I might be showing my age a bit here, but when I was a girl, I remember listening to cassette tapes on the car rides to church. My mom had a stack of them that she kept in her glove compartment.
“Grab that blue one for me,” she would say, as I dug around looking for her favorite one.
If you are unfamiliar with cassette tapes, there are two sides to them. The A-side usually has the songs everyone knew, the ones that came on the radio, the hits. And then there is the B-side. The B-side is like the extra songs or the filler songs. Many times the ones no one would listen to.
If you look at the Instagram and Pinterest moms of today, we don’t see their B-sides. We see the A-side; the perfectly made pies in the just cleaned kitchen, or the well-put-together outfit with the amazingly decorated living room in the background. I, for one, have at least eight horrible photos of my kids together before I finally get one where everyone is looking and smiling; and that is the one I post. I don’t share the sink full of dishes I have right now because I have spent all week dealing with a sick kid while juggling school and a part-time job. But why shouldn’t I?
What about the B-side of motherhood?
When you want to be real and raw about all that comes with motherhood, people take it as a complaint and want to blame you because “no one told you to become a mother.” And it’s these remarks that make it hard for parents to open up and seek support in those B-side moments that really give you pause. Because let’s be real, we need support; we need each other.
Motherhood is a journey. Like any journey, it is filled with ups, downs, and all the things in between. We often take on burdens that we don’t need to carry, more so in this age than ever before. And we feel guilty when we fall short of what we think is expected of us.
Take Care of You
There will be hard days. I know when I reach my limit, there is something I am not doing for myself. It can be as simple as eating a meal uninterrupted or getting in a workout. Whatever fills your cup, do that. It makes the hard days a little easier to get through.
Ask for Help
You are not alone, even if you feel that way. Reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist. You can even reach out to other moms in your local Facebook groups. You might just find your tribe and you all can take turns helping each other with meals, babysitting, and support.
Take a Break from Social Media
If social media causes you to compare yourself to others, unfollow those people or take a break altogether. I took a long break about a year ago because I found myself wishing my life reflected the “A-side” of others’ lives on social media, and it was affecting me mentally. I used that time to get into a space of gratitude. Each day, I wrote what I was grateful for, and at the end of my break, I went back and read each thing to remind me that I had so much and nothing else truly mattered.
Motherhood is not easy, but it is a beautiful adventure. Take each day and moment as it comes, and know that what you often see in online spaces are just the A-sides. You are a good mom and you are doing amazing! And share those hard moments with others and how you overcame them to help others who just might need to hear it.