Disclaimer :: This article was written before the coronavirus pandemic impacted our area and the shelter in place took effect. Although our day-to-day lives don’t look like this right now, the message of the article is still strong and valuable. Enjoy!
A typical morning in my home consists of me running around dressing everyone, filling water bottles, filling lunch boxes, offering snacks, making sure shoes are on, and packing sports bags for after-school sports, and whatever else that that day’s schedule requires.
I chug coffee and throw on workout clothes (because I’ve convinced myself I will make time to go to the gym or I actually require active wear for the amount of errands, laundry, and housework I have to accomplish that day). I attempt to hold on to my patience as I load children and school luggage into the car all while hoping I did not forget anything.
My phone beeps with work messages, appointment confirmations, and clients’ text. I welcome those beeps because with work, I have an answer to those questions. That’s not always the case in mom life.
After dropping the older kids off at school, the toddler demands my attention while I run back and forth across town addressing every need for my clients and family. In between moments I answer calls, setup appointments, return emails and try to be present with my toddler. I can take a few breaths after school but before the evening sports activities. These keep us out until about 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. We eat, we chat, and when the children are in bed, I gear up to do it all over again.
I prep meals and check homework. I fall asleep to a rerun of “Friends” on Netflix. It is a typical day. Not to mention there are many missteps that pop up throughout the day: missed calls, the toddler breakdowns, forgotten lunch boxes, or bills that need to go out. There is nothing graceful or Instagram-able about my average day. It is raw and messy and for some of you, it probably sounds a lot like your day.
I am telling you about my less-than-impressive day because there seems to be some trendy and polarizing ideas of motherhood lately. There’s an idea our days should be post worthy and beautiful with children who never cry and want to only play with educational toys.
Or the opposite where motherhood means giving completely of ourselves until we cry and drink wine and post funny things about it on Facebook while we battle insomnia. I laugh at all the memes and find connection in both spectrums. This mama’s worry is when those satirical memes start to sink in too deeply and become an expectation of what motherhood is. Motherhood is not on Instagram. Motherhood is not on Facebook. It is no on any social media platform.
The reality is we all fall somewhere in-between and on some days we can Instagram our clean kitchen and well-dressed children. Other days we get nothing done, make cereal for dinner, and cry a bit (or a lot). We haven’t failed or won anything if our lives look like or don’t look like what we see on a screen, meme, or advertisement. Our lives can be beautifully mediocre and less than impressive to some.
Find the beautiful in each day, embrace the boring or exciting moments. Laugh at the memes and funny videos but do not take them heart. Be grateful for monotony and routine (as chaotic as it may be). Celebrate the great days and be honest and open about the rough ones.