I strive to be an open book. The good, the bad, the ugly. I want to put it out there. And this blog just fuels that effort. I think it’s a responsibility of this space. It’s way too easy — and very tempting — to simply present perfection. A reality I am not living. But let’s put something out there. I am married to a designer. And the presentation of perfection comes very easy to us.
To be honest, there are times where we get too caught up in it. It transitions from real and candid to filming an episode of The Hills. Carefully calculated for the blog. A reshoot of a genuine moment. A,
“Brooks, that was so cool on your skateboard! Quick, lets put clothes on you so I can take a picture.”
Enter an amazingly adorable outfit. Thanks to Crewcuts — our current obsession. A little hair product for that mop on top of his head. And, well… back to the skateboard with the good camera to recapture that genuine “moment”.
And while, yes, that skateboard trick was him. All him. On his own. And he was just as proud of himself the second time around. And my kids really do love pictures.
“Quick momma. Take a picture for your blog.”
I just maybe presented something that wasn’t exactly real. It was a recreation. Like, these photos should have that watermarked “reenactment” in the bottom left corner you’d see on a cheesy episode of America’s Most Wanted. And then you think,
“Man, Super mom over here always has the cutest kids. Their clothes are amazing!”
And I agree. Their clothes are amazing. When they’re on them. For more than 4.5 seconds.
And here’s the thing. My images. I love them. I like to have them. My boys looking adorable skateboarding.
And my man, it’s his job. Literally. He makes pretty pictures for a living. And we embrace it.
“Honey, Can you photoshop my double chin out of the top picture of the photo booth pics from the KnowLove wedding?”
“Sure, but I have to do it at lunch.”
“Ok, I’ll just post it up later today.”
“Cool. Text me the pic.”
Yep. That just about sums it up. It’s like being married to the plastic surgeon. But you never have to go under the knife. Though, you don’t get the benefit of going sans double chin in person.
So, I’ve decided that if I am going to have those pretty pictures. That perception of perfection. I am going to keep it real in my writing. Real real. And in my life. Because, I like the pretty pictures. Judge all you want. But I want to look back on our lives like I am flipping through a series of Baby Gap ads. And to us, it sort of is our reality. Albeit a completely retouched, edited, color corrected, cropped, and sharpened version of it. It’s still it.
But my writing. My words. They are my heart. And there is nothing I hate more than a censored heart. Edited. That is a fakeness to me that is just sad. A huge missed opportunity. For support from others. Encouragement for others. A missed opportunity for community. Especially as mothers. There is no faster way to walk through motherhood alone than by being that mom that answers the question…
“How’s it going?”
“Great. I love it. My newborn is so easy. Nothing to report here.”
You are fine. You’re not tired. Breastfeeding is just easy. Your other kids are just helping and adjusting perfectly to being older siblings. Your heart is not being ripped from your chest just trying to be everything to everyone. You aren’t scared to death that this little life is entrusted to you. You aren’t questioning if you’re doing this parenting thing right like every fucking minute.
Totally. I believe it. But I do just want to say one thing. You’re an idiot.
Let me help you out… When I say,
“How’s it going?”
This is your opportunity to say…
“Good. It’s pretty good. I mean we’re doing ok. I love it. Wouldn’t change it for the world. But this mom thing is hard.”
And that’s where I say…
“I know. It’s so hard, girl. But it gets easier. These first months are by far the hardest. But I promise, right around the first month mark. You will feel like you’re getting a handle on being a momma. And the good stuff starts kicking in and never stops. The smiles. The giggles.”
And you say…
“Oh, I know. I honestly just can’t figure out how to get her to sleep anywhere but my arms.”
And I reply…
“Ugh! Roman was that way. Awful! Have you tried the double swaddle? Or white noise? But in all honesty, I can’t even get Roman in her own bed — and she’s 13 months!”
“Oh my friend’s daughter was like that and they just started trying…” blah blah blah…
You get the point. And now. You and I? We are friends. And then later in the week when I want to shoot my head off, your name might pop in my head as someone I could text.
“Got any teething ideas? I’m going to kill myself.”
And you’ll text back…
“Have you tried the homeopathic teething tablets? They’re at Whole Foods.”
I will try them. And text you back…
“Girl! She is sleeping finally. You are amazing! Teething tablets for the win!”
And then you…
“WooHoo! Now pour yourself a drink.”
And I will send you a picture of my glass of wine.
There are a lot of people in the world who want to walk it alone. That when the world starts to close in on them. When life gets hard. Or disappointing. Or painful. They want to close the door. Suffer in silence. Alone. And for a long time, I was that person.
Mainly, I liked the facade of perfection. Or, at least, I thought I liked it. And I seriously feared the judgment of others. It can be brutal. And if you’re into pouring salt in a wound in an attempt to lessen the duration of pain. Well, this is the best way to go about it. Share your problems and let people judge away. And, yes, the sting of that can sometimes be more painful than the initial wound. But, man, there is another side. A side of truth. Of reality. Of freedom. And every-time I put the truth out there. I am met with so much more than judgment.
I think CS Lewis said it best,
“Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”
And man, there is nothing more valuable in the mom world than friendship. Someone to say. “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
You’re never the only one. But it’s time to put it out there.
Open up that book.