I got a personal note on Facebook a few months ago from a person very dear to me. A younger mom. She wrote “I know you love the Lord, your children, and that you have a house full of little blessings too! This mommy is having a hard time balancing everything….any tips?!?” As I was pondering and praying about how to respond, it occurred to me that so many of my posts to Facebook give a very positive view of my life.
I don’t talk about the negative much, because I figure nobody wants to read about my never-ending laundry pile or argumentative tween (just to name a couple). But in doing this, I may be giving off the false impression that I “have it all together,” or at least “think I have it all together.” This is definitely not true!
In fact, I see this as one of the great problems of social media. Our social media posts, meant to share the highlights of our lives, can actually cause feelings of inferiority, depression, and anxiety in the lives of other mothers who we have led to believe that our lives are perfect. After a short bit on Facebook or Pinterest, it is so easy to become convinced that “I don’t measure up.”
Balance is so hard! Never let Facebook fool you into thinking that someone else has a happier home than yours or has everything spic and span, or always does everything right all the time. Social media is deceptive that way. We all want to post the happy, positive moments and we don’t want to share the nitty, gritty, or negative moments (or read them). Then we get lulled into thinking that “so and so” has a better (fill in the blank with house, car, kids, husband, memory, education, life…). Not so.
God has put us each where we are to be in that moment with our kids, our husband, our friends, and our family.
I am definitely not the only person around with dirty dishes on the counter, piles of laundry waiting to be folded, and stacks of “stuff” in those catch-all places of my home. This is my real life. I have things that I do pretty well and I have things I don’t do very well at all.
Will the Mom Who Has it All Together Please Throw the First Stone?
I don’t think so. Because the truth is that none of us has it all together. The mom who has it all together does not exist except on television. Maybe you cannot relate to my issues with laundry and housework, but you have some area of your life where you struggle. We can all relate to sin. No matter how perfect you might seem on Facebook, I know this to be true, because Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
God didn’t make us perfect yet, but He made us to be in relationship. In order to be in relationship with each other, we need to be real. And in order to be real, we need to be willing to reveal our imperfections to each other instead of pretending that we are all perfect all the time.
John 8:3-11 tells us the story of a woman who was caught in adultery.
3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
It seems like we are more judgmental of other moms, parenting choices, and parenting freedoms than we have ever been before. Let’s recognize that everyone makes mistakes and we are no better than anyone else. Instead of judging, we need to come alongside all moms on the journey with us, and lift each other up. Be a blessing of encouragement in the lives of moms you know. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be blessed. You can do this, mom.