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motherhood is a competition and tomorrow is our olympics

I’m over Mother’s Day.

I love my kids. I love my mom. But I hate the over-complication of every.single.thing. in today’s culture. Especially the social media culture. Motherhood is the ultimate competition sport and tomorrow is our olympics. At the end of the day most people wind up feeling like losers when we should just be celebrating that we’re living at all.

The rest of the world celebrates Women’s Day. I like that idea. I like the idea of celebrating who we are and not just who we are to someone else.

My social media feeds are full of articles on Mother’s Day. There are articles sharing how infertile women feel about the holiday. About how churches could handle things better in their services tomorrow. There are articles about being an adoptive mom. About being a mom after loss. About choosing never to have kids at all.

To me they all have a common theme: I want to matter. I want my existence to be validated. I want to feel good enough during a holiday that can bring out the insecurities in almost everyone. Am I a good mom? Am I a good daughter? Am. I. Good. Enough.

Motherhood as competition seems like a recent development. Something created when Pinterest and Facebook met each other. But I doubt that’s the case. I’m guessing competition has been there since two moms first met each other and one of them realized the other one’s kid could already make fire.

Competition is the cheap way to feel good about yourself. Find someone you think of as doing something “worse” than you and bam, you’re awesome. Your boobs spew liquid gold while those poor formula fed babies are basically eating a happy meal in a bottle. And you suddenly feel good enough because while you’re not sure what IS Good Enough you know you’re ahead of that mom so you must be.

The problem is the line as a woman of “doing it well” is unclear. It’s a race with no finish line. A relay with no baton. We don’t know what’s Good Enough.

So this is what I’d like to propose: If you love someone today then you are indeed Good Enough. If that person is a child, or friend, a parent, or an acquaintance it doesn’t really matter. You’re a woman. You love someone. So Happy Freaking Mother’s Day. I hope you buy yourself an ice cream cake, go for a walk in a garden, or just catch up on the laundry so you’ll have clean underwear and socks come Monday.

Maybe you have kids that will bring your flowers and a breakfast in bed. Or maybe you’ll wake up to poop on the couch. Either way you can be, and feel, Good Enough. You can tell yourself that love is love and it doesn’t really matter what happens to it after you throw it out there because love has never been wasted and cannot be overused.

So embrace Mother’s Day if you want, or ignore it if you’d rather. But what we can’t do is spend the holiday feeling like everyone else in the world feels and thinks THEY are good enough and we’re the only one who sits and wonders why our flowers never came or came with spiders on them and what that says about us.

The truth is it doesn’t say anything. This holiday doesn’t, CANNOT say anything about our worth as human beings and as women. Motherhood shouldn’t be a competition and life isn’t actually a race. It’s a mess of people crowded in a room listening to the kind of music that can touch your soul if you only let it. Life is love and at the end of the day all you can do is listen to the beat of your heart and dance hard enough to keep up with it.

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5 thoughts on “motherhood is a competition and tomorrow is our olympics”

  1. Thank you!!! I am 38, and childless by choice. I’m good with that choice – except on Mother’s Day, when I feel like some sort of weirdo who has failed at being an adult. Then I feel guilty for feeling bad, because it is my choice, and others are childless but want children so badly. It makes for kind of a rotten day, especially since I didn’t stay off social media as I should have. So thank you, thank you, thank you for this.

  2. Thank you for your post, as it feels like it’s been a long time since one has come across my email. I subscribed to your blog awhile back, when I first started my adoption journey. It was the post about what to tell your friends while you wait. It was so well-written and exactly what I needed at that time. So, thank you for posting it. I know that sharing thoughts and ideas online can be difficult, so I wanted to let you know that I so appreciate your posts. It has been helpful for me during my journey.

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