I’m not the mom you think I am.
I’m not the mom who stacks every day full of fun, educational activities. I LOVE to be that mom, and that’s why you see her in the park, at the zoo, and on social media sometimes, too. But every day? No, that mom’s not me.
I’m not the cute mom in the supermarket, the one who’s chasing two wild kids but who still looks all put together. I’m maybe that mom in three-minute increments, every fourth or fifth time I leave my house to face the world. You stumbled into her at the perfect time today, but I am definitely not that mom.
I’m not the mom with a ceaseless fountain of patience to draw from, and I’m not the mom who’s always cool and collected. I try so hard to be that mom, and sometimes I succeed with flying colors. That mom is my favorite.
I’m not the “mean mom” who yelled at her kids when they refused to get dressed, when they wouldn’t listen, when they couldn’t get out the door in time. That mom was me for a few minutes this morning, but I’m not that mom tonight.
I’m not the mom who’s falling apart, who is seconds away from breaking down and locking herself in the bathroom so she can just sit still, in the quiet, for a minute. But I’ve been that mom many times.
I’m not the fiery-eyed and fed up mom, the one carrying her toddler surfboard-style out of the store. I may be her tomorrow, but I wasn’t that mom today.
I’m not the mom who’s all dolled up and feeling like a million bucks, but I’m not the dejected mom whose hair is three days post-wash, either.
I’m not the incredibly attentive mom, down on the floor and in the midst of the play all day. Yet, I’m also not the preoccupied mom, or the too-busy mom, or the frustrated mom who tears her hair out when she hears her name called for the 97th time in an hour.
No, I am not just one of these moms — I’m all of them. I’m human. I’m a little bit of every mom, and I just pray the best of me is the one I bring out most often.
So, I don’t know if you’re seeing me at my social media best or at my in-the-trenches worst, or maybe somewhere in between, which is where I usually live. I don’t know if you’re seeing me in my brilliance or in the middle of my failures, but every piece plays a part.
And, please know: I see you, too, Mama. And if I’m seeing you at your worst, I know your best is just around the corner.
At the end of another long day, over the years that pass too quickly, you and I will be almost every kind of mom, every kind of partner, every kind of friend, and every kind of person. So let’s promise not to make quick judgments of each other when we look through tiny windows. Let’s promise not to let filtered pictures make us doubt ourselves. Let’s promise to see each other clearly, even — and especially — in the toughest moments.
We’re all in this thing together. We’re real, and we’re raw, and we’re making mistakes. But we’re doing things so profoundly right, too.
We’re living life beautifully sometimes, and we’re trudging through at others. We’re hurting, and we’re healing, and we’re human.
And every day, we’re trying. So let’s remember to show love to each other — and to ourselves