Mother's Day was May 12. We asked Rachel Marie Martin, the author of "The Brave Art of Motherhood," to write for Macaroni Kid about the sometimes messy art of being a mom.
Several years ago my best friend Maria and I attended one of those paint and sip classes.
The room was filled with people all painting the same image, following the same steps, and yet, when it was done, all of our paintings looked different. Some of us spent more time on the trees, others on the moon, some had darker shades of colors, and others had more purples. All of us made mistakes too. I remember mine and how I tried to fix it, but I still knew there were spaces where I messed up.
My friend Maria couldn’t see the mistakes.
And when we were done, the whole class stood together sharing our paintings and not one painting looked the same. They were all uniquely beautiful, but not one alike.
That’s the art of motherhood, my dear friends.
All of us start our journeys with this intent to be good moms, to raise our kids well, to live a life of joy. And just like the painting class, none of our stories look the same. Some of us have times of mistakes or hardships. Sometimes it is easy and the story seems to just flow. Sometimes we can feel stuck in a season or a part of the story. And all of us are, just like the paintings, uniquely beautiful.
You see, art is messy.
There are times when we doubt, when we have to spend extra time, when we wonder if it will ever turn out to be anything beautiful, when we wish we could start over but we’re stuck, when we just keep trying, when we have times where it is easy. Those are our motherhood stories.
Listen, sweet sister, just because our stories, our motherhood paintings, don’t look the same doesn’t mean one is better than the other. They are both wonderful, both beautiful, both worthy.
You are brave.
So often bravery seems to be reserved for the big moments in life, but bravery also happens in the in-between spaces. In the days when you just don’t know what to do next and you will yourself down the stairs and you make breakfast. In the times when you walk into a doctor’s office and demand answers. In the moments when you walk and walk and walk with a colicky baby. In the every day showing up to a life that is imperfectly perfect.
You see my friends, nowhere does it say motherhood is perfect.
But all of our messy, imperfect, trying, showing up motherhood stories are unique masterpieces.
Because they all matter.
So stand with your friends and don’t compare and don’t grade – but rather – love the collective story.
Rachel Marie Martin is a single mom to seven and the author behind the popular site, findingjoy.net. Her book, The Brave Art of Motherhood, was listed as “One of the Best Motherhood Books of All Time” by Book Authority. It makes the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.