`The internet is full of mommy blogs and internet articles to tell all us moms that we are awesome and amazing and super—even if our 4 year old isn’t potty trained yet, our house has a crunchy floor, and we haven’t done laundry or mopped the floor in living memory.
I had twins a year and a half ago. They made babies # 8 and 9 for me. I know how to make bread and I know how to sew. I cook from scratch, and my family is pretty happy to eat the food I cook unless I commit the awful sin of not chopping the onions finely enough. I am not awesome because I do these things. My mom taught me how to do them, and so I can do them, much like any other woman out there who does what she learned from her mother and tries her best to be a good mother to her own children.
I love to teach and I like to make pretty things and read books about interesting ideas. I like to share about what I am excited about. Usually the response I get is
“Wow, you are amazing, I could never do that.”
“You are a super mom.”
This pretty much makes me feel like a shmuck. I wasn’t sharing because I was seeking praise. I was sharing because I was excited. I want to hear about what other people excited about. I want them to be excited about what I’m excited about. Instead, I’m stuck all by my self in a time-out called “You are Awesome.”
Sometimes I share about the struggles that I have.
I get the same responses.
“You are a super mom.”
“I could never do what you do.”
“You are so patient.”
“You are awesome.”
Sometimes I want to argue with people. I want to tell them that they could do what I do—
which is do the best I can with what I’ve been given.
I want to tell them that I’m not patient; I’m just too tired to fight battles that aren’t worth fighting. Or I’ve realized that some things aren’t important enough to get mad about.
“God gave those twins to you instead of me because I couldn’t handle them, but you can.”
Maybe, but I seriously doubt it.
I think God helps me deal with what life throws at me. Just like God helps others deal with what life throws them.
Besides, I don’t want to be told that I’m super mom. I was looking for connection, maybe even asking for help. But instead I am again isolated by the assumption that I can be patted on the back and told I’m awesome and that this will magically help me feel happy and not exhausted. Is it too much to ask to let me join the ranks of normal mom and have normal mom friends?
Next time you have a friend who shares what she is excited about, instead of telling her she is amazing, say “That’s cool. I’d like to try it, could you show me how?” Or “Neat! Here is this cool thing that I am excited about.”
Next time your friend mentions her struggles, maybe she doesn’t need to be told how far superior she is to all the other humans. How no one can match her. Maybe she doesn’t feel awesome and telling her she is awesome will just make her feel the gap more.
Maybe she just needs a friend beside her, to know she isn’t alone, a few laughs about how life is crazy, and a salted-caramel-truffle blizzard from Dairy Queen.