Tripping over ankles and other mommy comparisons

Welcome to the world little Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.  The world is so happy to meet you.   How many billions of times has the picture of you leaving the hospital with mum and dad already been shown around the world?  The world softly gasped an loving, "awww" on Saturday.  But cover your ears sweet princess because by today most moms are looking at your mum and thinking,

"What the %$^!" 

It's true ladies.  Go ahead and it admit it.  We all love her, but we all sort of hate Kate right about now. Who in the world looks that awesome six months after having a baby let alone six hours?  It's not right.  Her figure and hair are remarkable, but it was her ankles that tripped me up.  Did you see her ankles?  I can tell myself that a beauty squad was snuck in the backdoor to take care of her hair and makeup, but the ankles are all her own.  Personally I came home from the hospital with cankles the size of Kate's waist and my sausage feet shoved into Crocs.  (Can I get an Amen!)

But mommas it doesn't have to be a slim ankle to trip us up, to make us crumble and wonder, "What is wrong with me?"  We compare ourselves to the moms around us, and so often find something to trip over,  falling into a pool of self-doubt.  The other moms on the playground who look like they are having SO MUCH fun with their preschoolers trip us up when we just want five minutes to text with a friend while sitting on the park bench. When we check Facebook, we trip over 17 posts from other moms who today sewed matching outfits for the kids, planted an organic vegetable garden, appear to be effortlessly balancing work and family, and who actually had a plan for dinner last night.

We trip, and trip, and trip over comparisons, as we look at the moms around us and think, "What the $#&^%!  How does she do that?  What is wrong with me?"  It's easy in our world of social media mirages to find ourselves asking several times a day, "Am I doing any of this mothering thing well?"  The self doubt can run deep.

I found myself in a pool of self-doubt last night.  I've just ended a month of working pretty non-stop.  I feel disconnected from my girls and disappointed in myself.  Pete is my constant truth teller.  Somedays I wish he was the kind of husband who always said nice things, but most days I'm happy to know that he'll always tell the truth.  Last night I ran through my list of Mommy Failings with him before we went to sleep.

  • I have traveled too much lately
  • I missed both of the girls' field trips this week
  • I missed nearly half of Emily's basketball games this season
  • We have dressed ourselves in the family room for a week since the laundry never got upstairs. 

Ugh the list was long.  I waited for my truth teller to say, "Yea, you need to cut back on work."  But instead I got, "I don't think it's as bad as you think it is."  He continued, "Today you played backgammon with Emily, and last night Sarah hung out talking to us for an hour in our bed."  But... I had a long list of failures and comparisons to other moms to counter his encouragements.   He countered again, "You are doing better than you think you are."  

Grace.  So much grace.   Maybe I am doing better than I think I am.   

We live in a world of mirages.  We see Kate Middleton's exiting a hospital runway ready and judge our own bodies harshly.  We scroll through Facebook and Instagram seeing people's highly crafted mirages, the polished up versions of their homes, children and marriages, and we judge our own lives so critically.   We trip over the comparisons we make and after a while it is hard to get back up and see that maybe, just maybe, we are doing better at this motherhood thing than we think.  

Grace.  You are doing better than you think you are. 

This weekend is Mother's Day.  We may be celebrated with homemade cards and fingerprint crafts, or fancy brunches and store bought gifts, but my sweet momma friends I'd like to encourage you to offer yourself a Mother's Day gift:  Grace.  Take yourself over to the mirror and pour grace out. 

Look your self straight in the eye and say.  "I am doing better than I think I am."  

Lavishly pour some grace out on yourself this week.  Celebrate the momma you are, and all the things you are doing well.  Hold your head high momma so that you can look at the tiny ankles and other mirages of our world and realize there is nothing there for you to trip over, you are doing just fine.  

Happy Mother's Day dear mommas, You are indeed doing better than you think you are.