With social media running rampant with the images of fit moms, contoured faces, and perfectly cooked meals that look so delicious your mouth begins to water just at the sight of them, it's easy to feel a little inadequate sometimes. You might be wondering how these people pull off the seemingly perfect existence and, as a result, feel like you're somehow lacking. The truth is, of course, that there are so many reasons why you'll never have your shit together as a mom; reasons that are keeping every other mom (even the ones who look the most put-together) from having their shit together, too; reasons that are unavoidable, inevitable and, well, make it completely OK that you don't feel like you have your life in order.
I'm sure we could blame social media for our constant feelings of inadequacy. I mean, social media can make you feel like a really crappy mom sometimes. When people usually only show the perfected, filtered portions of their lives, it hard not to think that they're living blissful existences while we're struggling to get ourselves out of bed every morning. No one likes showing the world that they're a hot mess. However, I think parents were feeling inadequate way before Facebook or Twitter or the internet showed up. The collective "we" has always been comparing ourselves to others; a news feed just made it a little easier.
Perfection is impossible; Parenthood is all about making mistakes, and making them regularly; You're going to mess up and it's going to feel catastrophic (and maybe even, sometimes, be catastrophic); You're never going to have your shit together, at least not in the way that we all like to convince people we do. Life is unforgiving and doesn't care about plans and tends to creep up on us at the most inopportune of times and, well, there's not a whole lot we can do about it. Honestly, motherhood just gives life more chances to mess us up. You're not alone in your failings and you're not the only mom who feels like she doesn't have it together and you're definitely not the only mother who is looking at Facebook posts from other mothers, quietly whispering under your breath, "Yeah, that's bullshit."
So, with that in mind, here are 12 seemingly insignificant but, in reality, absolute pain-in-the-ass obstacles that will stand in your way, every single day, from feeling like you have your life in order. Trust me, just because motherhood feels like a never-ending cluster of catastrophe, doesn't make it any less amazing. Some days, I guess. You know, what? Ask me tomorrow.
There is literally not a single thing that you can do to prevent it from happening to your little ones during the most inconvenient of times (i.e. as soon as you're about to leave the house). No amount of preparing in advance can keep your child's bowels from moving, so it's best to just accept the inevitable and let people know that, if you show up five minutes late, it's because your kid had an explosion and there was literally nothing you could do about it.
Remember that beautiful dinner that your friend prepared for her kids and showed off on Instagram the other day? Well, the meal might have been pretty but do you really know whether or not her kids even ate it? If you've got a picky eater, it's going to be difficult to get them to eat anything, no matter how much preparation went into it.
Kids just don't understand how important sleep is when they're little. If they did, they wouldn't be trying to party all night while their mothers consider taping their eyelids open in an attempt to keep themselves awake. Stubborn sleepers sort of ruin the possibility of any sleep for their moms and, well, how's a woman supposed to keep her life together when she's forced to be an insomniac?
There's not enough caffeine in the world to cure the sort of exhaustion that accompanies parenthood and, unfortunately, parents need all the help they can get when it comes to conjuring up enough energy to soldier through a day with kids. How are you supposed to contribute to intellectual conversations or run the PTA when you're too tired to realize that your shoes don't match?
Your Baby Couldn't Care Less About Your Schedule
Babies go by, well, baby time. They don't understand that you've got deadlines or appointments, and even if they did, the odds of them caring about you meeting your deadlines more than they care about their chocolate milk, are basically nonexistent.
So maybe your kid did eat that kale smoothie, and maybe they did manage to control their bowels long enough for you to make it to Target, but the battle doesn't end there. Taking toddlers out in public is a mother's equivalent of entering The Hunger Games; you never know when disaster will strike. (And by disaster I mean the hell that is the inconsolable public meltdowns of our kids over animal crackers and a plastic toy car that would probably break in 12 hours.)
Missing Money Tree
No one's happiness should be reliant upon having money in the bank, but the truth of the matter is: bills need to be paid and the power company still won't accept Monopoly money as an acceptable form of payment. Perhaps if we all had $5,000 dropped into our laps, we could catch up on our bills and pay down our debts or hire a super nanny to help take care of our kids so that we could free up some more time to get the rest of our lives together.
You Can Only Consume So Much Coffee Before Your Body Turns Against You
We all know what happens when you drink too much coffee...
Society's Unfair And Unrealistic Expectations
It's no secret that the sexist standards we've all been subjected to inevitably distort our self-worth. We live in a society that expects women to look like a lingerie model and wear six-inch-heels while simultaneously not "trying" to look attractive as we baste the perfect turkey. Women are expected to be funny but not too funny, smart but not too smart, and driven but never so much so that it might make a man look inferior. We're told that we should "do it all" and that if we ever fall short (which we will) that we're somehow less worthy of love and respect. For this reason, no matter how much we actually are kicking ass every day, we'll probably always feel like we're still not enough, which is insane because we absolutely are enough.
Your Own Unfair And Unrealistic Expectations
Women everywhere need to collectively agree to stop being so hard on themselves. We need to unlearn the notion that not meeting unfair and outdated societal standards somehow deducts from our worth. We can't allow other people to dictate how we feel about ourselves and our accomplishments. Give yourself a break and a glass of wine and a pat on the back, because there's a good chance that you do some amazing things and that you don't even realize how truly wonderful you really are.
There's Always A Missing Shoe
Or sock, or shirt, or pants. Yeah, someone is always missing their pants.
(Insert Random Thing That Seems To Always Throw A Wrench In Your Perfect Plans Here)
Listen, life happens. Today it might be that your kid is sick; tomorrow it might be that you get a flat tire or the battery to your car dies; the next day it will be something else that inevitably throws a wrench in your otherwise perfect plans. These things happen. Sometimes the universe gets bored with you being awesome and just wants to see you squirm. Thanks, universe.
All Of This Is Totally Okay Because YOU ARE HUMAN!
No matter how much we want to filter our lives so that they seem perfect, no one will ever actually be perfect. Parenthood can feel like an uphill battle, and that's because it is. Raising children is hard and, as far as I know, no one has it completely mastered (and I'm pretty confident that no one ever will). So stop comparing yourself to someone that's been photo shopped, or to magazine articles depicting a mother that appears to have her life 100% together because that's just not true. We're all human and none of us have it together all the time.