You’re a Mess, But We All Are

You’re a mess, but you’re among good company. Although we like to think of ourselves as a unique being, unlike any other, the reality is the same things haunt most of us having a human experience. You’re a borderline disaster, truly. But, we all are. 

This motherhood thing is fulfilling and lovely, but also challenging and exhausting. Adulting is certainly not for the weak. There are not enough hours in the day to balance being a partner, a friend, daughter, mother, co-worker, good neighbor and still leave a little extra to keep ourselves well.

Several years ago, we relocated across the country with a four-month-old, twenty-two-month old, third and fourth grader in the middle of the school year. We managed to buy, sell and relocate in five weeks. 

After our heads stopped spinning, we took a trip to Hawaii. At the port where the cruise ships come in, I left my husband with the kids for a quick restroom break. It was the first moment I was alone in months. As I was walking through the sea of passengers from the various ships, it dawned on me, “I could just walk on that ship and disappear.” Like Jason Bourne, just slip into an anonymous life with a new name and solo identity where no one called me, “MOM!!!!” I snapped out of my fantasy to my fourth grader shouting and waving, “Mom! Over here!!!!” 

Motherhood isn’t easy. There are times we all want to escape under our covers or onto a cruise ship. It isn’t for not loving our family, but it can all get a bit overwhelming. It’s so complicated.

All of the managing is much easier when you have your stuff kind of together. But, when is there time? I liken a mom trying to take care of herself to insomnia, “If I fall asleep now, I will get four hours of sleep. Well, I did get one hour of sleep before I woke up. So, if I fall asleep now I will have five hours of sleep. Unless I wake up for another hour in 30 minutes from now, then I will only get a total of four hours of sleep….”  

Don’t wait for the BIG moments of self-care like a weekend away with your partner, or a spa day with a friend, or a girls’ weekend in Vegas. Those moments aren’t coming. If they are, they are few and far between. 

Start by accepting you are a disaster. We all are. We are all trying our best to make our beds, wash our faces, exercise, eat well, wear something other than yoga pants, love our partners, tend to our kids and make time for our friends. If you accomplish a couple of those, you’re doing alright.

But for now, take a breath and a couple of minutes. Pour yourself a warm cup of tea, coffee or your favorite glass of wine. Celebrate this cup of grace. Grace you want to start offering yourself on a more regular basis. Then, call your best friend, because she is a mess too.