I am in no way the Queen of positivity. In fact, I’m more like the ugly step-sister of it. I try to practice it as much as possible, but mostly I fester somewhere in the area of complaining, and then trying to put a positive spin on things at the very. last. second. I’m a procrastinator of positivity if you will, only giving in when it is absolutely necessary.
However, blogging and being a mother to three kids in 7 years has given me lots of perspective that I didn’t have with kid number one, or even with kid number two. But, now, suddenly as the gray hairs are popping up, I feel this overwhelming urge to hug new moms and tell them it’s going to be OK. I want to lift and encourage to the point that I leave extremely long comments on posts where the new mom is just begging for someone to reach out and give her the virtual hug telling her that her bad day doesn’t make her a bad mom. And, I may or may not want to hug young moms in person too.
I found myself reading such a blog post yesterday. This young mom was obviously feeling some guilt about how her day with two young children had not gone perfectly, and it was obvious to me that she was reaching out. You could tell that she was tiptoeing around saying out loud something I might say like, “Today sucked!” or “I really could have done without dealing with my kids today”. She even mentioned feeling guilty about a quote she read. Oh man does that sound familiar, I thought.
I left a ridiculously LONG comment. And, in leaving that comment, I realized the number one thing I wish I could say to every new, young mom. “Don’t forget the hard wiring.”
No, I’m not talking about a fun DIY project. I’m talking about yourself. YOU. ME. EVERYONE. We are all hard wired differently. So, how can we possibly all react the same to this motherhood thing?
News flash: We can’t.
In the age of pretty blogs, Pinterest, and debates on Facebook about immunizations, organic food, and common core curriculum, it’s easy to lose yourself. It used to be that you maybe only had your next door neighbor, and a few friends you might call to compare yourself to, but now, you are comparing yourself to both real and imagined moms across the entire planet. It’s enough to make you feel like a failure from the moment they place the beautiful baby in your arms and you don’t feel an instant connection. You fail before you even get started. Mostly in your own eyes.
But, what we all seem to be forgetting is that we are all hard wired differently. So, we are all going to be different moms. What works for Ms. Suzy Q on her blog with her initiative to not yell at her kids for eternity may not work for me. Sure, her tips are great, but the truth is, I’m still me deep down to my core. Maybe I will yell from time to time, but I’m certainly not a horrible mother.
When Ms. Fixit Yourself tells you on her blog that she sews all her kids clothes from organic cotton, and it’s really SO easy, you can do it too! But, you hate sewing? That’s OK.
When your friend shares posts on Facebook about her all natural remedies for healing her kids, it isn’t a personal attack on your choice to run to the pediatrician with every sniffle. Unless she really does personally attack you, and then you better tell her to mind her own damn business!
One Mom might be able to make cute little rainbow snacks for her kids with a hand crafted leprechaun for dessert, and you can barely squeak out dinner. That’s OK. She’s hard wired to do that, and you’re hard wired to do whatever it is YOU do that is fabulous. Believe me, you do something amazing that someone else is looking at and envying.
But, over and over and OVER we seem to be forgetting all about the hard wiring. The things that make me unique and special are not given to me by God to make you look worse. (And vice versa, of course)They are given to me as tools. Unique ones that I need in my own life experience. And, maybe that mom that bakes cookies for every neighbor on every holiday and creates a cute printable to go along with it needs that tool for her own life experience as a mother. She needs her tools, and I need mine.
I know nothing about electrical stuff (or tools for that matter). In fact, I purposely avoid anything DIY with the exception of maybe painting a room or rearranging my mis-matched furniture. But, hard wiring simply put means permanent electrical connections. When talking about human nature, it means things like Innate. Built In. Essential.
I like that last one.
One mom may be hard wired to be positive and spread positivity. Maybe she needs that for the challenges that are coming her way. Sure, I can desire to have that in my life too, but I shouldn’t feel guilty about the fact that it doesn’t come to me naturally. And, I definitely shouldn’t feel like less of a Mom compared to her if I don’t spread cheer constantly. (I don’t)
If I could tell any mom just one thing, it would be to focus on the “plan” that was given to her because of her OWN hard wiring. The tools God gave her are there for her use. Not for her friend’s or the neighbors, or anyone else’s. Her hard wiring is essential for her life. Her kids. Her experience. Everyone has gifts. Hard wiring. No one got left out when God was dividing up his tool kit.
So, let’s stop comparing, and instead, remember our hard wiring, and forgive ourselves a little more. And, for the love, let’s stop comparing too.