Hey, friends! Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there.
Today, I want to talk a little expectation vs. reality. This day can carry quite a bit of expectation for us mamas, and sometimes you don't even realize the expectations you have until you find yourself disappointed that they weren't met. And then, you're already in a tizzy over that when you scroll through social media and see dozens of pictures of everyone else's Mother's Day festivities. It's easy to fall into the comparison game and suddenly you find yourself in a really crappy mood on a day that was supposed to be all about celebrating all you do as a mom.
Expectations are weird. They can be so subliminal and sneak up on you, can't they? I had this happen to me on this Mother's Day, and it wasn't in the way you'd probably expect. It had nothing to do with the festivities or celebrations. I really didn't need much there; I love every day with my little family (especially Sundays) and I truly mean it when I say my sweet Hannah is already the best gift I could have gotten. Although PJ did get me the most meaningful card and a thoughtful gift, so props to you there babe.
When PJ asked me what I wanted on this day, I said "a little extra time to get ready in the morning before church." I had a grand vision of getting all cute by picking out an outfit I'd feel confident in and taking time to do my hair & makeup, two things I hardly do these days. All I really wanted on this first Mother's Day, besides time with my little family, was a cute picture of me & my girl. Minimal expectations, right?
If you saw this post on social media yesterday, you'd probably think I got my picture. But what you can't see from a picture is the insecurity that reared its ugly head as I got ready. You can't see that I heavily debated this outfit, and felt like there wasn't a single thing in my closet I felt confident in. You can't see that as I did my makeup, I felt like a young girl playing with her mom's makeup because I have no idea what I'm doing anymore. You can't see that I tried really hard to do a braid in my hair to feel a little more put together, but it looked like this:
You can't see that I'm kicking myself for not incorporating working out into my routine, even though I have no idea how to do that right now with working and pumping / breastfeeding and mom'ing every day. You can't see that I'm thinking "maybe next Mother's Day I'll have my confidence back." You can't see that it's taking serious self-control not to speak negative words about my body, because I want to practice that now so that my daughter won't replicate that process for herself. You can't see that I'm fighting a mental battle trying to have love and acceptance for my body and appearance.
The reality is, out of all the pictures taken on this Mother's Day, my absolute favorite and the one I feel the most confident in is the one taken first thing in the morning. The one where I'm still in my glasses & nursing nightgown. The one where I don't have any makeup on, and my hair is getting pulled as my daughter's simultaneously drooling on my hand. The one that perfectly captures motherhood, and my sweet joyful girl in all her glory.
There's something really great about not being able to see insecurity in a picture. Because one day, I'll look back at the pictures from my first Mother's Day Sunday and I won't see any of the mental yuck that was going on in my head. Instead, I'll see a new mom celebrating a special day with her beloved baby girl and wonderful husband. I'll see a tangible representation of all I have to be thankful for.
But just in case you're a new mom (or a not so new mom, or maybe not a mom at all) and struggling with feeling confident in your skin, I share this to say you're not alone. It's real easy to see smiling faces on social media and feel like no one goes through the same mental battles that we do. It's easy to compare your insecurities to what you perceive as someone else's strength.
So here's to fighting through the mental yuck to love ourselves exactly where we're at. Here's to acknowledging that we all have insecurities, but also pledging to do our best not to let those insecurities warp the lense through which we see ourselves. Here's to taking pictures even when we don't feel like it, because if we only take pictures when we feel "camera ready" then we might rarely have pictures with us in them. And sometimes, just like for me on this Mother's Day, the very best pictures end up being the ones where we're in our pajamas and not at all "put together." Maybe being perfectly put together is overrated, anyway.