Mommin’ aint’ easy. I know you know that – even those of you who aren’t moms, know that. But lately its felt especially difficult. I was talking with a teacher of mine recently, looking for guidance on how to better handle it, looking for answers to ‘what the hell do I do?!’ Her advice was – ‘Its okay not to know. Life is supposed to be messy.’ Life is supposed to be messy?? Somehow I found comfort in her response, and yet was completely annoyed by it. I felt better for not having all the answers, but still wanted them. In the age of Pinterest perfection, and social media perceptions – we expect ourselves (and to some degree, each other) to have it all together – or at least to look like we do. Accepting that life is messy feels like a contradiction, or even a failure. It feels so against the grain – but it might be the most real way of being. Last week I invited a friend over I hadn’t seen in a year; we’d both had babies since Covid broke out and we wanted to see the kids. I made sure my house was clean, I wouldn’t let the boys take out any toys, and God forbid they throw a couch pillow on the floor. I lit a scented candle, washed all the dishes, and made sure everyone had clean clothes on. I may feel like a hot mess, but I was going to look like I have it all together. Unfortunately, it was a very tough day for my oldest son. He threw intensetantrums and by the time my friend left I was drained, embarrassed, and thoroughly bummed out. I texted her to thank her for her patience and understanding, hoping she’d still want to be friends and hang out again someday. Do you know what she wrote back? “Life is messy.” The truth is, we can try to control things, we can tidy up and cover up our messes, our insecurities, our fears and the things we don’t know what to do with – but those are the most true parts of life. Those are the things that make us relatable and lovable. Its when we feel vulnerable that we’re the most human, and we give permission to the other humans around us to be human too. Maybe it’s the continual seeking of order, respite from the chaos, that moves us forward. Maybe the mess is our muse. In any case, mess doesn’t have to be our enemy. We all have messy parts of our lives. The parts we typically don’t like to talk about; the things we hide in the corners of our minds or in the closets of our houses. We cover them up with compensations or excuses and pretend they’re not there. They may even cause us a great shame for existing – especially if no one knows they exist. Whatever the situation may be, let me tell you – life is supposed to be messy. It’s okay not to know what the hell to do. I think the more we can own our own mess, the more we give permission to others to do the same. The more human we can all be together, the happier we will all be.
So cheers to being a hot mess. Cheers to having no idea what the hell to do, and cheers to letting others off the hook too. We'll figure it out as we go, and let us be kinder to each other and ourselves in the process.
Have a wonderfully messy week! With love and gratitude,