In the words of a wise Disney princess, just “let it go.”
Let go the ideal of blissful new mama. Let go the idea of balanced working mother. Let go the picture in your head of how motherhood will look and feel.
Before having kids, you wonder why your best bud stopped coming to girls night out when she had her baby. Why a colleague quit her job after having her second child. Why your frenzied neighbor never wears anything but yoga pants.
Why can’t her husband take care of the kid? What kind of example is she setting her daughter being a stay-at-home mom? Why can’t the lady shower and put on real clothes for once?
You will have your act together, right?
Unfortunately, that’s the kind of attitude that gets us mamas into trouble. We expect ourselves to be able to do it all, to just lean in and get the job done, the kids bathed, the house clean, the home-cooked dinner on the table.
When we resort to cartoons or store-bought pouches of baby food, we think we have failed.
But no one can do it all. Even those moms who seem to be doing it all aren’t (or they have a team of staff to do it all for them). We are all struggling, and calling ourselves failures is not helping one bit.
Let go the idea of doing it all.
Rather, congratulate yourself on your accomplishments, whether it be sneaking some veggies into your toddler’s dinner or simply taking a shower.
Elsa also learned that the bond of sisterhood is the most important thing in the world. In a society that can make us feel like anything less than perfection is a failure, it is vital to support our fellow women – mothers and non-mothers alike.
This article appeared in The East Bay Times’ Mother’s Day advice column.