Most mom/parenting blogs I have stumbled across and are the most popular are written by mothers who have a loving partner and two or three kids in a lovely home in a nice neighborhood. They tend to represent the white middle class and, more often than not, have religious undertones in their writing. Another annoying piece of the story is that many of these blogging moms love to craft and make home projects, putting those of us with less crafting ability to shame. While this a great niche, and there are plenty of helpful tips, relatable stories, and interesting insights, I wonder where all the other mothers are.
I want to hear more from the single moms, step-moms, grandparents raising their grandbabies, moms struggling to get by day by day who are faced with the daunting task of bringing tiny humans into the world. These voices tend to be quieter and kept behind closed doors, but these stories are essential.
There is a sense of shame around parenting outside of the norm. We all want to have the perfect family unit, the perfect smiling baby, and the perfect supportive partner; we all want our Instagram page to be filled with envy-inducing photos at the beach or perfect home.
But, what if life isn’t that easy or pretty? What if we are healing from abuse from an ex? What if we are a step-parent and partner with someone who was in a destructive relationship? What if we have a child who is disabled or has special needs? What if our children or partner is struggling with addiction or substance abuse? What if we are struggling with addiction or substance abuse?
We tend to shy away from these stories because we think they are too shameful and make us unworthy. We believe these aspects of our life make us less than or not good enough because “good” parents have their shit together.
On the contrary, these stories make us human, and, let’s be honest, nobody has their shit together. Instead of tearing each other down with shame and judgment, we should lift each other up in love. We should support each other in the process of growing, healing, learning, and loving. Our children are watching. They don’t care if our Instagram is perfect or if the moms in the book club are impressed with our latest creations. They care if we show up every day, play, laugh, love, and walk alongside them on this precious journey. We want to teach our children to show up as their whole selves, messy, quirky, and full of life.
Parenting is never perfect. Life is never perfect. But we can choose to lean in and share our stories so that together we can create a brighter future for our children, instead of a shameful judgy world of perfect Instagram stories.