As I visited with some friends last night, an aspect of parenting that I've always believed to be true was painted very vividly in front of me yet again.
Parenting is freaking hard. Moming is hard.
As we sat and chatted openly and candidly about our own unique parenting struggles, from struggles at school to stress about finances to single parenting and everything in between it hit me, as it does fairly regularly, that I am incredibly lucky to have this village of women to share my parenting journey with. A circle who won't judge me. A safe space to word vomit all the crazy thoughts that spin through my head about how hard I am screwing up this parenting gig and about that time I said the wrong thing to my kids once when they were 3 or that time I yelled instead of hugged them and I'm sure I've messed them up for good this time... and my village will hug me and share their mistakes and their struggles and their perceived flaws, and I instantly feel less alone. I start to think that maybe I'm doing ok. That we are doing ok. That when we unite in real and raw and honest motherhood, we have the ability to give ourselves more grace simply because we realize that our hot mess of a life isn't all that unique after all and that we aren't really alone and we aren't screwing up as badly as we think we are.
I try to remind myself of all these chats from my village when I am behind my camera. From documenting women becoming mothers to mothers becoming grandmothers, and all the incredible life events that happen in between, motherhood is a beautiful mess of perfect imperfection. It's pure chaos with a toddler behind the wheel. It's sleepless nights and never having the bed to yourself. It's unfolded laundry and skinned knees and a sink full of dishes. The beauty in our lives as moms goes so far beyond what we typically see and share.
It's beautiful chaos.
So today, let's remind each other that we are stronger together. That we are each walking our own path and doing the best we can. Let's remember to show ourselves some grace in motherhood and hope that when our village sees us do this that they will in turn show themselves more grace. Let's remember to be vulnerable and share the ups and the downs of our journey because this whole parenting business is made much easier when we know that we aren't alone. That we aren't the only ones who make mistakes.
Unite in motherhood friends. Unite in parenting. Find your village and grow with them. Support each. Share the journey. Parenting is not meant to be done alone. If you don't have a village, make one. I can guarantee that there is another mom out there who is feeling just as lonely and lost as you are.
And for real, if someone out there has a parenting manual and isn't sharing, imma be super cheesed.
Happy Mothers Day friends.
We've got this.