Last week, I broke down.
I just couldn’t do it anymore- the endless days of consoling, changing diapers, trying to stay on top of laundry and cooking and cleaning. Trying to remember the last time I read my Bible. Praying when I remembered to, but only asking for sanity. Balancing being a wife and mother and entrepreneur but really just struggling to keep my head above water. My own negativity, self-pity and jealousy was so thick I couldn’t breathe. Things I would normally be thankful for seemed like burdens.
There was no joy in my spirit.
I felt no freedom.
I was exhausted.
There was no end in sight, either.
The time came. I was sinking. I was giving in.
Do you feel like this today, mama? Like you carry the weight of the world, and nobody even notices?
I feel it. And so does every other mama I know.
Why do we feel so alone, so isolated? Why, when we know that our kids probably aren’t harder than others, that their days are just as demanding as ours? We all have the same hours in the day, right?
I think, if I really trace my feelings back to their root, I feel like I need to be supermom, because everyone else looks like supermom. I know in my heart that this isn’t true, of course, but social media bombards me with everyone else’s photos of smiling, stimulated children that are perfectly dressed and eat all organic diets, magazine-worthy decorating and cooking and all homemade cleaning products, developmentally-engaging activities, perfect date nights, flowers from husbands, much-needed girls nights. My conscious is ravaged with the thoughts that, yes, everyone is having fun without me, and I am here Cinderella-ing away in my little farm house, heating up leftovers and praying for a nap to last 10 more minutes.
Why do we hold ourselves to these ridiculous standards?
Why do we think that everyone else has their junk together just a little bit more than we do?
Because that is all we see!
We don’t see the disobedient children. We don’t see the arguments in a marriage. We don’t see the price tags on the designer clothing or the frozen pizza from the night before.
We don’t see the desperate turning on of a movie- or three- or the hiding in the closet to sneak some chocolate. We don’t know when the last shower was. We don’t hear desperate prayers for sleep in the wee hours of morning. We don’t know!
Daily, I find myself comparing my private, worst moments as a homemaker with everyone else’s social media highlight reel- and it’s killing me. It’s telling me that my marriage isn’t good enough, that I’m not a good mother, that our diet sucks, that my clothes are cheap, and that my baby is sad because her clothes are from Goodwill.
It’s ridiculous. It’s lies. In moments of clarity, I know it’s not true.
But what’s the solution?
Take a step back.
Unplug. A lot!
I’ve started a new initiative in our home called “Unwired Parenting”. It has been born out of a desire to, yes, be more intentional and attentive to my daughter and my marriage, but also to remove myself from everyone else’s highlight reel broadcast and focus on what matters: my joy within my own home. The goal is, when the baby is awake, to only use the phone and computer for necessary communication: phone calls or necessary texts, business communications if necessary. Maybe play some music. But not for distraction!
It’s time that we, as mothers, strive to support one another, encourage one another, and be honest. That doesn’t mean you have to post pictures of your crying kids on Facebook, on tweet about your leftovers, but instead perhaps adopting a spirit of vulnerability within our communities so that other mamas know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. I’ve been thinking a lot about the verse in Revelation that tells us that we “overcome by the word of our testimony.” How true is this for our daily struggles?! We survive our hardest days by leaning on grace, and knowing that grace got us through our last hard day, too.
Reach out. Ask for prayer. Receive advice with a spirit of humility. Have grace with yourself. Be thankful. Be joyful! Cuddle your children. Take some quiet moments with them. Take some moments for yourself, too! You can do it, mama. You are covered in the Lord’s grace. He is enough. You are enough. You’re not alone!
Have you ever felt alone in motherhood? Do you feel alone now? Let’s encourage one another!
Originally published at Day2DayJoys!