By Megan Loden
To The Mom Who’s Pretending to Have it All Together:
I’m right there with you, Mama. I’m in the thick of it, too. We’re standing shoulder to shoulder, in the trenches, pretending we’re okay. Pretending we’re not broken.
Like you, I smile and tell everyone I’m just tired or have a headache. I’m not lying. I’ve been tired since 2003 and my headache comes and goes throughout the days. It’s just that underneath it all, I’m a little broken. I’m a little lost. I’ve been moving forward and pushing through the days.
Like you I fake chit chat at the school’s football game and smile in the drop-off line every day. Like you, I’m hoarding little bits of my damage. It’s as if anyone who knew how bad I might be feeling might never look at me the same way again. I only open up part way and only to certain people as a general rule. The rest of me is sitting beneath the surface in hiding.
Why is that? Why do we always want everyone to think we have it all under control? Why don’t we all come together and realize that we all struggle sometimes? You don’t have to be perfect to be a supermom. Your kids probably don’t care how much dry shampoo you’ve used this month. They certainly don’t care if you wear your sweatpants and feed them chicken nuggets for dinner twice a week. To be honest, they probably love it because chicken nuggets are great and the food of their people.
Your career choice, housekeeping skills or jeans size has no bearing on your children’s unconditional love for you.
We all just need to stop being so hard on ourselves. Not one of us is perfect and we shouldn’t pretend to be. They way I see it, pretending to have it all together actually hurts other moms. It perpetuates this unending cycle of bullshit. It tells my friend in book club that she’s alone in feeling lonely because I’m surrounded by nothing but supportive, understanding peers.
It’s telling my neighbor that she must be doing something wrong with her teens because mine do any little thing they’re asked the moment the words leave my lips.
It tells my cousin that her marriage is the only one that goes through hard times because my marriage is and always has been absolute perfection.
I’m not saying we should hide our successes and do nothing but air all our dirty laundry for all to see and judge. That would be absurd and completely unproductive. Let’s just keep it in perspective, shall we? Let’s be honest about the fact that we all have days where we struggle to get out of bed. We all have moments where we feel disconnected from our own lives and lost for purpose. If we are just a little more transparent about our lows, imagine how big our cheering section would be when we reach our inevitable highs.
Sleepless in the Suburbs
About the Author
Megan is a stay at home mom taking motherhood one day (read: glass of wine) at a time. When she isn’t busy embarrassing her teenaged twins with her mere presence, she can be found obsessing over her 11-year-old son or talking to her dogs and cats while her husband answers on their behalf, voices and all. She can be found on her Instagram, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Her writing can be found on Twiniversity here and on BLUNTmoms and on Scary Mommy.