My first mother's day didn't really turn out as I had envisioned. Nate did a great job by cooking me breakfast and getting me gourmet chocolate (he knows me well), but from there, it went downhill. Nate was sick and needed to rest in bed much of the day. Ellie was protesting taking naps and getting overtired, so I spent the day rocking her to sleep and walking around Vienna in the rain with her in the baby carrier (with a very large umbrella). I had to miss church and was disappointed. It was a day of frustration and tears, rather than laughter and fun celebrating with family.
It's days like today - the nitty gritty of parenthood - that people don't usually post to facebook. On social media, you see everyone's beautiful, happy families and joyful children. You see positive, happy status updates and assume that they have everything together. And the danger with this is the danger of comparison. When I have a difficult day like today, I compare myself to others and wrongfully assume I'm the only mother who is struggling. I assume that everyone else has happy, perfect children who never do anything wrong, and I'm the only one who can't figure out how to get her daughter to sleep.
All this is a lie and Satan uses it to divide and isolate us. We all have struggles in parenthood, like we have struggles in all areas of life. We don't always post them to facebook, but that doesn't mean they're not there. Social media is a great way to stay connected, but it's also a great way to always put your "best foot forward" and avoid being honest and vulnerable about where we are struggling. It's also a great tool to make us feel inferior, as we compare ourselves to the perfect images we see posted.
Mother's Day wasn't what I was hoping it would be, but God used it to remind me that I'm not alone. Everyday has its struggles, some days more than others, but God walks with me through them. And everyone has their struggles; no one is perfect. Perhaps rather than only showing the best parts of our lives, we can all pursue honesty, vulnerability and encouraging one another, sharing in each other's struggles.
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2
Photo credit: GaborfromHungary from morguefile.com