We have the internet.
We have neighbors.
We have family, friends, and partners.
So why does motherhood today feel so isolating?
As I type this I'm juggling through thoughts of, should I just stay in my house today in my yoga pants?
It's so easy to hide.
As a mom of 5, I sometimes feel really isolated.
I mean Netflix isn't lonely. And the kids will be home soon fighting as usual. That's certainly not lonely.
I think in today's world, we have a few things lingering that make us feel this extended degree of separation.
I'm no Ph.D., but I have a few important qualifications under my belt.
Actually, I'll sprinkle them in the article below they aren't actually all that impressive.
Cough, expert toilet paper roll changer.
Moving on, here's my take.
1. Social media is savage
Instagram and Facebook for sure, you're on the naughty list.
Everybody on social knows the deal.
It's like a drug though. Lawd give us more.
Scrolling the gram these days might be the quickest way to fold your self-esteem in half.
How in the hail are all these people out there doing this same motherhood jig, with class, style, and ease?
And does she have a personal photographer? Nanny? Cleaner? And cook?
And Pinterest birthday parties?!
It all looks pretty perfect, right?
Excuse me miss, what's the quickest way to the nearest cliff?
Hold the parachute.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Can we have a reality check on isle one, please?
It's all total bullshit.
Social media has quickly become a place for highlight reels.
It's ESPN's plays of the week, transitioned into a nonathletic competition.
Insta worthy is actually a term that people use nowadays.
Does that not give an indication of what's happening in society?
Our casual scroll time in between the seemingly never ending chaos of real-life is injected with somebody elses temporary perfect moment.
And then we compare ourselves.
And feel guilty.
And less than.
We feel like we're not as good of a mom.
And we feel the need to jump up and make a fresh batch of keto broccoli and cheese soup.
Is that one just me?
You had me at cheese.
All these perfect images though. They really seem to know what they're doing, right?
We're all the same.
Susan also has bad days. Her child probably threw a toy at her face this morning and she's wearing the baseball cap to hide the bruise.
Laura's dinner probably tasted like shit but she had great lighting to capture the dish.
Karin threatened her kids and then bribed them heavily for that family photo. They got one good one and 100 with her yelling, the kids fighting, and hubby rolling his eyes.
That's what you don't see.
We can make up stories and add quotes to pictures. We can edit and manipulate pictures.
We can bribe the kids.
Do you see?
It's definitely not you that's failing.
None of us are.
We're all trying to keep our heads above water and figure life out on the fly.
I suppose it's not entirely fair to blame social media.
I think we need to understand what's behind it.
And that it is just like ESPN.
Here are the weekly highlights, curated, edited, and ready for your viewing.
Because just like your week, theirs was far from perfect.
2. Fear of Judgement - Aka moms who mob
Can we all just stop it with the breastfeeding vs bottle feeding clubs? Yo, it's all one club. It's called club 'my child ate today' and it's a great place for us all.
Sit down and have a glass of wine ladies, we literally are all on the same team.
I am not a saint here.
I've judged and been judged.
Hell, I judge myself.
'Change your pants, Karin, you look like you haven't showered in 3 years.'
We feel like we're going to be judged for sharing our real thoughts.
We don't just feel like it, we expect it.
We're afraid to tell the truth and say things like, 'HOLY SHIT TODAY WAS HELL AND I AM SO GLAD IT'S OVER.'
We lay the facade.
For the large majority of us, we really care about what people think and try to sugarcoat the hell out of things.
We don't want to stand out. We don't want to be judged.
We feel the need to say, "I love my kids, but Johnny was really difficult this morning, I was angry.'
What we really want to say is that Johnny was an asshole and threw his cereal on the floor because he got less cereal than he would like.'
Oh, sweet Johnny.
The point is not the asshole part.
The point is being able to be honest about your feelings and share them.
That's where you can high kick isolation in the face.
There's nothing better than being able to honestly relate to somebody.
You were furious with Johnny. His behavior made you enraged. You were late to school because he was sopping with milky clothes. You questioned yourself and wondered where he learned to throw his bowl just because he's angry.
The problem here is not the milk or the cereal, or the fact that kids will sometimes do things on their own accord.
It's the feeling of separation and not being able to open up to talk about it.
It's the fear of feeling judged and expecting that nobody would understand.
It's lonely and makes that morning situation carry on all day and then some.
Share your peace, just the way you want to.
Sure you'll have some chatter and 'lose' a few friends.
But you'll gain a tribe who you can speak candidly with.
You can walk through problems and navigate life easier.
You don't feel like a one-person army when you know others just get it.
We're all craving that.
I'm 100% convinced we're all totally insane.
There's no perfect human, parent, wife, husband, child, relationship, or anything else.
That'd be really f*cking boring.
3. Why are these plates so big?
Back in the day, the vast majority of moms had one job.
What was it, class?
I'll take care of the home for 500?
A jeopardy legend in the making.
It never was easy tending to the home and raising the tribe, even back then.
Simple maybe, but not easy.
A woman's job (in most cases) was to be domestic.
Cook, clean, and handle things on the home front.
What is the average moms' job today?
Is there even an average job today for a woman?
I know some that stay at home and take care of the home front.
And I know many that work and raise the babies.
Not to mention the single moms, hats off to them all day long.
It's not even an argument of work status, but life as a whole is a lot more complex.
Our plates are getting larger.
And every spec of that plate is getting filled.
We're all juggling the emotions, stress, needs of each child, relationship with our partners, our own needs, work, bosses, sports, birthday parties, checking off the chore list, homework (don't get me started), playdates, our own dreams and goals, meanwhile trying to mold happy and good humans that can be totally independent of us in a handful of years.
The stress train will pull into a station near you very shortly.
Oh, he already pulled up?
Yeah, me too.
These lists are getting longer.
The days seem to be getting shorter.
Our expectations are high.
The wine bottles are low.
There's a lot to juggle at once.
We really strive to be great for our family, bosses, friends, etc.
Our intentions are great.
But the demands on our time are even greater and we feel like we're spinning our wheels.
Nothing will ever be perfect.
And despite that, you're still a perfect mom.
I think we all need to step back and give ourselves a massive hug.
This is life.
Break that giant plate or find one more suitable for you if you're overwhelmed with all the demands on your time.
Are they all worthwhile?
Will you regret anything if it slips off the list?
Take a close look at your plate and focus on what matters most for you and your tribe.
The rest... open the car window and shake it off your plate.
Owner | Lenny Lemons
Founder | The Best Mom Life
PS: If you want a solid tribe of moms to hang with, join us at the best mom life
A letter to my husband from the girl you made mom