Under Pressure

For several weeks now, I have watched my social media carefully because I started to suspect that perhaps, our DEEP, DARK LADY SECRET was getting ready to accidentally come out. Our secret? We are…Imperfect. *sigh* Constantly. *groan*

We yell at our husbands because they didn’t buy the right hamburger meat. We come unraveled when our kids refuse to listen. We fuck up the job of parenting if we work all the time and we don’t value our independence if we stay home. We pray every night that God will help us to be more humble wives and mothers. We’re painfully aware of our shortcomings.

UGH! NOW EVERYONE KNOWS FOR SURE.

I just wanted to make sure I really just told the truth just in case the world missed the 45,000 trending blog posts about it. I feel like I’m constantly bombarded with well-intentioned messages from women who equate their value to how well they take care of their husbands and unfair confessions of failure that has us all wondering if we too are guilty; the women who are always on the hunt for the best advice on how to be a kind and content wife or how to be a patient and engaged parent.

But, where are the articles and blog posts calling husbands to the carpet to be held accountable and honest about their shortcomings? Because I haven’t read any. Like, ever. From what I have seen recently, women just aren’t getting any credit for being hardworking, amazing, and fun people.

The attitude that constantly requires women to strive for perfection in their roles to serve others is WRECKING perfectly sane women! When conversation around women improving themselves is constantly centered on their relationship with someone else, we devalue the woman and we write off the balance of healthy relationships.

The sentiment of ‘mom guilt’ is out of control. Can we just stop? Can we just all agree that parenting is challenging and we are trying to be the best moms we can be, all the while knowing the therapists we will be paying an arm and a leg to are going to tell our children it’s all our fault?

Parenting is simultaneously the most wonderful and worst job ever! Not because it is thankless. I actually think there are plenty of thanks in the job of motherhood. No, my son doesn’t say, “Thanks Lindsey for parenting me so well,” but I do feel a sense of gratitude from others who say things like:

  • “He is so polite.”
  • “He is seriously the funniest kid I know.”
  • “I forget he’s only a child.”
  • “He talks like an adult.”

It is the worst because we are going to make mistakes. This is HARD. But you know what? Dads can help. Oddly, I don’t see a bunch of dad writers and bloggers all up in arms because of something he thinks is making him a total failure all the time! Muscle Magazine doesn’t advertise articles for dads managing stress or offer advice on how to incorporate a healthy diet into family meal planning… Amirite? It’s because the pressure is sold to women as a self-help bundle that will make us all suck less. Take my money!

Sometimes, I think this is just a ploy. It’s just another way of saying, “See, ladies, we are divided. I am better than you because you wanna drink wine and stay up to read Nora Roberts, but I wanna serve my MAN. MMhmm.” We can do better ladies. We can stop comparing ourselves to one another and stop basing our worth on our value to someone else. That’s a fleeting sense of identity that will only leave us depleted and stressed, which is where we are right now. Fulfilling myself. Maintaining my own happiness. Making sure that this wife and mother gets some damn ME time so she can continue living her life generously and to the benefit of everyone around me.

All of the women I surround myself with in my life (and internet life) are RIDICULOUSLY GENEROUS?? They are constantly giving of their time, love, attention, intellect, support, and friendship. They are always bending over backwards to make sure their families have not only everything they need, but also, the things they want. I can tell you from firsthand experience that takes a toll on a person! It’s exhausting. Utterly rewarding, of course. Hell, it makes my soul feel beautiful when I can be that kind of woman, but it requires naps and copious amounts of coffee.

After all this digressing, I guess I just get lost in my own head about this stuff because women have worked really hard to be seen as equals. We are still striving for equal pay, our health insurance tends to be more expensive because we have ovaries instead of testicles, and we pop out babies and return to work in mere weeks… And in our most sacred bond of marriage, where we get to have this wonderful person in our lives loving us both perfectly and imperfectly, we’re being constantly assaulted by this garbage makes women feel WORSE when we should be celebrating! We get to work to help support our families when necessary, OR stay at home to help raise wonderful young men and women, OR BOTH! We get to go grab a pedicure while our husbands beat our kids at Mario Kart for a couple hours, we get to giggle with our girlfriends over wine and horrendously written super smutty novels.

We should be allowed to rejoice in the perfection that lives inside of us as people. We should be able to lose the neuroses and constant reminders of not being good enough. And at the very least, if we have to suffer, so should our men.  I kid! Kind of…

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