I was the second mom to walk into the room. The first waddled in with her adorable baby belly and her two-year-old toddling behind. I overheard her tell another mom she was 37 weeks pregnant and I thought, ‘Daayyyyum girl. You look better right now than I do at 2 1/2 years postpartum.’ And then I couldn’t stop staring at her. She must have spent an hour on her beautiful gold locks and pristine pink lips, looking like supermom as she was prepared for everything her toddler needed.
After the next three moms walked in looking like they were headed to a gala I become sure of a few things. None of these women weigh more than 110 pounds. They have professional hairdressers living in their home to color and style their hair each morning. Each of their husbands have bought their designer bags “just because”. Their kids don’t scream. Or cry. Or hit.
Aaaaand then there’s me. Using every ounce of my strength to calm Nora down in her fit of rage. Since I had forgotten about the class, I had no time to shower and my unattended toddler may have consumed straight up jelly for breakfast.
I felt instantly uncomfortable in my own skin, a feeling that I absolutely loathe. I tried to focus my attention on silly little Nora while we play with the plastic kitchen toys. I looked up just in time to overhear a mom grumble, “I wish they didn’t let new people in the class.”
If it hadn’t been for the fact that I paid 80 bucks for the class I would have pranced myself and Nora right out of that building. I could feel my face turn a deep shade of red as the teacher jingled the bell and moms wrestled with their babes to huddle up for Circle Time. Of course, Nora wouldn’t sit still, which turned more attention on me.
When we finally were asked to separate from the kiddos for our adult session, I waited until Nora was completely distracted and followed the other moms upstairs. Within seconds of me sitting down to fill out paperwork, the phone rang. The other moms looked at each other and snickered, one saying, “I’m sure it’s mine.” The director hung up the phone and politely said, “Eleanor’s mom?” I looked up, angry that Nora couldn’t have lasted more than 2 minutes without me. As I gathered up my things to leave she continued, “It seems as though she was so upset that she began to kick and hit and throw some things. I think it’s best you stay down there for the rest of the morning.”
When I walked out of the room I felt every pair of eyes on me as I left. I picked up my wailing toddler and tried to hold back my own tears. While I comforted her, I continued to get more and more upset, convincing myself that we didn’t belong there. After walking out of the parking lot and into the car I realized that I put way too much energy into so often believing that I don’t belong, rather than uplifting myself and remembering to whom I belong.
I [frequently] struggle with my sense of confidence and belonging in a world that strives to be the same as everyone else, yet the finest and best of all. We women are told to be thin and beautiful and also intelligent. We are to believe that we can’t be anything if we’re not everything. I find it utterly confusing that I’m “supposed” to fit in, but also be unique enough to stand out- to draw some attention.
Waitasecond??! Today besides my work as a mother, professional, daughter, sister and so on… I’m also expected to be seductive but not fowl, fashionable with a unique look, delicate but firm, cordial and sassy. I’m supposed to wear makeup, but make it look like I’m not wearing any?
WAKE UP, SISTERS!!!!
AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!
For heavens sake, I am busy enough trying to define my role in life without all these damn rules. And as a matter of fact, I never got the rule book to begin with so I am bound to constantly screw up.
WAKE UP, SISTERS!!!!
You are precious. And you belong. You belong in this world and that’s why you are here. You are important. And valuable. It’s so hard to see in a world that’s filled with money-hungry people and false idols.
WAKE UP, SISTERS!!!!
Encourage and lift up each other. Admire other’s opinions. Ask questions. Be filled with love and acceptance. Don’t let your heart be filled with jealousy.
Be bold. Be brave. Be strong. Be you. That’s enough.
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” Dr. Seuss