Recently Risa mentioned that I always seem to have my shit together. It’s been suggested to me before, so I started thinking about it. Do I really? Is there anything I can pass along to help you get your shit together as well?
First of all, no. My shit isn’t actually as together as it seems. I’m confident and one of the biggest perks of confidence is giving off the impression that I know what I’m doing. The fact is, I don’t. I’d never been a mom before having twins. I never took a class, never held a newborn, nada. I just did it. That’s kind of my mantra. Oh, you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before? Or you’ve never wrapped a baby onto your back before? No time like the present. I hate making an ass of myself as much as the next guy, but seriously, just do it.
I had never breastfed (or even seen a woman breastfeed) until I nursed the twins in the NICU. They didn’t latch right away, for days, but I knew they would, so I kept trying. And we got it. I had never changed a diaper before. I had never held a newborn, much less a tiny little preemie with an IV and monitors and a nasal cannula, but I sucked it up and did it in spite of my wholehearted belief that she was the most breakable thing I had ever touched. She wasn’t that breakable. Hell, she’s a tank.
I had never babyworn, but I researched it and made mistakes and changed the things I was doing wrong. I learned. I made the bad shit better. And then I discovered wrapping and entered into a whole new dimension of babywearing and stashes and legacy wraps…. Sigh. I’m thinking of Scheherazade and drooling wistfully.
So, how to have your shit together:
Only post perfect pictures on Instagram. Crop out the kitchen full of dishes, the underwear on the floor, the Cheerios littering the carpet.
Don’t bitch/whine/moan too much. A little bit is ok, but vent your frustrations somewhere else to appear like you know what you’re doing.
Marry the best man in the world. Good husbands are great, but great dads are mind-blowingly awesome.
Know that even though your shit isn’t together, you are doing a good job. Tell yourself that. Tell other moms that they are doing a good job. Affirm them and I bet they’ll affirm you as well.
Learn. I don’t know everything. Neither do you. We learn every single day. Harness heights on carseats, crotch danglers, used carseats, GMOs, Nestlé, carcinogenic baby shampoo – the list goes on. Do the best with the knowledge you have and gain more as you go along. Most moms aren’t as well equipped for their first birth as they are their second. We learn as we go. Make peace with that.
Accept imperfections in others. We all pass judgment, even when we try not to, but learn that everyone has their own path. Try to have empathy for others. It’s a wonderful quality to have, even when it doesn’t always come easily *raises hand.*
Suck it up and just do it. Change your expectations, stop whining, and just do whatever it is that is bogging you down. When you are past your hurdles look around. People will be impressed that you didn’t freak out/melt down/bitch and moan/etc. They’ll be thinking, “Wow, she really has her shit together.”
And most of all, be imperfect yourself. Having your shit together all the time not only pisses everyone else off, it’s not honest. So every once in a while, allow the ugly to show. Don’t be ugly all the time, just a little bit. My next post will be all about the ugly, so check back in a few days if you really want to hear about some skeletons.