If you have your life together, don't read on.
If your kids are perfectly awesome, don't read on.
If you aren't exhausted, don't read on.
If you have figured out marriage, parenting, and happiness all around, don't read on.
If you've figured out how to balance personal, family, and business life, don't read on.
If you aren't a hot mess, don't read on.
If you don't compare yourself to others, don't read on.
If you fake your perfectness, please, get a grip.
But .... BUT ... If you are the opposite of what I just described, please read on.
We live in a world of technology. We live in a world of instant communication, and instant gratification. We live in a world where so many feel alone, yet are surrounded by so many people (most being online). We try to put on a show to appear to be put together. I see it all the time. I know these folks are just winging it, but showing pictures that appear to have it all together. Even worse, they tell us (and trying to tell themselves) that they have it all together. STOP IT. Who are you helping? If you are drowning in life, faking it to others that are overwhelmed gives us a false pretense and then we question why we have this overwhelming anxiety. What should you do instead? Well, if you don't want to be honest, just don't say anything. Or, just be honest. And that's why I have felt the need to write this. Most don't like to talk about the not so green grass. Friends, when you think the grass is greener, know that manure is a fertilizer and their yard is beautiful because it's filled with a load of crap. Let that sink in. I don't mind brown grass. I don't mind chinch bugs. It shows life. It shows realness. And I want to be a voice for those that need a hand.
To the woman that yearns to be a mother, but her womb is empty, I ache for you.
To the single mom that works two jobs, I ache for you.
To the woman that has been left alone to raise her child without a father, I ache for you.
To the woman that works full time with her children in daycare, I ache for you.
To the woman that works from home while raising children, I ache for you.
To the woman with kids in school that has to miss events because of work, I ache for you.
To the woman that stays at home to always be there for every child but feels so empty, I ache for you.
You see, I am you. I have been there. I have been every. single. one. of these listed. And truthfully, when I see moms posting on the internet about how awesome and balanced they are, well, I am a bit jealous, a bit confused, and a bit annoyed.
My story -
I was pregnant with my daughter at 19, married at 20, filed for divorce at 21, divorced at 22 - Then remarried and had my first son. My husband didn't want more children at the time. But 5 years later he agreed. We had 2 more sons back to back (on purpose - yeah, that's crazy). I worked full time through the first 2 children. I wanted another child the entire 5 years between numbers 2 and 3. I started working part time after child 3. I stayed at home when number 3 was 6 months old. I started my own business as a hobby on the side not too long after. And now, with number 4, I work more than I ever have (even though I am self employed). Never once did I hide the truth. Never once did I sugarcoat my life. Every step has been hard. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my family. But I have lost myself. I see other women say that they have this figured out. They have found the balance. Well, great. But what about those that haven't? What about those of us that are vulnerable? What about those of us that tell the truth? Balance - What is it? Well, I do feel that I have balanced as much as possible, for now. I remind myself that this is for a season. It's all temporary. We have to do what is best for us, and for our family. Truly, I can't wait for this summer. I haven't looked forward to summer break in quite some time. I am going to make amazing memories with my kids. I am going to make a summer bucket list and check stuff off one by one. And then, August will arrive. I will jump with joy. I won't feel guilt. I will drop off all f.o.u.r. of my children to the same school (pray that the littlest gets potty trained or all of these plans go down the crapper - literally). For the first week, I plan to just walk around the house smiling. I plan to go to the bathroom by myself. I plan to call my friends that I haven't talked to on the phone in 10 years (hopefully they still have the same phone numbers ..... and still like me...). I plan to watch anything that isn't on Disney or PBS. I won't feel guilty. And after that, the next week, I will hit the ground running. I will start working during the day. I will start doing studio sessions during weekdays. I will stop working evenings. Right now, I start working around 7 p.m. until 12-1 a.m. I want to stop that. I want to work weekdays while my kids are in school. I have a dream that when I pick them up and come home, we will play outside, cook dinner together, and enjoy our evenings. This is all a plan, so it will more than likely go awry. But I am here to say that it's okay. It's okay to have a plan. It's okay for your plan to fall through. It's okay for life to happen. It's okay to be real. It's okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to try to find yourself. And I want to be the one to tell you to stop comparing yourself. Stop trying to be someone else. Stop lying to yourself. Start being you.
Today I challenge you. I challenge you to love yourself. I challenge you to free yourself. I challenge you to find yourself. I challenge you to be a better you. I challenge you to become honest. I challenge you to become vulnerable. If you do this, you will not only free yourself, but you will free those around you that think you are perfect.
- Be vulnerable. Embrace yourself. Embrace your crazy. Embrace you.