Being a mother is hard. It’s not easy to grow a completely new human inside of your body, deliver that child into the world, and then care for it every second of the day for the next eighteen years, but that is not all these women have to deal with. Motherhood should just be about caring for your little ones, but it has grown into a never-ending competition to see who can lose their baby weight the fastest, who can look the best in a bikini, who can plan the best birthday parties, who has the cleanest house, and it goes on and on.
Motherhood is filled with challenges, but these extra struggles add more stress to moms who are just trying to make it through the day. One mom decided enough was enough and penned a powerful letter to all the mothers that frequently lose these competitions, to all of the mothers who aren’t perfect. Even the best moms can’t be perfect all of the time, so Constance Hall’s letter goes out to everyone.
This mother of two originally posted the letter to her Facebook wall, but her message resonated with so many mothers that it quickly went viral. She starts her letter by saluting the mother at the park who is looking at her phone instead of her children. Then, she gives support to the mom who left her kitchen filled with dishes to get coffee with a friend. She also makes a point to lift up the mom who is waiting in the doctor’s office to request antidepressants, and she ends her letter with words of encouragement for the mother who has yet to lose her baby weight.
All four of these situations can cause a mom to beat herself up. Even worse, these situations seem to be fair game for other moms, both strangers and friends alike, to criticize and belittle the mom involved. The mom who was looking at her phone is shamed for not being attentive, though this could have been the only five minute break she has had all day. Society has decided that moms should focus on their children for every waking moment, but there is something to be said for independent discovery as well. The mother who left her house a mess may be called a bad wife or mother, but she is making the right choice by putting herself first for once. She cannot constantly give back to her family without taking a little time for her own emotional well-being.
The third mom in the letter may get the most backlash. Postpartum depression can destroy a woman’s life. It needs to be treated, but so many moms do not seek help because they worry they aren’t trying hard enough to be happy or that something bad will happen if anyone knew how they really felt. And lastly, is the mom who has not lost the baby weight. Constance refers to motherhood as a new twenty-four hour job without pay. Anyone in this situation would have a hard time hitting the gym regularly and cutting out small pleasures like chocolate cake.
No matter what anyone says, every mom worries that she will make a mistake. Every mom does make mistakes. The only way to be a perfect mom is to love your child fiercely, and to do the very best job you can. Ignore the petty competitions. Motherhood is about raising children, not raising the bar at the gym. So, for all of the mothers who aren’t perfect, hang in there. You have what it takes, and you are doing great.