I’m always fighting against a sense of conformity. I would say comparison, but it’s not quite that. It’ the sense that in each new stage of life I should conform to the woman that is “ideal.” Seriously, think about your stage of life….now picture the woman you “should” be. You can see her can’t you? Instantly. I know exactly who I “should” be, it takes... like zero effort to know her. She’s this made up woman that I’ve created from the culture around me, little remarks from people here and there, and of course the ole’ world wide web. Here’s my “should be” woman:
She is beautiful, and in shape, and prefers small portions of healthy food to junk food. She is at every school event and volunteers all the time to help the teachers out and love them well. She is always open to having playdates and has a stash of snacks and activities ready at a moment’s notice. She never gets annoyed with her kids and always has the patience to maximize each “teaching” opportunity with them. She has her side hustle, but she never lets it bleed over into family time. She is always available to lend a helping hand. Like Mary Poppins’ bag, she is a never ending supply of resources and help. She is always ready with a heartfelt card, a meal and a well crafted gift basket for a friend going through a hard time. She celebrates the wins of those around her and never selfishly wishes it was her. She is funny, and adventurous and cool and her husband beams with pride when she walks into a room.
Now, before this seems like a super sad post, let me just tell you with confidence that SOME of those things are true about who I really am. Some of those things are things I desperately wish were true about me. But none, NONE of those things can all be true. No one can live up to this woman and I know it. Trust me, I know it well. I’ve tried to be all these things and it did not end well. But like I said, some of those things describe who I am in real life and I don’t feel guilty saying it.*
A younger friend of mine said to me the other day “Just tell me everything you wish someone had told you,” about the new stage of life she was about to enter. I wish someone had told me that not only is it impossible to be the “everything” woman, but it’s boring. The best thing, the very best thing about growing into new seasons is that YOU get to experience it. You get to see what YOU are like as a career woman, what YOU are like as wife, what YOU are like as a mom.
One of the most giant realizations I’ve had and embraced about myself lately is that I’m a salty mom. That’s who I am.
I used to think that as soon as a baby landed in my arms I would transform into a matronly, sweet, crafty, well mannered, soft and gentle lady….because for some reason that was what I always thought of moms before I was one.
And hey some moms are like that, because some PEOPLE are like that. There are sweet and soft women out there and they are amazing and they will change the world with their patience and kindness and WE NEED THEM.
However...that isn’t me, it’s never been who I am so why would that change just because I’ve became a parent? It doesn’t make sense, but I really thought that I would go through some type of metamorphosis and transfigure into a beautiful-sweet-mom-butterfly.
Some people are salty. They are sarcastic and sometimes inappropriate and need all the life hacks. They go against the grain and don’t fit in all the time. And guess what? Some of those people eventually become moms. They don’t lose their wit and love of clever banter when they take on motherhood. They still hate lame-O music and fake smiles. They still gravitate towards the TMI topics because those are just funnier. They change, they grow, they learn how to make school lunches and make it to school on time (mostly)...but they are still themselves.
When you become a mom YOU become a mom. Your personality does not vacate the premises.
Some moms are salty and some are sweet. That’s my big revelation. I know, it’s anticlimactic. Basically, I’m learning to own who I am. That’s what I wish someone had told me at every turn along the way. Own your weaknesses and give attention to learning how to overcome them. Own your strengths and don’t apologize for them. Own the things you love and let go of the things that are best left for someone else. Own the places where you are wrong and apologize. Own the the things that fill you up and push you to the Lord and fight for them.
You Do You.
*and I resisted the urge to apologize for that. Take that false-sense-of-humility-that-society-tries-to-push-on-women!