Being a mom is a hard job. Probably the hardest. Kids are hard on their moms, moms are hard on each other, but mostly… moms are are on themselves. There can be this contradictory sense of existence in motherhood; where you feel like you can’t get a second to yourself while simultaneously feeling completely alone. The mothering community has harsh labels and cliques…like grown-up high school. “Helicopter Mom,” “Fit Mom,” “Crunchy Mom,” “Soccer Mom…” you get the idea.
Motherhood is the journey of a lifetime. But the stakes are high. You’re fostering the existence of an entire person each day. No pressure. And it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Like… somedays the Facebook comments equating the occasional hotdog for lunch with child abuse get to you more than others. Like so many other things in life; this crazy, exhausting, maddening adventure that is motherhood is just better with a friend. Sometimes…”better” means “more bearable.” You choose.
And that is why every mom needs a “mom bestie.” Someone to make you feel a little less crazy, a bit more adequate, and to let you know when you have mac and cheese in your hair.
No one likes to feel like they’re the only one.
I personally consider myself party to the “hot mess mom” clique. I drink coffee that I’ve reheated in the microwave daily, own more yoga pants than jeans, and honestly don’t get around to brushing my own hair everyday (I do brush my teeth everyday though because #standards.) 😉 I therefore require a mom friend(s) that won’t judge my hot mess lifestyle… probably because she hardcore relates to it. Some moms have meticulously maintained households; others have old french fries on the floor in their car and a constant cycle of “dirty” and “clean” laundry baskets. Both miraculously always full. A good mom friend doesn’t mention the laundry when she comes over; a mom bestie breathes a sigh of relief when she sees them because she no longer feels ashamed that she hates to fold the laundry too.
It’s nice to just be yourself.
Sometimes I feel like there is this weird veil over the motherhood community in which we all pretend that we’re perfect, that our kids are perfect, and that momming is the sweetest gig on the planet. And you know what…if that’s your life then go on with your bad self momma. But I want to surround myself with other hot mess moms. Moms that I don’t have to feign surprise in front of when my kindergartner throws a fit when it’s time to go home… like it’s the first time he’s ever done it. It’s not the first time. My kid has sensory issues and big emotions – as far as he’s concerned everyday is his party and he can cry if he wants to. We’re working on it. Another hot mess mom wouldn’t judge – she’d relate.
I don’t know about you (or if this is total hot mess mom mentality – let me know) but I hate feeling like I have to hardcore clean my house before someone comes over. I have 3 children. Ish gets messy. I need people in my life that get me. When we ride together I don’t want to apologize for the french fries in my car. I promise there’s no loose fries in my home – I have a dog for that. 😉
Likewise, domestic goddess moms probably don’t want to ride anywhere in my french fry mobile with me – and that’s okay too.
No one wants to feel like less.
As I said before, moms are hard on themselves. When you don’t have someone to level with you, comparison can consume you. Every mom, no matter how she “categorizes” herself, feels like she’s coming up short somewhere. It’s virtually impossible to feel like you you’ve got this whole parenting thing sorted out. Hanging out with too many “crunchy moms” inevitably leaves me feeling bad about the fact that not all of my produce is organic, that I only breastfed Zoey for 12 months instead of 3 years, and the fact that my kids have eaten aforementioned french fries.
And this is not to knock the moms who are different than I am. Truly, I am jealous of the maternal skills you display as they are usually the ones that I am lacking. I don’t fault you for your meticulously kept home; I envy it. No one likes to be reminded of their shortcomings. Instead we like to feel reminded that we’re not the only ones. Because at the end of the day being “this” type of mother versus “that” type really doesn’t matter. But being in good company, that reminds you that you’re a badass, is what matters.
Finding yourself a fellow mom to build you up when all you can seem to do is tear yourself down is a lifesaving tactic. Feeling good about yourself as a mom is one in the same as actually being a good mom. Part of that is aligning yourself with someone that makes you feel normal in your choice to skip the laundry in favor of going to the park. Or spending a little extra on the organic bananas because you truly believe it’s money well spent. Whatever makes you feel like you did a good job momming today. Because you did. 🙂