“I was trying to teach my kid how to tie and I threw a shoe… More than once.”
This mom was venting–confiding in me that she felt like she’d been a crap mom that day because she had lost it in front of her kids.
Her confession made me feel human.
Okay, first it made me laugh.
Then, it made me feel so seen.
Because I’ve thrown a shoe or two, too.
Because being a mom is total insanity.
We have been raised to be calm, kind, creative women who eat healthy, are thoughtful of our partners, always there for our friends, host the family gatherings, and the mom who volunteers…
To be room parent,
To lead the PTA,
To bake holiday-themed nut-free, gluten
free, dairy free treats for class,
And somehow we’re supposed to do all of this without completely losing our sh*t!?
Without throwing a single shoe?
Without allowing our spouse, our kids, our friends, our community see that we don’t actually have it all together?
That we actually just got done eating an entire row of powdered donuts and crying in the Target parking lot?
Friends, I need to push back on this long-held belief.
This badge we wear as women who “have it all together”.
This life is HARD.
I am honestly more confused if you have it all together than if you’re rolling in on two wheels to school drop off with mascara smeared across your cheek and mismatched shoes.
Those women are my people.
Those are moms who get it.
Those are females who left their give a crap at home.
Those are women who might find themselves fighting the urge to worry what others think some days, but then remember how much more glorious stretchy pants are than ones with actual buttons so she slaps a tunic over those bad boys and owns it!
Friends, we are helping exactly zero future mothers when we smile and bat our lash extensions, claiming that “everything is fine”.
Girl, YOU LIE!
My kid woke me up at 3am staring straight into my soul from a foot away like a little kid ghost,
I haven’t slept a full night since the early 2000s,
My husband has somehow figured out a way to annoy me when he chews,
And my oldest just discovered TikTok so everything I thought I didn’t have to worry about yet just came crashing down on me.
I. Am. Not. Okay.
And, sisters, let me submit to you an unpopular opinion:
My kids are learning more from watching me throw a shoe.
Not AT them, of course,
But when my children see me fall apart,
Take a breath,
Reach out for help, admit I was wrong,
Ask for forgiveness,
And pick myself back up to start again,
I am teaching them…
That things are hard sometimes.
That life isn’t only about us.
That things don’t always go our way.
That even grown ups have bad days
Make bad choices,
Have to apologize,
Deserve another chance.
But when I don’t throw the shoe, what are they learning?
That we should bury big feelings?
That we shouldn’t feel them at all?
That we should stuff how we feel?
Put on a “brave face”?
Tell everyone (and ourselves) that we have it all together?
Have fun with that, Judy. I’m a therapist so I appreciate the job security!
As for me, I’m going to throw the shoe.
Then take a breath, say I’m sorry, and show my kids that sometimes it’s okay to lose it as long as we choose to try again.