Years ago when I first started blogging there was a popular series of posts that everyone did called, things I’m afraid to tell you. The idea was that each of us –especially mothers– would step outside of our comfort zone, outside of our filtered Instagram photos and posts with perfectly styled outfits and we would take a raw and honest look at how difficult motherhood when you can’t be honest about where you’re at for fear of being judged by someone else.
I remembered this series when I heard about Similac’s Sisterhood of Motherhood campaign. I love that a company is using their influence for good, as a reminder for us not to be judgmental of each other and to support each other. It also makes me a little sad that we have to remind each other to be kind or that we miss out on community with other women because we can’t truly be ourselves. So I thought I would go first, in honor of mother’s day and to hopefully encourage you to be honest about who you are and give grace to other mothers as they navigate their own journey. None of us are perfect and we can’t judge someone else’s choices through our own lens without any context for what she walks through every day.
So here are my things I’m afraid to tell you about me as a mom…
- I yell. It’s the thing I dislike most about myself as a mom and therefore I’ve been working on it for years. But still, sometimes I get so frustrated with the boys for not listening or punching each other or trying to slide down the banister or whatever that I yell at them. Not holler or chastise but straight up scream. As a child yelling was the thing I hated most because it was a constant part our house and it made me feel nervous and scared. It makes me sick to my stomach that it sometimes slips out of my own mouth and I don’t talk about it much because it’s one of those things you’re not supposed to admit to if you’re a “good mom”.
- I have a nanny. I assume that most people realize this because I have young children and I work full time but every once in a while I’ll mention it and immediately I’ll get the hateful comments on social media. I’m so confused by this attitude since many people have help from family (we have none nearby) or take their children to daycare but there’s something about that word that rubs people the wrong way. I am so grateful for our nanny I could cry. She has been taking care of our entire family for years and I’m not sure how we’d do life without her. But being a mom is the thing I’m hardest on myself about and even though I should have a thicker skin about comments made my strangers it still hurts my feelings when people pick on me in this area. Rather than just admit it to it, I honestly don’t talk about this area of my life much because I don’t want to read the mean comments.
- I don’t pay any of our bills. EEK! That’s a hard one to write down because I am such an independent woman and I run a company where I know all the little details. But when it comes to our personal finances I have no earthly clue. How much is our mortgage? No idea. What’s the account number to our online banking? Your guess is as good as mine. I suppose the flip side is that Dave doesn’t know when the kid’s next dentist appointment is or that Ford needs a white t-shirt for tie dye day at school. We have divided up tasks and money is not on my to-do list. I sometimes try and rally myself, take a quick gander through everything, check the retirement and college accounts, etc but that’s as far as I get. I have too many things in my mind between raising these babies and running this company so at least for now, remembering to renew our DMV tags just isn’t on my agenda.
- I have anxiety attacks. I have done so much work on this over the years and come so far but I still occasionally suffer from anxiety attacks. When they hit me it’s hard for me to tell you exactly what has set them off, I’m only sure that something terrible is about to happen and the feeling is nearly crippling. I’ve learned to do a ton of work (therapy, exercise, diet) to combat these in advance but sometimes they still knock me sideways.
Just like Usher said, these are my confessions. I am not perfect and I can only try my best… some days I’ll be better at that than others. I think that’s why this campaign with Similac and this video brought me to tears, because it’s so right on. These are the exact things we deal with as mom and none of them are easy to carry. So next time you see the mama in the grocery store with the screaming toddler, consider giving her grace or saying a prayer on her behalf or throwing her a smile that says, “Hey sister I get it, we’ve all been there!” Motherhood is a Sisterhood and we are all united in our imperfections. #SisterhoodUnite