Dear Momma Friend,
I see you. I see you when you compare yourself to others on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the others.
My heart hurts when you beat yourself up that your play date’s house happened to look cleaner than yours. That you feel exhausted, beat up, and grouchy. That you feel crusty wearing the same pants for three (plus…) days in a row. I try my best to convince you that it’s not so bad, it’s not such a big deal, it’s not true. I am sincere, but here’s what I mean.
You have those moments all the time. We chat over coffee about it. We laugh about the goofy side of it, barely hitting on the actual hardship you feel. But do you know what I really see? I see this amazing, I mean AMAZING human, that has other tiny humans who are so demanding. You raise them with love, without raising your voice. I see how you are calm, even when you haven’t had a shower in who knows how long. There are toys all over your house, because you play with your children. The dishes maybe are in the sink. But I don’t remember. Nor do I care, it does not bother me.
I see your weariness, and my heart wishes I could do something for you; but that is the charge of mothering. Hardships come. That baby hasn’t slept in a week because she’s teething or has learned warfare torture. We’ll never really know. What I do know is that I look up to you. You are someone I take note of, for what I can become as I enter motherhood. I see the important things. Your children are loving, helpful, usually behave. (After all, they do have independent thoughts.) You foster imagination, exploration and laughter. You let them eat as many strawberries from the fields as their tummies can hold. You take walks, you play tea party fortheoneMILLIONTHtime that day. I see you do all that.
I am also glad you do not sugar coat. That is not helpful, nor an honest friendship. I want to be here to share in our struggles. But I am also going to remind you that your warfare-torturing-toddler who made you delirious, made you delirious. That you are amazing. Day in and out. Don’t cave into the social media lies. That clean house maybe has alllll the junk shoved into the laundry room. Or it was a magazine photo! Never judge your feelings on someone else’s outsides. AKA- Just because things look amazing doesn’t mean they are.
I turn my head, and I also see you- Working Momma. You not only encourage your household around you, but also others in your workplace. You know your giftings are more useful in a variety of areas. You meal plan during your lunch hour or rush hour driving. Frozen lasagna again? Cool. You clean on weekends. But you also carve out those special times. You make sure you get the homework done, the papers signed, the cat fed. You also trust others to help with your kids. You are strong and have taken the steps that are right for you and your family. You are also someone I see as a role model. You face harsh critics for working. You feel guilty for not having time for the 1,000s of tea parties. But you are still raising wonderful human beings. They are loved, and you have shown them how to be hard workers. To set goals and to be intentional.
All of these are amazing to me- the pseudo-outsider. But I am watching and taking notes. But, my journal isn’t full of a Pro/Con list- it is one list- one of love. Because above all- I see the love you have. It never goes away. It is hard sometimes. (Seriously, where did that toddler learn that devious trend of NOT SLEEPING?!) Sometimes it is easy, and you are nervous to say that out loud. Because we all know we fear the judgment. But you never stop the loving. The mother-child bond of love still puzzles me since my experiences are so different. But they must be vast as an ocean to tolerate the hard. The good times must just be THAT good!
I thank you for that. I need to see the highs and lows. Because you are my friend, I will always be here to listen. But I also am going to call you out when you are too hard on yourself! I will always be your cheerleader and encourager. I will also never take for granted the time you take away to have girlfriend time. We both know you want the break, but you also are thinking about the kids while you are away. This is Love.
Everyone else’s life on social media.
Thank you for living life honestly with me.
Your ever-watching, amazed friend