So being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done. Every day I am mediating arguments, changing diapers, making meals, biting my tongue so I don't say something out of anger or frustration, trying not to injure myself while stepping over toys, meeting the quite demanding needs of two little people, attempting to maintain a somewhat clean and organized home, maintaining friendships, running errands, and trying to figure out how to raise productive citizens who love Jesus. It's like every day is a science experiment with constantly changing variables. I'll admit, most days I have no idea what I'm doing, but thankfully my kids haven't seemed to catch on.
So here's what I've noticed. It seems that other moms seem to have everything together - the house is clean, dinner is made, children are well-behaved and obedient, everyone is dressed in matching clothes, and there still seems to be time to actually create some of the things found on Pinterest. At least according to blogs, Pinterest, and Facebook statuses. While this is definitely something to strive for, I'm pretty sure that I don't know anyone who actually accomplishes all these things on a regular basis. Yet we (myself definitely included!) try to portray this perfect picture to the world. So then we end up comparing ourselves. We share only our successes, not our struggles, and we end up thinking that every other mom is doing things better, smarter, and more efficiently than we are.
While I completely agree that sharing successes and learning from what others do well is totally valid and important and is usually how I grow as a mom, I feel that sometimes we sugar coat things because we're afraid to expose where we fall short. We're afraid to be vulnerable and admit that our kitchen is a disaster, and our floors haven't been mopped in weeks, and sometimes we use tv as a babysitter while we take a shower or close our eyes just for a minute. But when we're real, and raw, and we really share our struggles with each other, it turns out that every other mom isn't perfect either. We don't have it all together, and we need to be encouraged by the fact that we are not alone in this crazy experiment called parenting.
So yes, let's continue to share our successes and spur one another along, but let's not forget to be raw too and admit that we don't have it all together. We need help, we need prayer, we need encouragement from others, and we need God to help us through the day. Because when we are weak He is strong, and when we fall He will pick us up. So be encouraged: you are not perfect, and you don't need to be. And no one else is perfect either.
This week, the girls in my Life Group are sharing the "raw" moments with each other. We are taking pictures of the mini-disasters, parenting fails, and less than perfect moments and sharing them on Facebook and our blogs. We aren't doing this to complain about how hard things are, or to be negative in any way. We are just trying to be real and raw and remember that we are all in this together. Besides, who doesn't find those crazy moments to be incredibly funny later!