos and being unpopular when you say no and sometimes it’s eating animal crackers for dinner because that’s the only thing they’ll eat!
It isn’t perfect, but it is ours. Throw out that perfect picture or what you think motherhood or family is supposed to be and embrace what you have in front of you. Our kids aren’t looking for the perfect moments, they are enjoying playing with you and a cardboard box. Stop comparing and enjoy along with them!