Strangely, I feel like one of the most comforting things about becoming a parent is when I started to understand that it’s normal to be…well…uncomfortable. There’s a sense of bizarre security that comes with the realization that no one – no one! – has all the answers, and we’re all sort of flying by the seats of our yoga pants. I think it’s only when we embrace this that we begin to put the trust back in ourselves and stop comparing our lives and situations to others. This, in turn, makes us more compassionate towards others, too.
We try to pull it together sometimes, we really do. We put on makeup. We pack our diaper bags, we connect with other moms and dads. Some days we kick ass. Some days, we feel like ass. But we have to show up, because, well, we can’t run from parenthood. (We can try to hide in our bathrooms, but they’ll usually find us.)
When you’re running on no sleep, whether it’s because your baby is keeping you awake throughout the night or because you’re pregnant again and waking up every twenty minutes to pee, you’ll be uncomfortable.
When your toddler dirties a diaper worse than anything you’ve ever imagined possible to come out of that little body, or poops on your hand mid-diaper change, you can’t run from it. You’ll be uncomfortable.
When she throws a fit in the middle of the grocery store, causing a scene and knocking items off shelves from her seat in the cart, you’ll be uncomfortable.
Guests might drop by, such as in-laws or friends without kids, and your house will be upside-down: food on your floor, and your living room will be littered with baby-related items you swore would never take over your home. You might feel uncomfortable.
But you know what?
Baby shit stories make some hilarious conversations. When you’re sleep-deprived, someone may step up for you and help you by coming over for a play date while you take a nap. For every person who may give you the side-eye in the grocery store, there will be at least one who will sympathize with you, and maybe even give you a hand re-assembling those displays. And as for that messy house? Own it. Your job isn’t to please your in-laws, and your friends without kids will one day utter a silent apology in your name as they stand amongst their own new baby-induced clutter-bomb that was once their perfect catalog living rooms.
As for fellow moms, they can’t laugh with you, if they don’t know. They can’t help you, if they don’t know. You can’t help them, if they don’t share with you. I really believe that opening up about all the REALness of parenthood is the fastest way to finding your village.
It’s hard to show vulnerability and let your guard down, especially if you’re someone who likes to plan and know what’s coming next. And it’s not easy feeling like we don’t have control. And yes, there are some mean mommas out there who will judge and take advantage of private information you share with them. (Learn to spot them quick, and run from them, fast.) For the ones who appear like they’ve got it together, realize that you probably caught them on a good day, and that things aren’t always what they seem. But don’t be afraid to admit when things get rough. Because the process of opening up allows us to let in those who are on our side, who do get us, and who will be there to help us, especially in those times when things get…uncomfortable.Add to favorites