One thing that I naively didn’t consider when I started sharing our lives so publicly on Instagram was the moments of negativity that would come with that, mostly the mean-spirited comments and hateful messages from strangers. Some of my favorites from the last month:
“Do you not know what birth control is, hun?”
“That’s disgustingly selfish to pop out so many babies when there are plenty to adopt.”
“I think this girl is just getting pregnant at this point for more likes on Instagram.”
“Luna?? For a baby’s name?? THAT’S CHILD ABUSE!”
There are comments on the toys I let my kids play with, how I pronounce their names, my career, my sense of humor, everything. I used to get really bad anxiety after my pictures started showing on the Instagram Explore page; because, inevitably, it meant that someone crazy would have something crazy to say, and I felt like I had to delete it as soon as they posted it just to make it go away. But, y’all, I’ve learned that it’s just a part of the Internet, and I give people the benefit of the doubt that maybe they don’t think I read the comments on my own page. Maybe they’re trying to be funny. Maybe they’re just trying to feel like a better mom. And that’s okay.
Motherhood isn’t a competition. There’s no way to do it perfectly, and we all have our faults. I embrace mine, I learn from them, and I try to share them along the way. The first time I clipped Lela’s fingernails, she bled everywhere because I cut them too short. I worked 13 hours on Lennox’s first birthday because I hadn’t learned a work life balance yet. Luna had a swollen lymph node for three months, and when I mentioned it at her last checkup, the doctor was actually yelling at me for not calling sooner. The list of my failures could go on for awhile…
I’m not perfect, and I have learned SO MUCH every single day of being a mother. That’s one of the most beautiful parts of parenting–the infinite things your kids teach you along the way. Six years ago, I didn’t know anything about babies. I didn’t even understand how it could be possible to love someone so much that you are literally willing to suck the snot from their nose with your own mouth (if you don’t have a NoseFrida, Google them now. I’m serious.) I didn’t know what a breast pump was or how to change a diaper. I didn’t know that babies were so durable, and I used to be scared to hold them because I didn’t know how to do that correctly either. I still don’t know how to do everything or what the right parenting answers are, but every day, I learn something new and wake up to the grace of my children’s forgiveness for my shortcomings.
So, if you struggle with trying to be the perfect mom, don’t live in the comment section of life. You are a perfectly “good enough” mother. Your children love you. And every day, remind yourself that this journey isn’t a competition, and we ALL have each other’s backs in motherhood.