Here on “The Bailey Bunch”, I like to keep things 100% real. Social Media can sometimes depict us in ways that we actually aren’t because only a snip-it of a situation is provided. A few sentences and maybe a snapshot sum up an entire experience. Rarely we provide all the details of the struggle to even get out the door…the way we threaten leaving our kids at home if they don’t come NOW, the dirty looks thrown towards our spouse when we feel like we are doing EVERYTHING to get everyone ready, and of course the number of photos we took to get that perfect shot to share on Instagram…you know you’re guilty, I know I am!
I never want that to be the case for this area of the World Wide Web. I bare bits of my soul on this page, and I never want that to stop! Today I’m being super vulnerable am sharing a BIG part of me that many don’t know…which I’ll get to in a moment.
Yesterday at church, a sweet friend who is a brand new Momma said to me “I follow you on Facebook and I have no idea how you do it! Your kids are always dressed cute, you always look nice, and you have time to blog and plan Birthday parties! You have it so together!” – or something along those lines…truth is I was so in shock in that moment that a fellow Momma thought that I had it together! After the weekend I had I did NOT feel like I had it together at all!!! Our 2.5 year old son was sick with a stomach bug, and for the first time ever, we were dealing with bodily fluids coming out both ends at the same time – in the middle of the night – in the middle of potty training. It was a poop covered nightmare that came to life and it was awful! And really smelly too! My friends sweet comment came at such a needed moment and I so very much appreciated it, but wanted to let her know I most definitely do NOT have it all together and proceeded to tell her how I walked around my house with poop smeared on my shirt and literally had NO clue for God knows how long! I think it’s important as a Mom to do this – to keep it real with other Moms. Motherhood isn’t a contest. There is no prize for being the best. Instead it’s a community of super women who can share in the same struggle if we’d all be transparent enough to admit that we are all just trying to do the very best we can!
This brings me to the big baring of my soul. Months ago, a fellow blogger and NFL Wife reached out to me asking me to partake in the NFL Wife Handbook, a Christ focused blog providing the Women of the NFL the opportunity to share their God-centered stories. It’s a really beautiful collection of testimonies with one commonality, God get’s all of us through the hard times! Can we get a reality TV show on that please?! Just in case you were wondering, the women behind the men of the NFL are NOT like the women on those TV shows! I get asked that question A LOT!
There are many reasons why it took me months to get back to her…the holidays, the kids kept me busy, I forgot to get to it way too many times, I’m late for everything, I felt like my story didn’t matter as much because my husband isn’t currently in the league…but those were all excuses. The real reason it took me so long was because I was scared to share what God was prompting me to share by answering the question “Share a time in your life when God was the backbone for your trial.” God is obviously the backbone for every one of my trials, and there were a bunch of ones I could have shared to answer the question correctly and even affectively, but I knew the one God was prompting and urging me to write and it scared the heck out of me because it’s a story that has only been told to my closest of family and friends. It’s not a time I’m particularly proud of in my walk of Motherhood, but it is mine, and I have to wear my badges with honor.
After some soul searching, I realized that I had asked and depended on God to help me through my struggle with Postpartum Depression, and He came through for me and helped me out of it. Now He was asking me to share that experience, depending on me to share His light in my darkness, and I needed to come through for Him, bringing glory to His name. So please, take a moment to read about my struggle with Postpartum Depression, and share with any other woman you know who is currently struggling or has struggled in the past. We as women don’t talk about this topic, and it needs to talked about so we know that we aren’t alone!
Mom’s are the toughest most fragile human beings in existence! One minute we can be doing at all, and the next be slumped in a ball against a wall because we were made to feel like we aren’t doing a good enough job – by another Mom! “Mom-Shaming” is a real thing. A real ugly thing. And it made me so scared to share this struggle with you today! We as Mom’s judge other Mom’s when we think they aren’t doing it right, but the truth is, there is no “right” way to parent. It’s trial-by error and completely situational to each and every individual child and each and every individual Momma! Friends, you never know what another Mom is walking through in her daily life. Don’t be the one to make her fall apart over something as silly as feeding her baby formula over breast milk or her toddler non-organic snacks. Don’t be the one to make her feel guilty for sending her child to daycare while she works outside the home. And for goodness sake, please don’t make her feel bad because her child isn’t doing the same things as well as your child is! Our children are blessings, not pawns in some game of life that gives us a one up on somebody else! I could go on, and on, and on…just be love! And keep in mind that your children are watching you and your behavior and learning by your example…set a shining one for the sake our children!
From one Mom to another, I want you to know today that YOU are doing a GREAT job! Keep on keepin’ on Momma! I also wanted to let you know that as I wrote this post I was sitting in the midst of a house that badly needs to be cleaned, while still in my pajamas. Dishes are in my sink, there’s a mountain of clothes that need to be washed and put away and the only reason why I know what we’re having for dinner tonight is because I never got around to making it 2 nights ago! Don’t even get me started on the state of my car…I don’t even want to think about the things I’ll find in there…when I get around to cleaning it…which won’t be today!
Be blessed, and be a blessing today!