Dear Mamas of Littles,
I know you are weary. I know you are tired of hearing "Enjoy it now--it goes by fast." I'll even bet you are hoping the day DOES go by fast to when you have reinforcements to help you tonight.
This post is not to tell you to revel in their littleness and dependence on you. I refuse to add to the mom-guilt that so many of us experience. This post is written to give you permission to be real and authentic and to post the pic of the mess and not just the cleaned up version of kids with bows in their hair and clean faces. Those of us who have been mamas know that the clean face happens only for an instant a day and is not how they look the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day.
Post it ALL! All the hard, all the insane things they do that make you want to lose our ever-loving mind. All the things that you hope will be funny in 5 years but are crazy-making in the here and now. (Seriously--TimeHop makes me laugh all the time these days when I see what a mess we were). All the times when you think you are the only mom who struggles this much.
Don't feel bad for not being perfect. Don't compare yourself to the mom who makes her kids food from scratch and always buys organic. Or the mom who has a clean house (and never uses cleaners with chemicals). Or the mom whose kids love each other sooooo much and they are "so blessed" ALL.THE. DANG. TIME.
Post it all now because when your kids get older, you won't be able to. Even if they aren't on social media, their friends or friends' parents or teachers are. AND YOU WILL GET CAUGHT. And it will not be fun at your house and you will ruin their life forever.
By posting it now, you are breathing life into other mamas who are too scared to be real. You are giving them permission to pull the veil a little and let others see the truth of the man/mama behind the curtain.
And most importantly, you are giving yourself the freedom to accept help. I read recently "If we cannot grieve, we cannot be comforted." (Rebekah Lyons in "You are Free"). I think that quote applies to whatever feeling you have at this moment. We were created for community and while hiding behind your perfect beach picture may elicit several comments about how beautiful your family is, you will feel like a fraud. Because we all know that for every perfect picture, there are 10 others that you hope were not captured on secret camera.
Post away, mamas! And know that as you post, I will not only be cheering you on, I will be praying for you--for rest, and grace and a little moment of peace, and forgiveness for yourself, and love. The kind of love that joins you in the midst of the mess instead of trying to fix it for you.