Modern Motherhood.

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Hi, I'm Katie and the number one question I can't stand to answer is "what do you do?" Because it's a reminder of the fact that I honestly don't know...I mean, I know...I just don't know how to put it into words...words that don't make me sound like a crazy person. 

My honest answer would be this- "I'm a blogger/try-to-be influencer, owner of 3 businesses, wife, stay at home mother of two, church youth group leader, and local mother's club board member...although I'm not as active on the mother's club board because it's difficult to find the time, and my husband might argue that "wife" isn't really at the top of my priority list lately, and if letting your child watch 3+ hours of Little Einsteins counts as being a stay at home mom, well, and my businesses haven't actually made me a whole lot of money yet, so...yeah, that's what I do."

See, I told you... CRAZY PERSON.

Motherhood is hard. And trust me, I know it has been from the dawn of time. Child birth alone is enough to qualify motherhood as one of the most difficult and trying experiences you can have in this life. But I would argue that Motherhood today is more difficult than ever before. Why? Because we have set the bar so high that it is humanly impossible to reach. Gone are the days of spending your days cooking, cleaning, caring for your children, your husband, and your home, maintaining a good reputation among your neighbors + friends, raising your children to be contributing members of society, and if you have time serving in your community...and okay, hello that was already SO much work and responsibility. Now it seems as though the expectation is that if you don't do all that + have your own business or work, celebrate the holidays with pinterest worthy activities + treats, keep yourself and your kids on an all organic, dairy-free, gluten-free diet, keep yourself physically and mentally fit by practicing yoga for an hour + daily...and if you're not doing all that, you're just not doing it quite right. (gross exaggeration, but you get what I'm saying.)

Today not only have we raised the bar, we spend whatever free time we do have constantly comparing our worst selves to the best self of others through social media. Pinning away perfectly curated photos of others homes while looking around our toy invested, finger print covered, crusty dino nugget under the couch homes thinking "if they can keep their house that way, surely I should too...I need to step up my game." So you spend the next 24 hours deep cleaning your entire home. Yelling at your child every time they touch a toy and a don't put it back into place. Losing your sh** when they accidentally spill an entire juice box onto the carpet...just to go to your room and cool off scrolling through Instagram to find a post about the mom who just spent her day making homemade all organic, gluten free, dairy free, cookies with her son and going on nature walks learning about trees + flowers...then you feel guilty because you realize all your kids did was watch T.V., watch you clean, and get yelled at for playing with their toys. So the next day you decide to spend the entire day doing fun things together, and anxiously await that perfect photo opp, because if you don't get a picture--it didn't happen...but your kids would rather run + play then stand still with you for a picture. So you end up frustrated and feeling like a failure because the blogger you follow always has the perfect pictures with her kids documenting their adventures daily and you can't even get one every once in a while...so you go home feeling horrible about yourself and pick yourself apart, just to come home, scroll on your phone and see a post about the importance of self-love and why you should be implementing yoga practices and meditation into your life, so the next day you dedicate to "yourself"........and the cycle continues. 

I am not here in any way to shame social media, or influencers, or bloggers, or anyone who enjoys social media, that is not at all my intention. Because truthfully, I love social media and think when used correctly, it is such a powerful source for good! The message I'm hoping to share here is one of GRACE + SELF WORTH. 

Just now when I typed the intro to this post, that was the first time I have ever written out everything I "do" so honestly. I usually hesitate to say exactly what it is I do, 1--because it's quite lengthy, and 2--because truthfully I don't do any of those things exceedingly well so I feel like a fraud proclaiming that they're what I do.  

It took me until today to realize that I can NOT be the only person who feels this way. I can NOT be the only mom who is trying to do it all perfectly and failing, quite miserably. There is a woman somewhere out there who poured her heart and soul into a beautiful post all about her new business that she is so excited for and passionate about only to get a handful of likes, no comments, and get zero sales from it crying herself to sleep because she feels like giving up. There is a mom who snapped at her children for asking her to take them to the park because her house is an absolute disaster and she feels like she can't leave without cleaning it up. There is a wife out there who feels an immense amount of guilt for taking her husband's hard earned money and investing it into yet another entrepreneurial opportunity because she just knows this is going to be her big break, although her family will not be eating their organic food preference that month (or maybe year) because of it...there's someone out there who has a perfect vision of who they want to be and what they desire for their family but absolutely no idea how to get there. There are others out there just like me. And that is SO selfishly comforting. But I don't want it to be selfish, I want her to feel that comfort too, and know that she is not alone. 

Motherhood is a culture that is over-worked, under-appreciated, sleep-deprived, with high expectations, and we do this all in the name of love. Our children spend the day (sometimes quite literally) shitting on us, turning up their nose to everything we have to offer,  and making us want to pull out our hair, but we would give our lives for them without hesitation. A mother's love is like none other. It is amazing what our hearts are capable of,  it truly is. The sad truth is though, we don't always use them to their full capacity. We are able to have such an undying love for our children and our spouse (most of the time!), yet we neglect to give ourselves that kind of love. This is an issue that I feel our "culture" as moms have always had; we give so much love to our children we forget to love ourselves. But I feel because of these high standards we have set for ourselves, along with the constant reminders on social media, that lack of self love is far greater than ever before. 

So there's the problem...but what's the solution? I think I know the answer...but it's not exactly the one I want. The answer is lower your standards, love yourself more, and be accepting of Grace. Whether you are of Christian faith or not, Grace is applicable to all when defined as divine guidance. That divinity can come from the universe, or Jesus Christ. Whoever you believe it is that is guiding you and loving you through this journey, allow them to. 

Grace + Self Love are not the difficult answers for me...it's the lowering your standards part. I have this HUGE picture in my head of exactly who and what I want to be. And for the past 2 years I have been white knuckling holding on to the idea of having ALL OF IT. But the truth of the matter is, in order for progress to be made and success to be had; something has to give. I have to let go somewhere. And today, that's where I'm at, that's as far as I am with this self discovery. Knowing and trying to accept that I need to let go of something, somewhere and changing that picture a little bit of who and what I want to be. 

To the mom out there who is starting her day off with a to-do list a mile long, a schedule jam packed with meetings, conference calls, play dates, yoga, date night, and youth group wondering "how the heck am I going to get this all done, and be a good mother, wife, and friend today!?" trying to hold back the tears because quite honestly, there is just no time in the day for them...I see you, I know you, I am you. You are not the only one. Take a deep breath, love yourself, accept Grace, and allow yourself to let go of some of those to-dos. You are going to get through this. I am going to get through this. We are going to get through this. 

xx Katie