In the world of motherhood, perfectionists and sanctimommies are considered especially heinous. On the Internet the dedicated mothers who believe that okay is good enough despite what these other mothers say are members of an elite squad called the Okayest Moms. This is one of their stories.
It is 11:38 am and through the door, my kid shouts “MAMA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?” I stay quiet. “MAMA! WHY DO YOU HAVE THE DOOR CLOSED?” “MAMA? MAAAAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAAAAA.”
I take a deep breath and scream back, “ I AM WORKING SO THAT WE CAN HAVE MONEY AND NOT STARVE. GO AWAY.”
Y’all. Snow days are the goddamn devil. Snow days that happen after being stuck inside for 10 days over winter break because of the polar vortex are exactly (no joke) one million times worse. To make matters even more complicated, I work from home as a social media and digital marketing consultant. Work from home moms don’t get snow days. When you have a deadline, you have a deadline. So, you lock yourself in your bedroom while your kid yells at you from the living room.
I love my kid, thank you very much. I really do. I fought tooth and nail at the age of 25 to conceive him after many, many early pregnancy losses and a lot of heartbreak. If you had asked me during that time what I would do to have a baby, I would have not hesitated in saying “anything.” That did not change the fact in the first weeks of his life, I would often stand in my hallway, bracing myself on the wall on either side and sob uncontrollably because I wanted to return him to the hospital. “Who thought this was a good idea?!” I would sob in gasps. “Why did we do this?”
Motherhood ain’t for the weak. It is easily the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I deeply resent the idea that somehow parenthood should only be discussed in a sanitized, controlled, polished way. My life is messy. My parenting style is, too. Sometimes, I sit on my couch with earplugs on while my kid watches Ice Age: The Dawn of the Dinosaurs for the 9,374th time today. Sometimes, I beg him to be quiet for just. One. Fucking. Second. Sometimes, he eats chicken nuggets every night for a week because I just do not have it in me to beg him to eat anything else.
And you know what? That is okay. It really really is. Not every moment of my life has been catalogue perfection. In fact, the most amazing parts of my life have been messy, real, and spontaneous. And, if, by the grace of God, you have a clean house(that doesn’t have a plastic dinosaur on every surface), an organized desk, and clean and polite spawn, GOOD FOR YOU. Just try to keep that between you and Instagram.
As a yoga teacher and social media consultant, I often talk about authenticity, trusting yourself, and meeting yourself where you are. We often spend SO MUCH time and energy fighting ourselves because what is, is not what we expect it be. We compare ourselves to others and to our own expectations. What if we all took a deep breath and just welcomed and loved the moment we are in? What if we just said “Fuck it.” What if we just allowed our children, our houses, our spouses, OURSELVES to just be? It doesn’t have to be more or less than what it is.
I don’t know. I am a hot mess express on a regular basis. I don’t know what I am doing most of the time. But, I do know that my kid is safe, dry, warm, and well loved and so am I. Can that be enough?
For me, being an okayest mom means letting it be. Taking the shots I need to take, picking my battles, and not judging when I just need to poop alone or say a four letter word. We can be broken, messy, real people and still be wonderful, amazing mothers. Don’t let Pinterest tell you otherwise.
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You can find more of Stephanie on her hilarious podcast, The Swirl. You can also find more of her on her blog, Instagram and Twitter.
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