Hey, my little Mamas! I want to talk for a second about this meme (Ryan calls them mimi’s) floating around my feed that reads:
I am a mom. My house is always loud and messy and that’s ok. Because one day it will be quiet, spotless and lonely.
Mamas. Mamas. I know it sounds like this is reassuring and that it acknowledges your struggles, but bear with me for a second. Let’s break this down:
Part 1: I am a mom. My house is always loud and messy and that’s ok.
Ok, can we stop trying to define what it looks like to be a good mom? The ugly truth is that this is only a meme because having a messy home is something that:
A) you feel embarrassed about because you’d rather it not be that way (“I’m somehow failing because I can’t keep my house clean.”)
B) someone has mom-shamed you into thinking you should be embarrassed and you feel the need to defend yourself (“I don’t really care about my house being clean but ____ tells me this is bad.”).
Maybe your home is messy because you don’t honestly have time to clean even if you wish you did (valid) or maybe it is messy because you don’t really find it to be something that is worth spending your precious energy on (also valid). You are a good mom because you constantly strive to make decisions that put your children first and that may include setting aside housework and it may not. THAT is why you’re a good mom. That’s the headliner. All of those little choices are like the footnotes. I feel better about life when my home is organized, but that is my truth. Admitting that doesn’t make me a crappy mom any more than yours being messy makes you one. We all make choices as to where to focus our energies; let’s start spreading the truth that we are good moms because we get up everyday trying over and over again and not in defining ourselves by our messy or organized homes.
Part 2: Because one day it will be quiet, spotless and lonely.
Oh my word, I meant what I said in Part 1, but I really need you to listen to Part 2. Listen to me, Mamas. This sentence just depresses the crap out of me and I want more for us! Someday, yes, our homes may be quiet and they may be spotless with the extra time we have to clean. (Or they may not be since, let’s be honest, some mamas just hate cleaning and- recap- I ain’t judging you for that!) But please dear God, let us NOT be mamas who look down the road and expect loneliness! I want more for us!
I am sure I will miss my son desperately when he is grown and gone, but I am not just a mom. It is part of my definition but not my entire story. I am a woman with hobbies and passions and a husband and I’m seriously hoping that life after my child is grown is filled with new adventures and opportunities that do not require me to sit at home alone in my clean and soundless home. Women of the past, present, and future, are capable of doing amazing things and raising children is only one of our feats. Let us not forgo ourselves in raising up our children! I want my son to be able to look at his mama when he is grown and see a woman who always loves him deeply, but who is also strong and willing to learn new things, still enjoys date nights with his dad, and continues to pursue her own passions because this is the type of woman I want him to be looking for in a partner. Right now so much of my life centers around him and that is good and right, but when he is old enough to be searching for whom and what he desires to center his own life around, I don’t want my world to implode. Someday our home may be childless, but permanent loneliness shouldn’t have be a requirement of that change.
Listen Mamas, you just keep making choices that work for you and your family and if another meme makes you think you’ve got to validate your truths on a topic the world would like you to be mom-shamed over, you shrug it on off. You can be a good Mama as well as a powerful woman and it isn’t asking too much to cultivate both sides of that truth.