We live in a time where we constantly see perfection over social media. Lately I have been choosing honest motherhood over perfection. One play date at the beach started off these feelings for me. The littles playing and friends chatting. It was a really tough week. Mr O was away and between the three littles, I felt like I couldn’t get any task right. Everyone seemed to need my constant attention and I felt like I was failing. I thought my friends would think I was crazy if I told them all of this. That all I was doing was whining about how hard life felt, yet looking at my life compared to others – I appeared to be doing just fine. These Mama friends were the ones who seemed to have it all together, always prepared and never really gave out about the small stuff. So instead of choosing to be honest, I chose to act like everything was perfect.
One of my friends asked “How are you?” With a forced smile I said way too brightly, “Great! How are you?” She smiled and said she was okay too. Looking back at this moment I see so clearly the fear we both had. One of us had to go first. Someone always has to go first. At that time one of us should have been honest about motherhood. A few minutes later as her toddler got frustrated she whispered the words that changed our friendship.
“Actually, to be honest I am really struggling right now,” she said this under here breath as if it was a bad thing to say or maybe she didn’t want the others to hear? I stopped what I was doing and replied, “Really? Because to be honest I am having a shite time as well.”
Within seconds we both exhaled (A lot) as we shared struggles we had with motherhood. We were able to share, listen, and she’d the guilt with each other. All because of her willingness to just tell the truth. Something so simple yet at the time we felt it was hard!
Life is hard enough sometimes without feeling you cannot cent to your friends. It’s time we start being honest about the struggles, the wins, the mess (so much mess) and all the silly stories in between.
All it takes is for one friend to be honest instead of hiding under the mask of perfection.
It is so refreshing to meet people that just let it all out. Learning to just exhale all the BS. It gives others the opportunity to feel they can share also. No judgement here – say what you like!
It lets others say me too. Far too often we lie and feel the need to show we have it all together – when we clearly don’t! We are all going through our own unique struggles. Every Parent has struggles. They are either walking through them, have been in them, or will go through them. When we start to share our struggles or wins, our friends get to say, “yes, I struggled too!”
From that play date, we were able to be each other’s cheerleaders. We started to form the kind of friendship we all need so much. However, if we had chosen to hide under lies, we would have been deprived of it.
There was a time where I felt I was enough all on my own. Super Mama, even if I did look like a stressed out exhausted Mama. My determination would send me into Mama overdrive. If I just worked harder, cooked organic meals, never lost my patience with my littles, had a perfect home (nothing out of place), volunteered more, did more for friends and family and just be that all round “perfect Mama” without needing any help from friends, family or my husband.
I can giggle now at how silly I was trying to think anyone could be so perfect!
My challenge for myself and you is to choose honesty over perfection. Let’s choose to encourage and cheer one another on. Instead of looking at the girl next to us and comparing against – cheer her on instead!
Choose to be honest.
Choose to be happy for people.
Choose to be you.