Letters from a Learning Mother

We Are Mom

We are everywhere.

We’re at the park, at the grocery store. We’re in the office, in the car. We’re at birthday parties, choir concerts, swimming pools and soccer games. We’re in the kitchen, the rocking chair and sometimes, we’re even in the shower.

We are Mom.

I haven’t belonged to this elite club for long, but at times, I have felt quite overwhelmed by its invisible list of requirements and by all the things I could, should, or wish I was doing better when a “Supermom” walks by. If you’re one of us, I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about.

When someone else carries the same title as you, it is so easy to fall into the trap of asking, “Who’s wearing it better?”

And when you see someone thriving in an area of motherhood you feel less than successful in, you might feel your shoulders start to sink in defeat as you imagine yourself receiving a trophy at the end of your days reading, “WORLD’S OKAYEST MOM.”

But what if the mom with the fancy kitchen and organic, home-cooked meals didn’t leave you cringing over the number of cans in your pantry and bags in your freezer?

What if the mom whose kids always look like they walked right out of a magazine didn’t make you hope that nobody finds out how many of your children’s clothes are hand-me-downs?

What if the mom with the amazing backyard treehouse and tire swing didn’t make your garage-sale-jungle-gym-find suddenly seem a bit pathetic?

What if the mom whose living room is decorated with adorable, professional photos of her children didn’t make you feel embarrassed by the ones hanging in yours that you took with your phone?

What if the mom with the color-coded calendar didn’t leave you blushing over the amount of play dates you’ve been late to or appointments you’ve forgotten on chaotic days?

What if the mom who somehow looks even better now than she did before having kids didn’t leave you feeling insecure over the leftover baby weight that seems to have become an irremovable part of your life as a mother?

What if the mom whose kids are champion eaters didn’t make you wonder if you’re doing something wrong as you never cease to find pieces of something resembling what used to be a banana stuck to various objects around the house?

What if the mom with the amazing set of DIY skills didn’t leave you wishing you knew how to thread the sewing machine sitting in an unopened box in your basement?

What if the mom who spends every spare minute snuggled up with her little ones while they nap didn’t make you feel like a bad mom for using that time as a short break from your babies?

What if the mom whose kids are starting to read and write didn’t leave you feeling ashamed over the barely-touched bookshelves in your living room?

We are all Mom, but we are all very different. And as these first seven months with my firstborn have flown past, I’ve realized what a waste of time and energy it is to get caught up in the claws of comparison. More than anything, it strains the relationships with the ones I was meant to link arms with as we fight the battles of our every-days side by side.

I’ve begun to ask myself: What if we saw each other’s strengths as assets to our team? What if the mom excelling in one area of motherhood inspired me to flourish in another? What if we took the disappointment out of the sentence, “I’m just not that mom.” and celebrated each other’s victories, as well as our own?

After all, not one of us has it all, and certainly none of us has it all together. But if our only goal is to be the best version of Mom that each of us can be, all while encouraging and empowering one another to do the same — together, we can make Mom look pretty amazing.

unsplash-logoBecca Tapert

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