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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Motherhood is Easy

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


Motherhood is easy. Being a mom comes naturally. You'll instinctively know what to do for your children.

Oh, the lies that we are told and that we tell ourselves.

I love my children. When I first held my oldest when he was a teeny little newborn, I was overwhelmed with love for him.

I knew I was meant to be a mama.

And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

But, damn, is it hard sometimes.

I don't always know the right thing to do with my kids. I lose my temper. I screw up.

My kids screw up, too. Because none of us is perfect.

But, I can get fooled by the illusion of the perfect mom with her perfect kids.

The one whose kids are smiling their way through Target in completely spot-free and coordinating outfits. The mom is smiling, too. And wearing an outfit that I would love to wear, if only I had the fashion sense to put it together and the money to have it in my closet. They breeze down the aisle past me, happily chatting away, not a care in the world.

Meanwhile one of mine is crying because he doesn't like his seat in the cart, another is watching inappropriate youtube videos that I still can't figure out how he managed to find on my phone, and the third is pouting and shooting everyone dirty looks. One has his crocs on the wrong feet and another has his shirt on inside out. I'm pretty sure that I slept in the tank top I'm wearing and I'm so tense that I'm pushing the cart along as fast as I can, clutching the cart with white knuckles.

I watch that perfect mom and her perfect kids turn the corner and think why can't that be me? Why can't it be easy?

She can do it. She has it easy. I must be doing something wrong.

But, luckily, I can remember: that's only a snapshot of time.

Sure, her kids are being angels and she looks amazing.

And yes, my kids are driving me insane and I'm in desperate need of a wardrobe overhaul by Tim Gunn and a big glass of wine.

But, it's just a snapshot of time.

That perfect family might have gone home only to have the kids decide that it was time to get all that energy out. Maybe one colored on the walls while another decided to try out the dirty words he heard on tv, and the third had a diaper blowout so nasty that it ruined even the mom's outfit.  Her husband is going to be late and she's going to have to deal with bedtime on her own. She pours a glass of wine by 4:30.

And mine can go home to make a fort behind the couch, tell silly stories, and actually get along. I can watch them have fun and get dinner ready, laundry folded, and relax a little bit. With my glass of wine at 4:30.

But, I tend to focus on what was hard about the day.

I judge my parenting by all the bad moments. And someone else's by the good moments that I see.

That's not real. None of us has it easy all of the time.

And thank God, all of us have good moments, too.  Moments when we can think this motherhood thing is easy. 

Just don't buy into the lie that it's always easy. And stop beating yourself up when you have a rough day. I'm going to try to cut myself some slack, too.

And don't tell other mamas that it's always easy, either.  That's just asking for one of your kids to have a meltdown in the middle of Target on your next trip. 

If you link up, please visit at least the linker before and after you.



Blogger Adrienne said...

Perfect post! I'm the picture of you at Target for sure, and I love the therapeutic value of envisioning "perfect mom" getting home and it all falling apart! I will definitley use this technique next time I see her!

Mine argue all the time! And one is almost 13. The other is 6. So my oldest consistantly sinks to a 6 yr old level all day long...sigh...

August 17, 2011 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

I don't have kids yet, but I get scared of the moms who have better figures than me, 5 perfect kids and a corporate job. It makes me feel so unaccomplished!

August 17, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Minivan Mama said...

I've seen that mom in my target too. I decided her and her children were just boring. ; )

August 17, 2011 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Big D and Me said...

I think that is the big mommy secret. Lots of moms try the one up game - "Your kids was reading by 4, well mine was reading by 2." There's always someone who's willing to tell you their kid did something better, faster, smarter, than your kids. The implication is they are a better mom than you. Mom should support one another. Not each other down.

August 17, 2011 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

I learned along time ago, no one is perfect.

We need to do what works for us, while protecting them, and helping them grow into outstanding people. Not what works for other.

August 17, 2011 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

What a great post! It is so hard not to focus on the bad sometimes when everyone seems to have it so together! I guess it's true, nobody's perfect and no one has it easy!

August 17, 2011 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Brittney said...

Awesome post Shell. You are so right!! I tend to do this too but ya never know how someone else has it and we can all paint a pretty picture from time to time :D

August 17, 2011 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I try not to let other people get me down. I've watched my mom do it for years...and I just don't want that. I try as hard as I can to be thankful for what I have, and try to make the best of it. It's not always easy, and I do sometimes fail, but it sure helps with my outlook on life.

August 17, 2011 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I only hope that one day I can be as good of a mom like the "real" moms out there, who are really living life :)

August 17, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Anonymous tracy@sellabitmum said...

Oh hon - so true, I've never had such a hard job and have been so clueless in my life.

August 17, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Tara R. said...

That's it exactly! We never know the backstory of those perfect kids and perfect mom. For all we know they are little angels because if they aren't they get smacked when they get home. Fear and pain can be a fierce motivator.

I'll take my slightly crazy life, with my slightly crazy kids any day.

August 17, 2011 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

That was a great post. I never have the perfect picture, but I have so many good moments behind closed doors that I've come to accept that my kids keep it real.

This is still a lesson my husband is trying to learn.

August 17, 2011 at 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shell, I hear you on this one! Next week's post on my site is called "The New Perfect" and this week's is about struggling to handle meltdowns. It seems we've had the same week:) Thanks for giving a voice to the eternal mommy conflict!

August 17, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger angela said...

I need to keep this in mind, too! We are only seeing these people at a moment in their lives. I am sure there have been days when YOU are the mom someone else is envious of in Target.

For example, the other day we went to a fairly fancy independent toy store. Abbey was wearing my Winter Formal dress from 1994 (over her clothes, but still). We got looks, that's for sure.

August 17, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Amber Page Writes said...

My daughter went to daycare in the shirt she wore to bed. but I got her hair brushed for the first time in 3 days. I take my victories (small) where I can get them.

August 17, 2011 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Being a mother is the hardest thing in the world. And once you've signed up for it, it's for life. Once you think you've mastered something, something else comes up to remind you that you've a long way to go. We can only do our best.

August 17, 2011 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger vinobaby said...

You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Some of the most messed up families I know look perfect on the outside--money, looks, smart, well-behaved kids---and I wouldn't trade places for them for anything.

We all do the best we can do...and we will all be okay.

August 17, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger amygrew said...

Totally right!!! I tend to tell people that its way harder than anything else ;)

August 17, 2011 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

I recently told my husband "every day's like a roller coaster." We have our ups that are so awesome I can't imagine a better day. Then we have our downs that are so bad I wonder what in God's name I'm doing wrong. And that's usually every day. Sometimes in the same hour. Or car ride. Mothering is the hardest job there is. I love it. But sometimes it beats me up a little.

August 17, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Mrs Gloves said...

Love x1000. It is so easy to get caught up in the "I don't know how she does it." We have to remember that everyone has their struggles whether it looks like it or not!

August 17, 2011 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger NotSoSilentMommy said...

"I judge my parenting by all the bad moments. And someone else's by the good moments that I see."
OMG~ That statement just brought me to tears! It is so true. It's so sad that we do it to ourselves..
Thank you for putting things in to perspective ONCE AGAIN!

Sarah~ Not So Silent Mommy

August 17, 2011 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger tessica said...

I don't know if I have ever realized I do just what you say: focus on the bad moments instead of the good.

There are a hundred time more of those good ones anyways!

August 17, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I think we all compare ourselves to other moms, especially when their life seems perfect while our kids are running up and down the aisles of Target like fools.

No one is perfect and all we are seeing is a snapshot. It's just so damn hard to remember that when we're having a bad day.

August 17, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Yep we all have our moments...no matter what you see from the outside. Those kids can be angels all the time...kids will be kids!

August 17, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Christine Siracusa said...

I measure myself against the uber-mommies too. I have to remind myself that you never really know what's going on with someone else. What is driving them to be so perfect? What's the price? And what if they are REALLY so happy and perfect? Good for them. It's not costing ME anything for them to have a happy life. But I need constant reminders. It's human nature to judge and compare and measure.
Also, I'm on my way to Target today. And now I'm a little anxious about how that's gonna go.

August 17, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

For the record, If I saw THAT mom at Target and you right next to her, I'd totally rather go up and talk to you. Perfection is totally overrated. I've always said that anyone who says being a parent is easy is either lying, or just extremely bored!!

August 17, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All great points, lady. For example, Monday on the way home from collecting kids from daycare, The Girl was crying because she popped a balloon in the car, and The Boy was contentedly staring out the window, sucking on his thumb. Yesterday, The Girl was quiet, polite, and singing a song to her brother who was in hysterics because he didn't take a nap. It's day to day, minute to minute.

Which is also why I'm happy we can divide and conquer when it comes to running errands with children in tow.

August 17, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

The meltdowns annoy the crap out of me. Especially because they ALWAYS happen in the checkout line when everyone is watching and I ahve to do ten things and WHY CANT YOU JUST SIT STILL?

Stupid, stupid checkout lane.

Some days I'm the perfect-ish mom (covered in stained clothing) but happily strolling through the store chatting with my toddler.

And then it all goes to shit in the checkout line.

So, you're absolutely right about the snapshots.

August 17, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Lady Goo Goo Gaga said...

Shell!! i posted this week about my son's temper tantrum too...and gave you a shout out....loving the Mike's Hard Strawberry Lemonade...it's really helping me through these last weeks before school starts :)

August 17, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

This is one reason I love the online community. Some moms are able to keep up appearances for much more than a Target snapshot, and I find myself wishing time and again that I could be more like they are. But most of us who blog have written about the tough times, so I know I'm not alone. Also, I now tell myself that maybe that mom has an anonymous blog on which she writes about the chaos! ; ) Thanks for the reminders to cut ourselves some slack.

August 17, 2011 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

My hubby has a hard time when seeing the 'perfect kids' out in public. Mine is usually loud and screaming about something...he gets so embarrassed, but I have to remind him that we don't go home with the perfect kids...they're probably not so perfect.

August 17, 2011 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Kir said...

thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. For being inside my head and letting me know that every MOM, Every single one of us has bad days (Unless we have a nanny!) this was fanstastic and real and raw and NEEDED. We all need to cut ourselves and each other some slack.

this was such a gorgeous piece. WOW.

August 17, 2011 at 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

It is so NOT easy! And you are right, it is just a snapshot in time and those well behaved kids may have been completely freaking out all morning at home.

It still is sure to stress me out to no end when mine act out in public!

August 17, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Great post! I'm always comparing myself to those mothers who seem to have it all together. I feel horrible and think why can't I be like that. But your absolutely right, I have to remember that I'm only seeing a snapshot.

August 17, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Beth Zimmerman said...

I was just thinking this morning about the reality that life is ... variety! I'm in a spot right now with a lot of sorrow and anger ... but I still want to laugh, my sense of humor is intact, I'm capable of appreciating beauty. Life goes on!

August 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Reagan said...

We only see a portion--never the sum total. I needed that reminder. I'm only seeing a portion. THANK YOU

August 17, 2011 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Anastasia said...

It is so hard to remember that. Thanks for the reminder. Those perfect families could have a terrible time at home. My kids may be dirty but they are happy.

August 17, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger RoryBore said...

I so agree with you Shell! This summer my little family has been judged somewhat harshly in my opinion, by people who have only one snapshot view of our lives. I often feel like my children are not allowed to make the mistakes that children often make. There's no room to breathe.
People have even interfered right in my presence; clearly letting me know that they don't think me capable of the task of raising my own children. Seems I am not allowed any mistakes either.
And yet, just last night my own mom said that she can never remember a time, sitting with other woman and discussing how hard it was raising children. It was never discussed. Did they just keep it all in the closet? Or did they truly have it more together "back then" then I do now.
I'd love to explore this in my own post, but I fear it would take too many...and I'd probably just end up "drunk blogging/tweeting" my frustrations!

August 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Working Mommy said...

I agree!! Everyone always calls me super mom, but I promise you that is not the case. We might seem to have it all together while we are out, but behind closed doors it gets ugly sometimes...it could always be worse is my motto.

August 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, so true. Particularly the bit about NEVER saying it's easy or letting anything like, "[Child] has been such a little angel lately. I love this age!" slip. An invitation for madness;)

August 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Motherhood is never easy! Good lord, something that takes 9 months to grow and 18 years to shape (a lifetime actually) ... doesn't sound too easy to me. LoL.

August 17, 2011 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger From Tracie said...

I love the thought of a snapshot of time. That is SO true!

I know there have been a lot of times when I've been in the store with a "bad snapshot", but that isn't what life is always like.

you are a good mom. I know it!

August 17, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Jaclyn said...

Whelp, I did it. My first Pour Your Heart Out. I'm never nervous when I post a blog ... I'm a little nervous about this one. Yikes.

Also, let me give you a little bit of what _I_ think when I see those perfect families at Target: "Wow. Show off much? How badly must you feel about yourself to have to parade your family about like the frickin' Bradys?" Yeah, I don't buy it.

August 17, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Jessica @ My Simply Complicated said...

You know what? I think we all go through this, or most of us, at least.

It's not always about motherhood though. I remember when I was going through this phase where I practically picked apart my relationship with Dearest. I mean, it wasn't *that* extreme, but I had myself convinced that there were all these things wrong with the way we were living our life because other people always looked so happy...like, ALL the time...like nothing could bring them down.

We weren't unhappy, but we didn't look so damn bubbly. Then, I stopped and realized that some of these people (friends) that I was comparing us too had much bigger issues than we did. There were skeletons in the closet and their bubbliness was merely a distraction from what was really going on.

So, you're right, it's just a small glimpse of an entire part of something. What you've got going on IS good. Don't doubt it!

August 17, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

You know, I would SO much rather be friends with you than with that perfect mama!

August 17, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger John said...

I hate using comments to pimp a blog post of mine, but this (inspired by a completely separate blog post of yours) was one of my favorites: http://daddyrunsalot.com/2011/05/12/where-i-find-myself-a-new-hero-for-a-day/

And, yeah, you were looking at a snapshot in time. There is no such thing as "perfect." And that woman was likely saying "I wish I could be as pretty as that woman with three three kids."

August 17, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Kristin @ What She Said said...

I've been the perfectly put-together mother in Target with the angel child. And I've also been the hot mess with the monster baby.

It's so easy to think, "Hey, I've got this!" when things are going well. And it's just as easy to forget all of that in an instant and beat yourself up when it all goes to hell.

Thanks for the reminder that these are all just snapshots of other peoples' lives as well as our own.

August 17, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

Oh Shell, this is why I love you!! You put into words so eloquently and so perfectly what EVERY mother must be thinking!

I love your perspective on this and you are so right that we tend to judge ourselves based on the bad mothering moments. And those who appear to have it easy...well, yes, that is just a snapshot in time. I absolutely LOVE the way you phrased that because it's more than true!

This post couldn't have come at a better time for me, personally. Thank you for always being so raw and honest. You make me feel normal.

August 17, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

This line, "I judge my parenting by all the bad moments." Why do we DO that? I loved this post, Shell. Seriously. Because for all we know, you'd be the mom I'd see and think, she's so perfect, and then someone else might see me and think that same thing (HA! That's funny!). ;)

August 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Lourie said...

I want to drop kick those perfect mom types. Haha. It's okay though...I think we out number them 10 to 1. This was a most awesome post.

August 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

I am sure there have been plenty of times where you have been that perfect mom with the perfect kids walking through the store that everyone envies. We just have to remember those moments and love them for all they are as they are often far and few between.. yet it somehow is all still worth it :)

August 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Anonymous The Drama Mama said...

You are so very right. I've had my moments when I'm telling mine "Why can't you behave like those kids over there?" and moments when it was my kids that someone was pointing out and asking their kids to behave like. I've even had moments where the parents overheard me and told me if only I had been around a few minutes ago, LOL. It really is something that we need to remember. There are no perfect families. Each family has its moments when they are less than their best.

Now, I'll just keep trying to prevent those moments from happening in public. ;)

August 17, 2011 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

We really should live closer together. We are very, very much alike.

August 17, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Kim @ Mamas Monologues said...

Motherhood is far from easy! And those "perfect" moms in public? They're not real.

August 17, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous My Pajama Days said...

I am sending you a big virtual HUG! When I lived in Texas, I did everything in my power to make sure I left the house picture perfect, including my daughter's wardrobe (all of which were bought at second hand stores or Salvation Army) only because I didn't want anyone to know how my life was falling apart: bankruptcy, car repossession, living with my parents and a toddler. Sometimes those "perfect moms" are just hiding. I lacked the self confidence to be honest. Now - I rarely leave the house with makeup because I've lingered longer than I should in bed with my sweet children, or rushed to the store in ratty old clothes because we decided last minute to make Smores in the fire-pit. Your children will remember the time they spent with you, not what you wore.

August 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Heidi Smith Luedtke said...

I am guilty of exactly the same thing. Motherhood always looks better when you watch someone else do it. Easier. More fun. Less snotty. But I'm sure those moms have their moments, too.

August 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger An Imperfect Momma said...

Oh my word...so unbelievably true.

August 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Loved this! I think it's easy to compare our worst moments to someone elses best. A couple told me the other day how impressed they were with my children at the store. It was a total fluke!

August 17, 2011 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

What perspective, Shell! So true. Lots of times I forget that other Momma's go through the rough, zany moments too with their kids.

August 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm pretty sure I don't ever think it is easy. Sometimes I realize that I'm doing something right, but I don't think it is ever easy.

And I do the same thing looking at other people and wonder why it seems so much harder for me. I guess there are probably people that do that with me too.

August 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger My New Normal said...

I think we are all guilty of looking at someone else's life from the outside and thinking they must have it easier than we do. But it's not true.

August 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Ash@Life As Lucy said...

oh shelly. i love your post!

August 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

This is so true! It's hard to look around & see other moms making it look so easy, but it's worth it to remember that it is only a snapshot in time. Thanks for the reminder, Shell.

August 17, 2011 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

I always tell myself those moms are doped up on valium or they're vicodin heads...
is it the right thing to think? no, but it makes me feel better...

August 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger By Word of Mouth Musings said...

Having been blessed to spend some time with Shell, let me tell you.
She is poised and classy. Honest and true. A good head on her shoulders and looks out for her friends. Her face glows when she talks about her boys. She smiles when she mentions her husband.
In my eyes, she is perfect enough ;)

August 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Amanda I said...

Fantastic post!! I need it, have been having a few bad days lately and helps when I hear other moms feel this way too (instead of being told to chill because my kids are acting up because I'm having a bad day and if I was in a better mood so would my kids)

August 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger The Woven Moments said...

Such a great post! That moment of humility in Target is always a good reminder that NONE of us have it figured out all the time. :)

August 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

You and I must be shopping next to each other in Target because my kid is the one on youtube watching all sorts of videos leaving me wonder, how did he get there. To those perfect picture moms out there, you know they go home and take all that off...for sure! :)

August 17, 2011 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Oh, I am SO with you on this one. SO.

Well said!

August 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger John and Allie Fields said...

I love that you get it and know that it is just a snapshot in time. I think all mom's need to read this and know that we've all felt the same way at one time or another.

August 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Tonya said...

Ugh... motherhood is anything but easy! And there's no such thing as a perfect mother. It's a constant push and pull and give and take.

I love this post, Shell. Love it.

August 17, 2011 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Very Bloggy Beth said...

Right on. I try to remind myself of this all the time. In the meantime, I pretend that no, that's not my 3 year old knocking all the dresses off that H&M rack while I try to make a return. And, for the record, Wine O'Clock comes at about 4pm many a day in this house.

August 17, 2011 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I breathed a sigh of relief reading this. The whole "it comes naturally" thing? Yeah, not always. Most days I'm just clueless. I don't have all the answers and that's hard for me. And that mom you saw? You're right--she could be a mess in the next moment. Lately I wonder if people think I am that put together mom b/c I've decided that when I go out, I'm going to put on makeup and do my hair and wear something nice. Because I already look like a mess at home. Maybe if I look put together, I'll act it too, you know?

August 17, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 17, 2011 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

I had a tough late morning. Thankfully it was in the garage after the door went down.

I love the honesty in this post. What truth is shares!

August 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Great post! I love it. And I totally understand. It took me a long time to accept what is now almost like my motto. Because where I don't always feel like the frazzled mom at Target, I feel more like other people are always looking at me and thinking that I have it so easy, and what do I have to complain about, I get to stay home with my kids all day while they have to go to work (hmmm...maybe I should pour my heart out on my blog about this one day soon).
Anyway, I remind myself that "even the best job in the world (because yes, being a stay-at-home mom is a job) can have some really crappy days."

August 17, 2011 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger championm2000 said...

I wish someone would have let me in on the secret earlier...maybe it would have saved me all those early (guilt-ridden, insecure, weepy) days as a new mom...maybe!

August 17, 2011 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger what's her bucket said...

Being a mom is difficult. I remember being on a road trip with the family when my boys were small. My youngest was having a total tantrum in the restaurant we were eating at along the way. A woman who noticed I was struggling was leaving the restaurant and she gave me the warmest, most caring smile as she passed our table and I could tell she had empathy for me. It was the best gift she could have given me. I wish I could have given her a hug. Her smile seemed to say hang in there sister, we've all been there. My boys are older now and I try and give other moms who are struggling in public the same caring smile. What I've realized is the stages of your children's lives change and so do your parenting problems and concerns. They get easier in some areas and more difficult in others.

August 17, 2011 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Simoney said...

Ahhh Shell, and there you have it. the reason that out of all the hundreds of blogs I have come across, i keep coming back to YOURS.
Love your honesty. Love that you keep it real and tell it with a smile.
And I can't believe I actually managed to link up today :)

August 17, 2011 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Mama and the City said...

I totally get this post. We, sometimes, feel down a little when seeing what is on the other side of the fence. And we sometimes forget, how that other side must be like. I have made that a rule to me, never go by first impressions. We never know the reasons behind something.

Also, very true, to remain aware of the positive. Makes a big difference once we turn on that switch, things start looking up.

And most importantly, the kids are alive. We just need to breathe once in a while. Ahhhhh. Which reminds me, if you haven't seen "Rabbit Hole" with Nicole Kidman, watch it. That changed my perspective or reinforced it regards my baby and situations that made me feel bad.


August 17, 2011 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

If I had a pair of crocs, you could bet they'd always be on the wrong feet.

And not just for a snapshot of time.

I'm a mess.

But thank you for realizing that we're all human and we should look at our lives/motherhood/accomplishments as a whole. Not as a series of our mistakes.

Because there's plenty of ammunition on the negative side.

But then the love. Oh the love.
That's the good stuff.

That's what matters more than Target.

(Although a new coordinating outfit wouldn't suck either - ha!)

August 17, 2011 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger blueviolet said...

Nobody gets it right day in, day out. We're human!!! The one constant is the love though. That's always there!

August 17, 2011 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Shell ... I'm totally with you. Today, standing in the line at an amusement park - this girl with long blond hair (in 100 degree weather) that DID NOT SWEAT and had her hair down and weighed like 100 lbs and wore clothes that were "perfect" with her 2 "perfect kids" and her blah blah blah... stood right in front of me as my boobs popped out of my shirt because Addison kept pulling it down to see if food was stuck in my bra, my hair had crazy humidy 1982 mullet do, and my butt looked 3 sizes larger (ok, it really is that large) than it was because Andrew kept pulling my shirt up to see if he could find food. OH... I couldn't stop sweating. I hated that woman. :)
And I love you.
And I hope her kids raise all Hell in their hotel room tonight.

kristen @ www.alittlesomethingforme

August 17, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Hines-Sight said...

Such a well-written post. And so true. We have all felt like that. But, I'm going to say that woman probably has a nanny, and only has them for an hour a day.

August 17, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

Next time I see 'Perfect Mom' -- I will for sure remember this post!
Thank you! :)

August 17, 2011 at 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Kate F. said...

What a Statement: "I judge my parenting by all the bad moments. And someone else's by the good moments that I see." Sometimes it takes someone else (you) to point this out (to me) to realize how scary-true that thought is. Love your Wednesday Pour Your Heart out blogs ;)

August 17, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Motherhood is soooo hard. It is no joke.

It seems like you are always see those other moms having their perfect mommy moments when you are at your worst. It is just the way it happens.

It always cracks me up when people are like "you are always so calm and relaxed. I don't know how you do it."

Obviously their perceptions of me do not in anyway match my perception of myself!

August 17, 2011 at 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich said...

Perfect is not real life Shell and I would much rather have a genuine family relationship - the good, bad and ugly than a fake Target-mom one any day!

August 18, 2011 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I would never tell someone that motherhood is easy because it's not. At. All. There are good days and bad days. Sometimes we drink wine early, other days we don't drink at all.

August 18, 2011 at 3:17 AM  
Blogger Siobhan said...

Fantastic! I was almost dreading my next blog post because I didn't know how to say it. But this has just got the ball rolling, this has inspired me!
Trouble is, its bedtime in 30 minutes and I don't think that's enough time...
Loved this post! Thanks for sharing x

August 18, 2011 at 5:15 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I am really really REALLY struggling with letting go of the notion that there is no perfect parent. I grew up a perfectionist with low self esteem and it's hard to let that go. Like I feel that everyone has their shit together and I'm a hot mess. I would live it if more women talked openly about how hard motherhood is instead of feeding us all a line of crap.
We have the toughest job in the universe and we should be honest and support one another!

August 18, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

You always inspire me to see the best in myself. I love you for that!

August 18, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post! Sometimes we need a reminder that there's no such thing as a perfect or super mom. Thank you!!

August 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

This is an inspired idea for a social, and your blog. Thank you so much for hosting and taking the time and energy to read our entries.
Hope Kindergarten was fun!

August 18, 2011 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

Girl. I get the crap hours with my kids. Crap. Their bewitching hours. Since we don't pick up til after 5, then they're in bed by 8- week days are hectic. I have a lot of the bad moments. but honestly, i like to think the kids only recall the good.

August 18, 2011 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Heather H said...

You mean it won't always be this easy?!? ;)

I told someone the other day that I knew parenting wasn't going to be easy, but I never had a clue how hard it was going to be. So much harder than I expected.

Great post!

August 18, 2011 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I think parenting is easy...for the parents that aren't involved, have nannies providing all care and only see their kids when they are clean, fed and quiet. But here in the real world? This crap is hard! Chris has been out of town since Monday morning and won't be back until late tomorrow. I have given more time outs in the past few days then Ihave in the past few months. I've popped him twice and yelled many many times.

August 18, 2011 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours. You said it perfectly! I've had trips to Target where everyone is well-behaved, and I've also had trips where 3 of the 4 kids are melting down. I even left my half full cart once because of a temper tantrum. You're right, it's just a snapshot. And thank goodness for the good moments :)

August 18, 2011 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

This is perfect and just what I needed to read today!

I too judge my parenting by my bad moments and look at other mom's who are having a good moment and what the heck I'm doing wrong.

I really need to focus on MY good moments more often! Thanks for the wonderful post to remind me.

August 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Shawna said...

Yay, I am your 100th comment! ... I am a mess of a mom too. But reading your posts makes me feel better. Thank you so much for sharing the truth.

August 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM  

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