Starting right now, I vow to love myself for all that I am, and for all that I am not. We pay a lot of lip service about embracing our flaws. “I love you warts and all,” is a consistent mantra. But somehow, societal pressures make us think that we’re not good enough to exist in the world. We all know that models’ pictures and gorgeous people’s Instagram photos don’t represent the average person. Still, those pictures make so many of us feel bad about ourselves. Why can’t we lose weight? Why can’t we properly apply makeup? Why can’t we look super cute in an adorable outfit?
It’s not just about looks anymore. Pinterest makes everything look easy. Spectacularly organized homes and sparkling clean countertops have turned into emotional triggers. What’s actually in that “important paper pile” gathering dust on my countertop? Why haven’t I thrown out the bananas with the fruit flies congregating around them? Oh yeah, because I intended to use said bananas for my Pinterest-worthy banana bread that I’ll never make.
Seeing little girls with bows in their hair while my child’s curly locks are a tangled mess have compelled me to pull out the detangling spray and curl cream. DIY ventures look so easy but often prove to be exhausting and difficult for the amateur. When do we say, “I’ve had enough?” When do we realize that internet pictures are fun to look at, but we can’t beat ourselves up for being unable to replicate them? For me, that realization is right now. And I am okay with that.
The truth is, I’m constantly exhausted. As a single mom of three children who battles several autoimmune diseases, I’ve finally accepted my limitations. I can’t do it all. Actually, I can’t do most of it. Some days, I have to pat myself on the back because everyone is alive and in the house. My love and presence is everything to my children and I’ve learned that’s all they really need. Exhausted and wearing the same t-shirt and black leggings for the third consecutive day doesn’t affect my kids. When I make a frozen pizza for dinner instead of the stirfry I promised to whip up, at least my children are fed. When I pick my kids up from an activity wearing a hat to cover my greasy hair, at least they have a caring parent to pick them up. I know I’ve set the bar pretty low, but at least I can meet my goals.
We can’t be everything to everyone. I’m never going to be a fabulous DIY mom and my house isn’t ever going to be decluttered. I’m always going to be a mom who shows up for my kids and who my kids can count on. There’s always going to be those who are judgy or who are downright haters. We have to be okay with that in order to live our best lives. Often, our inner voice is our harshest critic. Those nagging thoughts drag us down on an hourly basis. Do we really deserve to be miserable because we haven’t yet achieved a certain income, weight, relationship status or job? Can we accept some things as okay for right now and others as okay for always?
Starting right now, I vow to be my own best friend instead of my own worst enemy. I’m going to embrace my authenticity—all of my quirks, flaws, and limitations are all part of who I am. Mommy is a person who is amazing just as she is. Authenticity is beautiful.