Admit it, when you were pregnant (and even before in my case) you stalked all the mom blogs, pored over every post and obsessed over every close up tiny toes and itsy-bitsy hair bands. Almost all of those moms staring back at you had perfect hair and skinny jeans and waxed poetically about midnight nursing sessions & days spent at coffee shops and baby yoga classes.
To someone struggling with infertility, this life seemed like something I could never achieve so when I was finally pregnant I counted down the days until my baby came and dreamt about a maternity leave (we get 1 year here in Canada, please don't hate me) at Starbucks coffee dates & mommy classes with of course a billion pics documenting the whole thing just like all those blogs I read.
So when I got home from the hospital with a baby that wouldn't nurse and a belly the same size as when I got to the hospital I sort of suspected that this might not go as I had planned. Instead of spending the first two months in newborn adoration I spent it at breastfeeding clinics, weight checks, & in bed sleeping when I could. Even when I emerged on the other side of breastfeeding I was still exhausted, chubby, and in no mood for yoga I still read those same mom blogs obsessively wondering how those moms kept it together when all I seemed to be doing was falling apart.
What I later realized after meeting one of those amazing mommy bloggers that I so admired in real life was that "Together" is in the eye of the beholder. While she is a totally amazing mother she admitted to having help in keeping her house in order with both paid and family help.
She told me that you have to focus on your strengths and get help with your weaknesses. In her case, she is a brilliant mom, writer, photographer, wife, creator, artist & overall human being but she is not a housekeeper and so to keep it all "together" she has help (and doesn't take pics of her bedroom) I was blown away not only by the fact that she wasn't this "perfect" mom I had built up in my head but also with her honesty.
A few weeks after that, I was speaking to another mom who on a play date mentioned to me that she didn't know how I managed to always be so prepared and make so much time for fun with Max. After wiping up the coffee I had spit out at the thought of me being a "together mom" I told her that I in no way had it together and showed her my mis-matched socks, confessed that I hadn't shaved my legs in 2 months and that I was overwhelmed, cranky and overall snippy with everyone and I in no way was anywhere close to amazing.
So to all those moms out there reading blogs and not knowing how some of these moms have it so "together" know that often just out of range of that pic is a messy kitchen, that smiling toddler will 5 minutes dissolve into a whiny cranky mess and we are all just in this "together".