It’s so easy for mom’s to post beautiful pictures of their beautiful families in beautiful places doing beautiful things but it is not reality. Things aren’t always beautiful. Life is messy.
Mom life is hard. Yes, before someone wants to argue “so is a dad life” – Yeah, I know, but that’s not what I’m focusing on right now.
This is me more times than not. Not filtered whatsoever. I’m wearing a spit-up covered baggy sweatshirt, no pants, haven’t found time to shower in days. I’ve been wearing broken glasses around the house for months because I haven’t found time to get to the eye doctor which I finally made an appointment for this week. I am a mess! Am I happy most of the time? Yes. Are my kids happy? Yes. That’s all that really matters in my book.
But tonight is just hard for some reason. Hubby asked me why. I don’t have an answer for him. I’m just rundown, feeling blah if you know what I mean.
I could go on about all of the difficult things mom’s go through from time to time but I’m going to talk about loneliness because that’s what’s heavy on my heart tonight.
Let me start by saying, NO, I am not always down in the dumps, lonely, sad, depressed. The smiles in my photos are genuine, I love my husband, my children, my family and the friends that I do have. But sometimes you just have those days.. weeks even, maybe longer. Today is one of those days for me.
Many will say the emptiness mom’s feel is something postpartum. They’ll say it’s just the hormones adjusting. I find myself making excuses for the ache in my heart. Maybe it really is just my hormones, maybe I don’t get out as much as I should, maybe just maybe…
Tonight I feel tired. Not the, I need to go to sleep tired but like, my soul needs a break. A break from cleaning, a break from parenting, a break from all of the mental lists I make, a break from worrying if my children are eating healthy enough if I’m being the best mother, wife, person that I can be. Wouldn’t that be nice?
There’s a loneliness I think mom’s feel extra deep. We see these beautiful photos on social media, you know what I’m talking about, and we compare ourselves, we compare our lives to these photos. But what we don’t stop to remember is that people can easily take a stunning photo in their spotless living room but on the other side of the room it looks like a tornado came through. Kids make messes! If someone actually keeps that tidy of a home like the ones I see on social media – here’s a big KUDOS to you because there is no keeping up with my kids lately.
People capture beautiful moments and beautiful things because that’s what they want to document. Those are the pretty moments they want to remember. I won’t say “no one” but MOST people aren’t going to post a photo of themselves having a breakdown laying in fetal position on the bathroom floor. Why? I think it’s pretty obvious. No one wants to broadcast their struggles like hey, look at me, I haven’t showered in days and quite frankly, I can’t stand to listen to my child cry or whine for another second before I absolutely lose it! People just don’t do that.
There’s also a loneliness I think mom’s feel when it comes to friends. I see it quite often online, posts saying “I need new friends” or “have a kid, you’ll find out who your true friends are.” When I saw these at first, I found myself thinking how embarrassing and uncomfortable to read. Like, it’s sad to be that lonely that you needed to let out a cry for help on social media. But now I understand where they are coming from.
Sure, I lost friends after having my babies, some for the better but it still hurt at first. I once had a friend tell me that she wanted to “kill herself” after spending time together because I was married with children and she “envied my life.” Ouch much?!
I for one do have a few close friends and they mean so much to me but people are busy, life is busy. One of my friends is in the service and likes to travel in her spare time, the other is married with a full-time job and the other is engaged and moving hours away from me. I know I could easily “put myself out there” and go to some mommy play groups to make friends, ask people to hang out or whatever but that takes an effort that I really don’t have most days.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a friend that could come over at the exact time that it’s convenient for me, not judge my tornado house, day 5 hair, and to just hangout? I could use some adult conversation in my life. I love my kids don’t get me wrong but sometimes I want to talk about something other than Elmo.
Though I’ve barely have had it in me, I’ve decided to make more of an effort lately. I brought my kids to a play group, I made plans with a former coworker (and new mom), I made an eye doctor appointment for new glasses, I even picked up a job a couple of nights a week to get out of the house.
I think we can all benefit from simply remembering that NO ONE is perfect, God loves you (even if you don’t believe in Him), stop comparing yourself to others, and know that YOU are in control of how you feel and how you deal with your emotions.
Put in the effort that I know it feels like you don’t have. It’s in there and it will pay off if you just reach out to that potential new friend, get out of the house, have a date night with your hubby or something. Do things that make you happy. Never feel guilty for taking care of yourself and your soul.
If you are reading this and can relate to any of it at all, you are not alone.
White Christian tank top is from Reagan Twenty Five