I am told all the time that I am a great mom by people who don’t even see me mother. They see a version of me that I post online.
Probably most of what I post, or what anyone posts are the highlight reel or sometimes the gag reel. The funny, the cute, the carefully angled photographs or Instagramed shots of the kids playing and ever-smiling in-between cropped out stacks of laundry and dirty dishes. A smidgen of what is going on.
I often go to bed feeling bummed about what I hadn’t accomplished each day. Yes, the mother you call great feels like they can’t possibly measure up. I feel like I’m failing my kids when I am not the faultless mom who can compare to the perfectness that is going on with everyone else’s lives. Who, if I think about it, no doubt is only posting their very own highlight reels and greatest hits of what’s going on in their own lives. Even though I know that, I can’t help shake the feeling of inadequacy. I don’t pinterest the most amazing things for them to do, I let them play video games to unwind, and whatever I do, I’m not ever doing enough. It’s akin to thumbing through fashion magazines and wondering why we can’t look like that. We know they’re airbrushed, but something in our heads still tells us we should strive to achieve that physique.
There’s just this weird disconnect between what we do, what we say we do, what others see, what they believe we are up to and reality.
Reality is I do my best. I am not perfect. I feel like I screw things up all the time. Actually I know I screw things up all the time. I know deep down, or at least I need to convince myself that I’m not really that bad if I just shut out all the excess noise. The blah blah blah blog posts about what you should and should not be doing, how what you’re doing is too much, not enough, not mom enough, damaging and inadequate. It’s impossible not to internalize that guilt that ends up weighing us down. It’s a vicious cycle of swallowing the inadequacy pill and regurgitating our very own version of a false sense of perfection that we all fall victim to. My kids love me anyway. And in the end I hope that I was enough.