Yesterday I was on Instagram and I saw SO many sweet, thoughtful posts about Mother's Day, motherhood, etc. But 2 specific women I'm following posted something I think ALL women, not just moms, could benefit from. They addressed how much society JUDGES moms and wants them to be perfect, I absolutely ADORED the words writer Elizabeth Gilbert, below. (She's most famous for the book-turned-movie, "Eat, Pray, Love.") wrote below. Here's what stood out to me:
"Can we take a break—just for one day —and show some mercy to the mothers? Because being a mother is impossible. I don’t mean that it’s difficult. I mean: IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. What we, as a culture, expect from our mothers is merely that they not be human. Mothers are meant to be some combination of Mother Mary, Mother Theresa, Superwoman, and Gaia. It’s a merciless standard of perfection. Merciless! God help your mother, if she ever fell short. God help your mother, if she was exhausted & overwhelmed. God help her if she didn’t understand her kids. God help her if she had no gift for raising children. God help her if she had desires and longings. God help her if she was ever terrified, suicidal, hopeless, bored, confused, furious. God help her if life had disappointed her. God help her if she had an addiction, or a mental illness. God help her if she ever broke down. God help her, if she couldn’t control her rage. God help her, because if she fucked up in any way, she will be forever branded: BAD MOTHER. And we will never forgive her for this. So this is my question: Can we take a break today from judging the mothers, and show them mercy, instead?"
The second post is from Melissa Hartwig. She's the creator and CEO of "The Whole 30" and a best-selling author as well. (I also have a "life crush" on her as well because she's in a super healthy relationship and they go hiking in Utah all the time!) Her post reflected on her moments as a single mom and how she used to be embarrassed to go out on Mother's Day since it was 'just the two of them." And then one day she faced her fear and bought HERSELF flowers on Mother's Day. I thought it was a beautiful gesture of acceptance and self-love. Some of her words, below.
“So, I bought myself flowers. I deserved something pretty. I deserved to honor my journey as a mother, though it was not what I expected. More than that, showing up at the counter (“Those are beautiful. For your mom?” “No, for me.”) was a statement. I was a good mom. My son was loved. And we could celebrate, just the two of us, with my head held high, in strength and faith and grace. I may not have been 100% feeling it then, but the simple act of buying my own flowers helped to remind me that I was worthy exactly as I was. So to you, single mamas, wondering if you will be enough, if you are worthy... you are. I see you. I am with you. I am you. Go buy yourself flowers. You deserve them."
Hugs, love, and acceptance to all the amazing and brave moms out there. YOU are the true warriors of life.
- Sandy (@SandyStec on FB, IG and Twitter)