It doesn’t help me to think you have it all together.

How to help a new mom

It doesn’t help me if your house is immaculate for the three hours this week that I come over to visit. If your kids are perfectly groomed. To see your menu planned for the entire week. To believe that you never have any “bad mom moments.”

It doesn’t help me to feel like you never lose it, shriek like a banshee, or want to take off running after the ice cream truck from time to time. It doesn’t help me to see your perfect homeschooling plans, but never get a glimpse of the mess ups, the projects that flopped or the kids who couldn’t have cared less. It doesn’t help me to think you think less of me because my kids will probably go to public school.

It doesn’t help me to think you are always cool calm and collected or that you actually iron on a regular basis.

It doesn’t help me to think you never forget show and tell, to put on make up, or your mind.

It doesn’t help me to think that cracking open your Bible comes easier to you than logging into Facebook, because it doesn’t to me.

It doesn’t help me to think that your life is perfect. And I’m guessing it doesn’t help you either.

So, for my part, you should know that I can be smitten with newborn love one minute and weeping with tired the next. You should know that while I might know that I am walking on holy ground, that doesn’t stop me from getting irritated at how often that ground is strewn with cracker crumbs and yesterday’s socks. That the big kids are watching way more Bob the Builder and Mighty Machines than is healthy for them and that their eating habits have followed suit.

You should know that I often find them too big, too loud, too rowdy compared to my delicate new baby girl. And that that feeling has surprised me.

You should know that carrots under my sofa sometimes go ignored, mail piles up and I try to keep the playroom door closed so as to pretend that  I don’t see how much it resembles a post-apocalyptic landscape.

For my part, you should know that my life is ordinary in all the very best ways. But that some days I fail to appreciate that. I dream of maid service and room service and a personal chef. But mostly, I just dream of having family in the vicinity instead of a plane ride away.

I guess what I’m saying is that, for my part, I’d like you to know that you and me sister, I think our stories have a lot in common. And sometimes just saying that out loud is the very best way to help any kind of mom.