This weekend I attended an event filled with incredible women. We discussed motherhood and shared stories. We engaged in conversations that made me feel less alone in parenting, and life in general.
We were asked to share times when we’ve felt like a failure in regards to motherhood. Times where we felt we weren’t living up to the standards and responsibilities of this important role. I listened intently as each woman explained their personal areas of weakness and vulnerability.
A mother who had never stepped foot in any of her child’s classrooms.
A mother who despised throwing birthday parties for her child.
A mother whose family never eats dinner together.
A mother who doesn’t do playdates or sleepovers.
Mothers who openly shared an area where they felt they weren’t measuring up. Mothers who are truly amazing parents and women, yet felt defeated by expectations and judgement.
These mothers are women I look up to and admire. Women who inspire me daily by the things they do for their children and families. Women who sometimes walk around feeling mediocre in motherhood. Women I would never classify as mediocre. Women who instead of realizing their power and influence, were clouded by pinterest-worthy scenarios and unrealistic expectations. Women just like me.
It was an eye-opening moment. I was sitting with women that I look at daily and think, “They’ve got it all together. I want to be more like that.” Or, “They’re such good mothers. How do they do it all?” The realization that occurred was so embarrassingly simple.
They don’t have it all together. None of us do. We showcase our strengths and minimize our weaknesses.
So naturally, when we look at pictures and social media posts, we’re comparing our entirety to small samples of someone else’s life.
That carefree mother who is always taking her kids on trips and fun adventures, is the same mother who doesn’t make it into her child’s classroom.
That gentle and loving mother that radiates kindness and patience, is the same mother who resents throwing her child a big theme-inspired birthday party.
That fun and charismatic mother that is always laughing and planning crafts and art projects, is the same mother who doesn’t do dinner as a family.
And every single one of them is an excellent mother. We all are.
All of us have radiant wins in motherhood, and also small areas of defeat. Motherhood is a daily mix of wins and losses. A 24-hour timeline of success and failure. And it’s ok. Our children are loved. Our children are taken care of. Our children are motivated, intelligent, adored, and achieving amazing things.
As mothers, we are far more than the sum of our mistakes or the tally of successes and failures. We are creating tiny beings with immense love, and that’s what matters. We simply don’t have time for everything. So, we fill our time with things that we’re passionate about, and that’s what motherhood is. Balance and flexibility and love.
No matter how many classroom parties you attend, or crafts you do each week, or dinners you eat at the table, if you are mothering with love, you’re doing motherhood right.
No matter what kind of mother you are, you’re a mother, and that itself is a beautiful blessing and accomplishment.
A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.