Friday, January 18, 2013

Dear Fellow Mom,

You ask me a lot how I manage to do it all.  You ask me how on earth I have enough time to do the things I enjoy.  You tell me you don't know HOW I do it.  And sometimes, you call me a *cringe* "supermom."

I think you say these things because you feel like you can't keep up.  I think you are comparing our lives based on the bits you see on Facebook.  I think you feel like you are not as good a mother because you're not doing what I'm doing.  And I get it because I've done the same thing.

I'm here, writing this, to tell you something:

You are deceived.

You only see a smidgen of my life, of her life, and of their lives.  You compare the whole truth of your life to only a smidgen of truth of everyone else's lives.  Some of us let more hang out on Facebook than others--I prefer to be more positive because there is so much negative being blurted out into Cyber-Land-Of-No-Consequence.  I try to be real, but you don't seem to notice those posts, just the ones where I actually accomplished something.  Either way, I can't (and won't) show my whole life on Facebook.  You're not getting the full picture, and because you're comparing your whole to my part, you are deceived.  And I get it because I've been deceived about the same things, "Can you believe how cute her bedroom is?  I still haven't decorated mine and we've lived here over three years!"  "How in the world does she have time to ___________________ with 12 kids?"  "Did she say she was making soap?"

I don't do it all.  In fact, I pay people to help me do some of it.  I thank God that at this very difficult stage in my life (5 kids between ages 2 and 8, two homeschooled, one busy middle child, and 2 year old destructobot twins) that He has made provision for me to have helpers who help clean my house and laundry and who help watch my middle child and twins while I focus on teaching my older children.

My kids also don't do it all.  They aren't involved in a lot of activities.  The older two take piano lessons once a week.  That's it.  One hour of outside activities (excluding church, but we go as a family) is all I can manage.  I don't have to taxi them to practices or games or to school or to clubs.  I cannot do this.  You may be doing this for all I know, and you know what--good for you!  You're doing something I'm not doing!!!

I put my kids to bed by 8pm so I can have a break in the evenings, time to focus on my husband, to watch a show online with him, to crochet, to read.  I've created moments of space for myself.  I encourage you to find some time in your day where you can take deep breaths and do something you enjoy.  For me, I try to do something during naptime--today, I want to sew something.  I will either include my kids in the process or shoo them away to play with one another or independently.

Sometimes I take naps during naptime because I am exhausted.  I bet you're exhausted too.  Some things can wait--dishes, laundry, etc--sometimes you just need a nap!

I want you to know something: I'm not perfect.  I don't have it all together.  I'm not a supermom.  My house isn't sparkly clean.  My children aren't bathed every day (...or even every other day...).  My books get read a page at a time, sometimes.  My kids are having to learn to play together because I can't entertain them 24/7.  Sometimes we scrap dinner and go out.  Sometimes I yell.  Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I stand in awe of moms who work outside the home and then come home and try to cram the rest of their responsibilities into the next few hours.  Sometimes, I ignore the house, the laundry, the kids and just do what I want to do.  Sometimes, I sit on the couch and have kids sitting all over me while we impatiently wait for Daddy to come home. Sometimes I read to my kids and try to teach the middle child her ABCs (and most of the time, I am asking the big kids to read to the little ones so I can load the dishwasher and tell the poor middle child that she's only four, and I will teach her tomorrow).

The truth is this: we're more alike than you think.  We all do what we gotta do, so instead of endlessly trying to measure up to this incomplete picture that social media makes possible, let's cheer one another on to love and good deeds so that people will praise God.  The truth is that we are sisters, and we have strengths and weaknesses, and NONE of us are perfect.  NONE of us have it all together.  I'm no supermom--she's false; she doesn't exist, and she doesn't need Jesus moment by moment like I do.  So let's throw off this yoke of bondage to perfectionism, people-pleasing, and performance-based living and just love each other.  Did you like those three P's?

You are loved, fellow mom, just as you are.