We all have a vision of how motherhood will be. We submit our paperwork to adopt or get that positive stick and our hearts start dreaming about all of the sweet moments you will have with your little one. We don’t usually think about the hard or messy parts. That’s ok. It is fun and exciting and dreaming brings even more joy over this blessing.With pain and sleeplessness and only two hands, real life chaos descends and it feels overwhelming. I find myself and my friends readily admitting our weaknesses.
We admit the hard spots with a small laugh. “I am a hopeless baker.” “I am a horrible house keeper.” “I can use a hot glue gun. . . to glue my fingers together.” We let those around us know where they should lower their expectations for us. At the very least we comment on the chaos, defending why it isn’t quite right by the big overhanging unspoken standard we are imposing on ourselves. It is a insane because I would never look at a friend’s kid and think she is being neglected because she is messy or dusty or her ponytail has been ripped out.
I think there are a couple of reasons we focus on our weaknesses. For one, we feel bad about the areas we feel we are failing. It is the ever broken side of humanity to think we are gods that can do all things. Yet we are shocked when we can’t do it all. We also think other people are horrified by our mess. Really, though, people in our mess are in our mess because they love us. Not because they think we have all areas spotless all the time. Mostly, though, I think we have an unrealistic idea of life. A while ago, I started re-framing the way I saw my house. If my house or kids were dissheveled it meant a couple of things. One, that my house was lived in! 5 kids home schooled means we actually use the house! It also meant, I wasn’t scurrying about with the house but choosing people over things. I don’t need to defend that.
What about our strengths? Why aren’t we as quick to talk about our strengths? I am good at a lot of things. I am excellent in a few. They don’t need to be a constant source of conversation, lest we all appear arrogant. However, I think the next time my friends I get together, I want to hear what they are really great at in this motherhood journey. If they can’t identify something, we’ll help her figure it out. It will probably start with the words “I love to. . .” or “I am happiest with my kids when. . .” I think all of us should know the area we are great at. We aren’t perfect. We are, however, the best moms for our kids. And that is more than good enough.