Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Stop Mom Judging

How a dead goldfish inspires grace

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

Sometimes I feel like I'm killing it at this whole motherhood thing.

But can we be real for a minute? Just as often I feel like a giant imposter.

Sometimes I leave the house without diapers and the baby has a massive blowout.

Sometimes I yell at kids who are just being kids and don't deserve my frustration.

Sometimes I drive through McDonald's more than once or twice per week.

Then I run into another mother while I'm chauffeuring kids and she sighs and tells me she's finally found the source of the putrid smell in her car: a dead goldfish.

We laugh.
And I exhale.
Do it with me.

Guess what? We all fail, sometimes more than we succeed.

We don't see many of those moments when we scroll Facebook feeds and Instagram stories.

We see highlights.
We share highlights.

The preteen smiling, not the rolling eyes that earned her a stern warning. The toddler's cute painting stuck to the fridge, not the scratches she etched in the van door again. The smiling couple on date night, not the exhausted pair worn too thin for anything but sitting on the couch watching Netflix together.

But what if we dropped the curtain and revealed the mess behind the mask?

What if we admitted we feel like frauds sometimes? What if we said we're terrified of being the grown up in the room? What if we showed our less than picture perfect moments?

What are we so afraid would happen?

Maybe, just maybe, we'd discover a little less judgment and a lot more "Yeah, me too."

And isn't that what gives us courage to get up and do it all again after we've been bested by tiny humans? To keep at it despite failures and self doubt? To embrace our imperfect selves as enough, and see our worth through our kids' eyes?

Real connections with other parents recharge our weary batteries, reset our way-too-easily skewed perspective.

And that real stuff is so much better than the highlight reel.

Even if the only thing you're currently killing is goldfish.

Don't worry, friend. I've killed a few myself.


(Photo courtesy of Christine Bywater Fredrickson)

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.