Motherhood isn't a highlight reel
She needs to clean to feel a sense of control, and while everyone tells her, “that can wait”, she wonders, when? And when it’s done, well mostly done, she can sit down and be a better mum. She knows this but still, “they’re only little once” rings in her head as she closes her eyes.
She turned on the TV for a little longer than she would have liked today. She works from home, or maybe she doesn’t, maybe she just needed a moment to gather her sanity. But she feels crap about the screen time, she feels bad they didn’t get a fancy lunch like the lunchbox pictures always posted online. Why is that such a thing? She always wonders where people find the time.
Her house is a tip, she’s trying to keep on top of it all but she doesn’t have much support, she scrolls online and sees photos of a perfect home and forgets that maybe they have cleaners, maybe their kids are in care. Maybe it doesn’t really matter because her babies were still fed, loved and nurtured.
She smiles when you visit her, things look amazing. But she was yelling moments before you walked through the door. She wears the guilt like a heavy jacket but covers it up with a smile. She’s grateful, so so grateful, but she’s overwhelmed and doesn’t know how to tell you that because she “should be able to do this”, like everyone else.
She gets out every day, everyone calls her a super hero because of it while you’re stuck on the couch feeding. Not even able to imagine the logistics of a baby and a toddler (or more) on your own. Maybe home right now is where you need to be, but still, you feel as if you should be doing more.
She might be up in the morning doing a quick yoga session and taking some time to herself before the kids wake, but you’re choosing to spend that 20 minutes dozing instead because you were up all night shushing and patting. You’re still in your dressing gown at lunch time and wondering how other mums are showing up online with a fresh face full of makeup.
She looks like the perfect mum, but not everything comes as easy to her as it may seem. She’s a natural in your eyes, but her life was less than perfect. She tries hard every day to change the patterns she grew up with so she can give them what she never had.
Maybe you are one of these mothers. Maybe you’re not. But don’t turn on yourself because of another mothers highlight reel.
You may never know the full story. But there will be mess, there will be beauty and there will be things they don’t show. Though, we all have so much to show for what we do, no matter how that looks. We have them, and they’re lucky to have us.