I used to believe Facebook posts matched real life and everyone around me felt fulfilled, content and popular. But vulnerability is more than a just a buzzword now, and we really do share the struggle.
We’re stressed out moms who are trying – trying to be real, not perfect. When you ask me how I am, I never say, “fine.” We left words like that back in our pre-vulnerable days. Instead, I tell you how I really am with connecting sighs and worn-out eyes that say, “oh, you know how it is.” Between sips of Oprah Chai, I wonder out loud if that sentence I uttered at breakfast this morning will be the very one that sends my daughter to therapy when she’s 30. Unashamedly, you show up at book club toting bags of store-bought popcorn, I pay people to clean my house and we both own taboo statements like, “The PTA is not for me.”
We’ve progressed from wondering to asking. I no longer look at your weedless yard, gourmet meals or toned arms and wonder how you did it. I simply ask. And you answer.
We come as we are. Instead of showing up at church with my mascara just right, I come with eyes a certain shade of red, cheeks still damp. And you hold out your arms.
I say the things that I was sure no one else even thought. You say, “me too.” We learn that we are not alone.
Long ago, we established that life is hard, marriage is harder, and there is a fine, fading line between motherhood and impossible.
You and I, we’re part of the collective shift toward authenticity, members of the tribe that slayed Superwoman.
We’re the movement that rejects all pretense; we stand up for the cause of Real.
You don’t hide your fears and failures. I share my precise flavors of shame. You invite me to sit in your unvacuumed rooms; we rummage through our junk drawers together.
I love this about us.
There’s something else I want to know about you: Your secret wins.
How proud did you feel when they chose you for the promotion? Will you trust me with these feelings, too?
What does your excitement look like, untempered and uncontained? I want to experience your thrill when your son hits another home run or your daughter wins the spelling bee.
When did you feel like the World’s Best Mom this week? I want to hear how you amazed yourself because you turned a chaotic Tuesday morning into a tender one with just a few slow words and a hug.
What do you love about yourself when you take a long, hard look in the mirror? What was your fleeting thought made you feel absolutely brilliant today?
I believe there is power in sharing our wins.
So, will you tell me what went on in your head the moment before you stood up for yourself, how victorious you felt afterwards and what you did – just yesterday – that made you feel brave?
What was it about the way you prayed last night that made you know God was there? And what about the moment you felt more loved by your husband than you’ve felt in months, how you talked yourself out of that gummy bear binge and how you felt invincible holding that Warrior II pose? I want to hear about these, too.
Can we share the stories that write our happy tears, the shapes of our inside smiles and what lies behind our fist-pumping yeses?
I want to hear you take credit. I want to help you own your wins. I want to share your joy.
Friend, I never want to stop struggling with you.
Let’s triumph together, too.