I often ask myself, why do I always look at other moms and try to compare myself to them? Why do I feel the need to keep up with the mysterious Mrs. Jones. Why are we, as mothers, never happy with our personal best?
Hello, my name is Sydney Barnett, not Sydney Jones.
I catch myself shying away from becoming friends with the parents of my daughter’s school mates because I don’t want to feel as though I am being judged for working outside of the home. To be honest, I choose to work outside the home. After spending several days in a row stuck at home due to the snow storm this year, I quickly realized being a stay-at-home-mom is not my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and I love the time we spend with each other. During the snow storm I got to watch her experience her first snow, and watch her enjoy Sophia the First to the point where she can name all the characters and sing most of the songs. But, I always went to bed exhausted, wondering what in the heck I did all day?! It was a different type of exhaustion, one that I am not familiar with. I am thankful that my mom was a stay-at-home-mom, and to those that are, I applaud and praise you for doing it, but Mrs. Jones I cannot keep up with you.
Can we stop pretending that everything is perfect?
What happened to the days that moms could get together and commiserate over the trials and tribulations of motherhood? Instead, we put on smiles and pretend everything about motherhood is GREAT and PERFECT. Nothing is 100% great or perfect. That is life and THAT is 100% ok. Why are we always afraid that if you complain about something that is happening, we will get judged and ridiculed? When my co-workers ask me about Audrey, I always give them the truthful answer at the time. Sometimes it’s “she’s wonderful and great and everything is dandy.” Other times it’s the honest to goodness truth that things are TOUGH right now. This is motherhood. This is how friendships with other mothers should be. We should be able to celebrate the good with the bad, and continue to uplift and support each other through this journey. I guarantee it will never get easier, but with help and encouragement, we can all make it through to the other side. Mrs. Jones, however, with your 100% perfect and great offspring, I cannot keep up with you!
When did birthday parties become such a production?
Can we talk about how these days, birthday parties seem to be these huge Pinterest battles to see who can come up with the biggest, baddest party for a three-year-old (whom I bet will not remember this party in ten years. Actually, make that tomorrow). I have yet to throw Audrey a birthday party for a few reasons, but one is that she will be three this year and so her first two birthdays are really just for me and the expensive photographer I hired for the day to capture these moments. Now those first few years of birthday parties have turned into something like a Broadway production of Cats.
As I sit here trying to plan her third birthday party, anxiety has me stuck. Do I have the party at my house (nope, I’m not cleaning). Do I have it at the park (not a chance, it could rain and her birthday is in February). Do I have it somewhere and pay someone to handle everything (closer, but dang I don’t want to pay all that money). When did it get to this? Should I just throw in the towel, invite everyone to my (cluttered) house and say “to hell with it!” Mrs. Jones who throws the Pinterest parties for her infant, I cannot keep up with you.
Dear Mrs. Jones. I’m not keeping up with you.
Mrs. Jones, we are so easily led to believe that we should parent perfectly abd throw the best parties because everyone else does, when in fact every other mother out there is struggling with the notion that their three-year-old is really three! We are all struggling to accept the fact that motherhood is hard and trying, but still fun and rewarding. We need to take a step back and figure out how to extend a helping hand to one another. We need to offer up encouragement because we have been there and lived to tell the tale. Reach out and say “hey, how can I make this easier on you, or what can I do to help”? Better yet, look at your friend and say “girl, grab a glass of wine and let’s watch them play outside.” But for the love of all the mothers who just can’t…stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ and just be you!