These days I call my Mom a lot; often begging her for the hidden code to not only surviving motherhood in the early years, but to freakin killing it the way that she did.
Somewhere in between denying her perfection and reminding me of the great job I’m doing raising my trio, she will say to me, “Brea, you just mother in a completely different world than I had to.”
And she’s right.
Mothering in our generation is just different.
The pressure. The expectations. The social media brainwash. The busy-ness. The new dangers in our world.
They become bricks that we carry on our backs while we try to hold up “everything else” in the too-few arms that were given to us as mothers.
Some days I brick-bear like a damn superhero, ya’ll. Other days that bag is so weighed down on my back that I’m almost flat against the ground with little energy left to even lift up my head and experience all of the good.
I’ve always viewed that backpack as an accessory that just came with the territory…and that it was an obligation to start to build enough muscle to bear it the minute that I saw those two lines on the stick.
But recently, I’ve been wondering why it’s all so freakin heavy. There are days I remind myself that it’s simply the phase of parenting life that I’m in. On others I challenge myself to recognize how much of that burden is there because I am letting outside influences tell me I SHOULD be bearing them.
Like that sponsored post on my Facebook feed… teasing me to click and find out if I’ve scarred my daughter by saying any of the five things that the author thinks I shouldn’t say to her. Or that “busy” response that I hear so often when I ask mom friends how they are… that I believe that “busy” is a mandatory way of life in parenthood. Or that Instagram post of a Mom looking beautiful and stylish … whom I let defeat me because don’t have it together enough to even put an outfit on by 1pm. Or those conversations with friends about all of the activities their kids are in… making me wonder if I’m shorting my own because I don’t know how to fit anything else into our schedule.
Mothering in our generation is different.
But WE are the ones who make it heavy, aren’t we?
WE are the ones who spend more time trying to live up to others than being our amazing selves. WE are the ones who let outside influences suppress our own instincts about what it means to be a good mother for OUR OWN children. WE are the ones having surface-level exchanges with other moms and neglecting to create more non-judgmental spaces for their authenticity to shine.
WE are fighting each other off as competition, instead of pulling each other in as teammates.
The bricks, you guys. We are all bearing ten too many. So how do we start shedding the pounds?
Recently I’ve noticed that some of my lightest days are the phone calls or coffee dates with those in my “in it” mama circle. When we lay out our heaviest bricks on the table and create a safe space to unleash the emotion that gives them their weight.
Usually, after a couple of hours of looking at our bricks and seeing how similar they are… the load is a little more bearable than when we came.
Or better yet, we recognize that our bricks are the unnecessary ones that we were told to bear. And instead of putting them back… we agree to use them to build a bridge.
One that we walk on together. With only the bricks to which we want to hold ourselves accountable.
So that we can stand back up on our own authentic instincts, and experience all that is good about what we carry with us on this journey.