I received a very sweet email from a friend of mine the other day. It was one of the kindest, most heart-felt, vulnerable emails I have ever read. I've had many people share their birth & loss stories, but this one was different.
I had posted a link to another blog on my Facebook page about moms. The jist was that we judge ourselves so harshly against the Barbie moms, the granola moms, and the my-kid-just-stepped-out-of-a-j-crew-catalog moms. Then, we turn on THEM. Because we feel like we aren't measuring up to some arbitrary mom bar, we wind up judging them for being obviously perfect in one area. What, then, would happen if we decided to embrace Barbie instead? Or try some of Mrs. Granola's homemade granola & just enjoy, it & ask for the recipe? I know this resonated with a lot of moms because...hello! I'm a mom. And I judge myself & others when I feel like I'm not measuring up to the standards of Mrs. Plastic Boobies with the perfectly quaffed hair.
A few hours later, I received an email. This was paragraph one:
"Often times I look at your life on IG or FB and get jealous. You have everything put together. You work hard, love your family, lost 90 lbs, and look freaking amazing, and have an incredible photography business, great relationships with family (this is all from what I see). I know your heartache and I get jealous I can't write like you... I love everything about your life. Your encouraging words. Your strength beyond the tears. Your devotion and passion for photography. I love that you shared that article. No matter how much I compare myself to you or anyone else, I can only be me. It was a good reminder that even though I think all of these amazing things about you and other moms, you're going through the same thing as anyone else is."
After I stopped choking on my lunch from the hysterical bouts of laughter, I re read the paragraph. I was so flattered. This dear girl thinks that I have it all together. What I should have done was say, "why, yes, thank you. I DO have it all together." But you know me. I have a very large mouth. I proceeded to explain to her the million reasons why I so don't have it together. How I don't think I'm a very good mom. How I go to bed at night wishing that I had been better, done more with my girl, not gotten mad at her when she dumped her toys out for the 309480284th time that day. How I sometimes snap at my husband when he doesn't deserve it. How I worry everyday that my daughter will get the debilitating anxiety I suffer from. How I swear like a sailor thanks to the teachings of my family. How I lay in my bathtub & sob because my very fertile lady garden won't stay pregnant. How family dynamics are tough. How I weigh 128 pounds, wear a size 4 jeans & small tops, & my fat girl goggles are still on all day, everyday. How I am so passionate about photography, but I have wanted to quit about 89749573 times because I convince myself I suck & it's not worth my time to continuing sucking. And how, ultimately, I'm like every other scared spitless mama who is just trying to keep her head above water, because most of the time, it feels a lot like drowning.
I write this, not to brag. TRUST ME. I KNOW for a fact that I do not have it all together. I blog, text, tweet, Facebook, Instagram the good stuff. There is a lot of really crappy stuff that happens. Everyday. Somedays are great, somedays punch you in the boob. I don't want to be a complainer. I want to talk about the joys in my life, the heartache, the infertility, the anxiety, the snorts & giggles, the clothes, the food, etc. There is a lot of good in my life. A lot. More good than bad, but I want there to be a balance. If I have not shared enough of the bad to show you that my life is, indeed, not lived in the Barbie effing dream house, then I apologize. I haven't balanced my photos & writing enough. I write to release tension & emotion, & because I love big, long, flowery, descriptive sentences.
What I want to communicate in my writing is that we all think we suck. We all struggle everyday. You may not have anxiety, but you may have an addiction to porn. You dirty mom, you. Ok, or maybe it's cookies. Can I get a holla? I want people to realize that Mrs. Granola & Barbie think they suck too. But dude. The babies we have are meant to be ours. We are meant to be their mamas. And as long as you are trying your best, you're doing exactly what you're supposed to do. Like that perfectly quaffed mama at WalMart. She's just as scared & insecure as you are. Doesn't that make you feel better?