On Saturday I had the opportunity to go to a brunch with some amazing women and listen to Allyson Reynolds from Power of Moms speak on Finding the Joy in Motherhood. To begin we all got up and said our biggest challenge in motherhood. I was one of the first to go, I felt flustered and nervous. I have so many struggles to choose from. I said that one of my biggest struggles is trying to show my love separately to all 4 of my children. To give them each their own attention and help them feel loved and unique. Yes, that is a big one, but I have so many more struggles. Don’t we all? Being a mom is hard work. I think back to when my husband and I first started trying for a family and I am thankful that it worked out the way it did. I needed to go through years of pain and loss to get to where I was when I became a mom. I am a better mom for my trials.

I was really excited to go and listen and get out of the house (away from my 4 littles) for the morning. Ironic right? Before going I really thought it was going to be about how we should appreciate our children, and be grateful for them and be happy all the time. Nope! It was the complete opposite. Not that I’m don’t appreciate them, and I am so grateful for them. More than you could even know. However we talked about how we need to be happy for us. Allyson said, “You can’t have joy in your family without finding joy in yourself.” She continued to talk about how being a mom right now is hard with social media. Yes, wonderful to connect with other moms, and share pictures, but the downside is the competition. We see everyone at their best most the time. Two things that she said on this subject I loved was “Seek to bless, not impress.” And “Motherhood is not a competition it’s a commitment.”

YES! Finally that’s what I have been saying, but it seems we are all trying to keep up with the Joneses. Why can’t we all just say, “I’m going to be the best ME!”?
When I became a mom I was so excited and I had waited what felt like forever. I used to be a preschool teacher and I love reading so I was so excited to do the fun things I did with my preschool kids years earlier. I love holidays and love celebrating them with a little book, movie night, gift, or silly dinner. I am not the mom who goes to every new movie that comes out and takes my kids to McDonald’s once a week. But that’s ok. I am who I am. I have gone through some really rough times over the years with people making me feel like the things I did was for show. It hurt and I think I really slacked as a mom after that, because I didn’t want to be judged anymore. Why did I listen to those hurtful comments and eye rolls? I lost out on precious memories because I was scared that I would be judged. I have never done things to impress others, I did them to make memories and be the mom I wanted to be for my kids.

Allyson said, “Life is long.” I agree, I still have time to be the mom I want to be again. I want to give my kids the things that I think works for us, and not feel bad to post to social media. Being a mom is hard work, any mom knows it. It’s not always a perfect picture, but it’s also ok to remember the good times, because there are so many hard moments along the journey.

I love what Glennon Melton said about parenting, “I think parenting young children (and old ones, I’ve heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they’ve heard there’s magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it’s hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.

I agree with that. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but really so many glimpses of perfection along the way, then I stumble again, then a beautiful sunset. Remember that you are doing a good job, no one is perfect. It’s ok to cry and take a break and even complain a little bit. But also enjoy the good times. Don’t dwell on those rough moments, move on and find joy in every day of mothering. That’s what I am trying to do. 

I'm so thankful for the opportunity I had to go to this event and I can't wait for the next one.