“Looking at you, you just look like you have it all together; that you have all the answers and that your life is so perfect.”
Wow. Just wow.
I recently had someone say this to me. Whether or not these were her exact words I don’t remember, but this was the jist of it.
I was shocked to say the least.
Now this woman doesn’t know me horribly well; she’s actually a neighbor, so we smile and wave at each other when we are playing with our kids in the driveway and occasionally meet at the mailbox, we haven’t had much more interaction than that.
And that was her impression of me.
Not going to lie, part of me was like; “Oh yeah!“, but an even larger part of me was saddened by the fact that we as mothers are conastantly looking at one another and comparing ourselves. She went on to comment on how my hair was always done, my makeup always perfect, and my kids always dressed cute. Yes, she’s right, normally those things are true; but friends, (and serisouly this is a huge but) I’m not perfect and I don’t do everything well. If she had walked home with me after that conversation and looked around my house, she would have been disgusted by the dirty diaper laying in the middle of my living room floor that I’d forgotten to throw away after changing the baby. The pile of dishes mounded in my sink that have been there since yesterday afternoon. And how about the clean laundry that is laying in a giant heap outside the laundry room door waiting to be folded (and that has been there so long that my husband has started to throw his dirty clothes back on top -ugh).
I’m not perfect; none of us are.
In a society where social media is the main way we interact with people; it only makes sense that we would start to believe that we are inferior to others, that we don’t live up.
But don’t forget that Facebook and Instagram are not real life. Yes, yes, I know we all know this, but do you believe it?
Babies in baths of rose petals, yeah, not real life (I would know). Spotless kitchens with smiling children happily eating their greens, totally not real life. Perfect couples smiling, kissing, holding hands, never fighting, yep, not real friends.
Everything that you are, I am too. So if you have a bad day now and again, so do I. You lost your cool on your kids this morning, yep, it happens to me too. You haven’t cleaned your house in three weeks? It’s been a month for me. You have a bad hair day, I have a bad hair day. You bleed, I bleed.
Let’s remember when we look at artful pictures on Instagram or read clever captions on Facebook that this is not their real every day life; this is the highlight reel. And if you think all mamas out there always have perfect hair, makeup, cherub children, clean houses, and doting husbands, you are fooling yourself dearest. We’re all human and we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
So the next time that mom goes walking by, you know, the one you love to hate, rather thank think how inferior you are to her because her cupcakes always win first place at the bake sale, instead just remember that you, my dear, have you strengths, gifts and talents too.
Instead of looking at the best of everyone’s lives and thinking you have to be the best at all of it too, focus on what you are good at and focus your energy there first and foremost. Don’t waste your time trying to do it all and be the perfect housewife, that’ll only lead to being a desperate housewife if you know what I mean. You don’t have to be everything to everyone and do it all, figure out what your strengths are and cultivate them.
Only have one strength? Hunny, that’s more than enough.
Even if you don’t have a single talent whatsoever, don’t worry about it, because you know your greatest talent? Love.
If love is all you have to give, and the only thing you are good at, friend, that’s beautiful, because we need a lot more love in our world today.
PS) A friend of mine on Instagram makes shirts that say “Love is my Superpower.” What a simple a powerful message. Because truth be told, as mere mortals, love really is the only super power we have. And isn’t it just that? The Bible says that if i had all the knowledge in the world and the strength to move mountains I would still be nothing without love; because love never fails. Let’s be superheroes friends; with love as our superpower I believe we can truly make a difference in our world…