Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to be a Perfect Friend

It’s time for another Hearts at Home Third Thursday Blog Hop! I’ve missed the past few months – not because I haven’t had any imperfections to share, but because not taking enough time to write (and do other things for myself) is one of them. The No More Perfect Moms theme continues today with No More Perfect Friends. Happy reading!

Allie clung to my leg, crying to be held. In the other room, Reese and L argued over a toy. It wasn’t even 8:00 am and I was already taking deep breaths as I prepared for a long day. Can I just have 5 minutes to scramble an egg?!

Scanning the room, I immediately wished I had taken the time to pick up the night before. Choosing sleep instead, I left the mess for morning. Bad idea. My daily accomplishments are so limited these days. Between my super high maintenance ten-month-old and the stark personality contrast between Reese and L (who I now babysit 30-40 hours a week), I’m struggling to find peace with my hindered ability to feel even the slightest bit productive throughout the day.

My thoughts immediately turned to other women I know. The mom with 8 kids. The mom who’s two kids are just 13 months apart. The mom with twins. The mom who runs marathons. The mom who cooks everything from scratch. The mom who runs a business. The mom who blogs every day. The mom whose house is always clean. How do they do it?!

Later that morning, my phone vibrated across the counter. I could tell by the rhythm it was a text message. I picked it up and swiped the screen. My friend sent me a picture of the main living space in her home. The room was covered with toys and clutter. The message read “I’m finding peace within today.”

I surveyed my own messy living room again, this time with a smile. I love having a friend who isn't afraid to share her own struggles in the name of connection, compassion, and friendship. I love having a friend who lets me in on her tough moments because she knows I'm on the other side of town having my own moments. I love having a friend who gets it, a friend who knows that I get it.

Three years ago, this friend was on my “how does she do it” list. That was before we grew into the kind of friendship that lets us show up for play dates in our pajamas and text each other pictures of our messes. That was before we could laugh about how many days had passed since our last shower or how challenging life with little ones can be. That was before the many “me too!” conversations that squashed any reason to wonder “how does she do it?”

I hope every mom finds a friend like that, a friend who helps you remember that no one has it all together. We all have different strengths, values, motivators, and priorities. We all have different kids with different schedules and temperaments. We all have different husbands and different sources of stress.

Yet, we’re all in the same boat. We all have the same amount of time in a day. We’re all struggling to fit everything in. We’re all trying to balance the needs of our husbands, our homes, our kids, and ourselves. And we’re all looking at each other and wondering, “How do you do it?”

The answer is really pretty simple - we don't have an answer. None of us does. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have. No one has magical secret powers. There are no Supermoms (despite what those looking in on a snapshot of our lives might think). No one has anything special figured out.

But I do know one thing. You may not be the perfect woman and you may not be the perfect mom, but it's those imperfections that give you the ability to reach out and be the perfect friend.

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