I was grabbing some deeeelicious avocado toast from my local love, Early Light Café (you seriously need to get Dawn’s avocado toast on her homemade spicy gluten free bread. She tops it with sun-dried tomatoes and you can even add BACON!). I was waiting for my food when I happened to listen in on a women talking to her friend. Call it a weakness or a guilty pleasure but I love listening in on conversations. I actually learn a lot. As she’s talking to her friend, I noticed a few things. One, she was doing most of the talking and her friend couldn’t get a word in edge-wise. Two, she was ripping on public schools and Common Core. Three, she was proclaiming her stance on homeschooling and what she’s been doing for her daughter. It was done in an elitist sort of way, as if it as the only way to learn and it was the best decision a parent could make. Her daughter was by herself at a kiddie picnic table while she waited for her soft serve ice cream her mom ordered. I see the owner pouring liquid ice cream into her ice cream machine and noticed that of course ice cream wasn’t ready to be served, it was 9:30am. So I sit and put 2 and 2 together and realized something through watching this mother talk and seeing her daughter being served ice cream at 9:30am. Am I judging her? Nope. Because I’ve let Brooklyn have ice cream at random times too. So it wasn’t that. What was it then?
What I realized was that we moms can throw that side eye way too much, and not even realize that we may think we’ve “got this” in one area but we tend to forget that we don’t in others. Watching this woman talk made me think about times I MYSELF have done this. Proclaiming versus talking about all the amazing things Brooklyn was eating or that she was finally sleeping through the night or watching a toddler having a meltdown and just THINKING in my brain that something must be wrong with the parent. Oh trust me, I’ve had many “come to Jesus” moments where my ass was given a hard kick back down to the earth in order to ground me. Times where I’m finally realizing how perfection is impossible.
I may think I’ve “got this” in one area. Let’s say in the confidence area for Brooklyn. I could sit and exclaim to a new mother or a friend all the things we are doing, all that Brooklyn does, and how amazing she’s been doing. And it is! I should be proud and talk about it with other women. However, I also need to remember that as confident as she appears THAT day, the day before she had a massive meltdown at 4pm because of how exhausted she was from her day. So I may feel I’ve killed it in one area, but there are other areas where I still struggle.
We need to talk and celebrate the successes and share what has worked for us. Damn straight! But let’s also remember the delivery of the message and to humble it out with some funny struggles that will make you more relatable. The mixture of success and failure will not only make you easier to talk to but it will also make you less judgmental towards others. When you mix it up, you become vulnerable and therefore build stronger connections. And when you build stronger connections you learn more and grow to the fullest. You become a happier parent and woman.
Let’s have you try it the next time you’re chatting with another mother. Notice how other mothers talk to YOU and how it makes you feel. How connected you are to them while they are talking and after. Do you want to talk to them again? Do you leave drained or do you leave wanting more? Perfection is impossible, yes, but success can still be celebrated with a balance of imperfect stories and connection.