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I logged into my blog’s Facebook page this morning and realized that I didn’t have any posts scheduled. For today, or any day until like, March. I’m normally more on top of things. So I headed over to my “Pages to Watch” section – a handy Facebook feature that allows me to bookmark similar pages to see what their top content for the week is. So I can share it my audience and get some “Facebook fairy dust.” Most of the pages I have bookmarked are for moms or parents.
I visited page after page, getting more and more depressed with each click. I’m not really sure why. There was plenty of content for moms to share. Clickbait articles. Funny memes for moms. Videos of recipes and cool projects you can do with your kids. The latest gossip about celebrity moms.
I sat there stuffing my face with my son’s Valentine’s Day candy and nothing was hitting me right. Too trendy. Too judgy. Too controversial. Too raunchy. Too sappy.
By this point, my toddler was crying in his crib because he, apparently, is starving (again) and couldn’t sleep. I shut the computer down and turned back to my “real” life.
As I cut up turkey slices and poured out cheese crackers, I found this phrase going over and over again in my head:
“What do the moms need to hear today?”
I’m one of them, you know. In reality, I’m my target reader. I share stuff that I want to read. But I really wasn’t really into anything that was “out there” today.
“What do I need to hear today?” I asked myself.
I looked around my home and saw, everywhere, the proof of this real-mom parenting gig. I grabbed my camera and started snapping, all the while asking myself these questions.
Why is it that we share the funny memes that over-emphasize the hard parts of parenting? Why do we care that Drew Barrymore’s kid had a tantrum at Disney World? Why do we poke fun at how our kids always need us instead of their dads and go on and on about how much of our sanity depends on coffee (or wine – pick your poison)?
I can share this stuff. The viral videos about how to make 3 minute donut holes or 300 more articles about how to not yell at your kids. They will get great reach and I will get more fans and la-tee-dah. But is that what we moms really need today?
Do we moms really need more input on how to organize, how to clean, how to keep our kids safe, how to parent, or how to mother?
I think when we boil it down to the basics, we moms are pretty simple in what we really need. We need to know we are not alone.
We need to know that someone else ate Skittles for lunch because they were there and had to open all their windows this morning because the smell of poopy diapers was permeating the entire house.
We need to know that someone else has over-flowing laundry baskets, sticky counters, unmade beds, and dirty floors (and toddlers that insist on finding and eating every last Cheerio and cracker that lands there).
We need to know that other moms are also looking for meaning amidst being overrun by magnet letters, stuffed animals, and toddler tears.
We need to feel like there’s a purpose in every time we bend down to pick up the toys left behind, the food dropped, and the clothes tossed.
So we spend too much Facebook while our babies watch Netflix because we are hoping that somewhere out there, there’s another mom who “gets it.” Because we need to be seen. We share the funny memes and clickbait articles because somehow, it makes us feel a lot less alone and makes us feel like what we are doing matters to someone who’s taller than 36 inches.
The thing of it is, though, that we already know all of this. We know what we are doing matters. We know that it’s important. We know that all the other moms out there are just like us. At least, I think we do.
But these truths get lost…hidden…buried. Like the tops of our dressers that are taken over by baby toys that somehow migrated into our rooms and socks that got put in the wrong laundry basket.
Our souls get frayed like the hems of our yoga pants, because no matter how many times we are validated by the words, “This parenting thing is hard,” it doesn’t really get any easier.
So really, what is it that we moms need?
I think we already know. We need to keep on keepin’ on. We need to keep wiping down the cupboards, sweeping the floors, changing the diapers, and folding the laundry. We need to keep saying “I love you,” hugging our babies, and trying to catch as much sleep as we can.
I’m just one voice out there in the sea of Internet voices trying to help you do just that. I don’t really have anything unique to say that no one else is already saying. I can’t tell you anything you don’t already know.
All I can do is walk beside you. Invite you to peek into my life in hopes that maybe it helps you with yours. Tell you that you’re not alone and that we’re all in this together.
It’s all any of us can do, really.