I think it would be safe to say that as moms we all have days when things are overwhelming. Between keeping up the house and taking care of the kids (and the husband)... its easy to compare ourselves to other moms (real or fake) and become discouraged because we don't feel that we measure up. I myself fall into this trap far too often. I enjoy following blogs of other moms and while for the most part that is a harmless act, sometimes my perception gets distorted. I compare my messy house to a picture perfect one on so-and-so's blog. Or I feel like a bad mom because I don't have perfectly planned nutritious homemade dishes for every meal. Or I convince myself that I must be a crappy mom because there must be someone out there doing a better job at it than I am... and then I put on the happy face and tell everyone I'm fine but I'm not because I keep feeding myself those dangerous thoughts that are really just a bunch of poison that sucks the joy out of being a mom and wife.... whew! Its exhausting just typing all that negativity. How do we carry on daily life with that filling our heads?
I do not think there is a magic answer to this cycle that myself and many others find ourselves in. But seeking the wisdom of other, more experienced moms is one thing that I think we can do. Reaching out within our church or community and finding other mothers to connect with is so important. Another way to hear from other moms is through the written word. So many moms are writing books for women like them now. Because they have been through what we're going through and they know how hard the days (and sometimes nights) can be as a mom. They want to offer advice and encouragement to help us recapture the joy of motherhood that some of us have lost.
I have two books coming in the mail that I am eager to read and share with other moms. Hearts at Home's Jill Savage is about to release her newest book: No More Perfect Moms - "Learn to Love your Real Life". I've read a few of her other books and seen her speak at Hearts at Home conferences. Jill is so truthful and candid about her experiences (both good and bad) as a wife and mom. In her book “No More Perfect Moms”, Jill speaks honestly about the pressures we face when society tells us we should have perfect kids, homes, lifestyles and marriages.
Sarah Mae(the mom of young ones) and Sally(the seasoned mother/mentor): Desperate - Hope for Moms who need to Breathe. Desperate will lead you to hope, refreshing your ideals, while helping and inspiring you as you embrace this profound journey of motherhood. No formulas or rules to keep, but a relationship, a coffee-talk between two friends, who give life and love to one another amidst the realities of life.
Its time that we stop the cycle. No more trying to do everything the way everyone else does and hating ourselves when we fail. No more feeling like nothing I ever do is good enough. No more facing our struggles alone. Grab a fellow mom (or more) and share your life. Whether you choose one of these books or another or none at all, the point is to connect and be transparent with one another and share your trials and joys. Don't be afraid to let your fellow mom see your house when its cluttered and the floor is sticky from grape juice spilled days ago. Don't be afraid to tell someone that you feel like pulling your hair out and you need a "mommy time out" sometimes. Don't be afraid to be proud of yourself and your fellow mom for the things that you do right every day. Don't be afraid to offer a hug and a helping hand to other moms who are going through the trenches of motherhood alongside you.
Practice carrying one other's burdens. In this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
***** I have a copy of Desperate to give away. Please leave a comment on this post and tell me why you would like a copy. I will choose a winner on January 25th. That is my mother-in-law's birthday. And while she plays the role of practically perfect grandma to my kids and nephews now, I know she was a desperate mom at one time too. ;-) ***** This giveaway is over.