A friend of mine texted me the other day that she appreciated my honesty. While I have never really thought of myself as a liar or someone who paints a story of their life so that it appears all sunshine and roses, I never really thought of myself as a purely honest person either. Why? Because I am a typical non-confrontational white woman. I like tact. I like everyone to get along. Also, because being ‘nice’ is sometimes easier than being ‘kind’ (more on that soon) and honest.
So, when my friend said she appreciated my honesty, I thought, ‘WOW, she must see something I don’t.’ And as I texted her back I started to think about how she viewed me in this moment of truth. The specific instance she was speaking to was my honesty about my motherhood journey. I solo parent the majority of the time, being a stay at home mom with a couple side hustles and a husband who travels a whole heck-of-a-lot for work, I don’t have the bandwidth to create a space that would make you think that I am living a charmed life as a mother. I don’t see my job as a stay at home mom with rose colored glasses. This shit is hard. Sure, some days I think I am killing it and feel like superwoman handling all the snuggles, book reading, crafts, healthy meals, and whines with positiveness. But mostly, it is monotonous, and boring, and messy, and it is full of cleaning and tears. I hate cleaning and when my babies cry… so does that mean I hate motherhood? No. But I think I am allowed to be truthful about it.
What was it that I said to my friend that made her compliment my honesty? I commented to a group about how I would rather NOT help at an upcoming event but be able to enjoy it with my babies. That feeling the tug of obligation to do something that would totally add to my madness and/or children’s unhappiness was not how I was planning on spending my time that day.
But the fact that saying that to a group of fellow mothers was worth complimenting my honesty made me realize, that most of us aren’t being honest the majority of the time. And perhaps, when we are, sometimes, we are not being kind- to others but more importantly to our self. Why can’t we openly sharing about our journeys without feeling shame or guilt? My friend felt like she was hiding parts of her journey, that it was hard to share about the drudgery of the day to day, or even say one word differently than what it would look like to be the mother she “should” be.
AND you know what? I GET IT. How many of you feel that way? Sometimes I feel that way (mostly from the pressures of those around me). I see social media (believe me, that is one of my huge faults- addiction to the social medias). All those pretty moms with their blow dried hair, and their size 2 jeans, and their baby in a freaking pram- in Texas! This isn’t bloody England, you are NOT Kate (more on my love for the princess in another post)! That mom on Instagram is NOT being real, sure she is branding herself like a boss (her brand-beautiful, skinny, put together, stress free and stylish mom) but she is also lying to us. She never shares her hardships, she never shows us her makeup free face or her baby crying or her secret chocolate stash. And you know what that creates for others who think that is what a mother “should” be like? Shame, guilt, isolation.
Let’s just be real with each other and not just real in our Instastories, because they will disappear in 24 hours. Let’s be honest in every way (or like 99.9% of the time) . In our answers to each other, on our social media, in front of each other’s faces (gasp!). No, not mean, just real. Speak your truth, be vulnerable- this is the way to build your community, your real-deal-love-the-REAL-YOU-tribe.
So that is what this space is for- BEING REAL. Which means, most of this will be off the cuff, unedited, and true to the mom life that I live. Let’s do this- let’s share the brutally beautiful realness of honesty and kindness.