by Hollie Silberhorn
“I just can’t get it together today,” said a mom visiting our church for the first time. She was staring at the wall in the nursery, preparing for battle. With her 2-year-old clinging to her leg, she began prying her 6-month-old off of her hip and deposited both on the floor. She abruptly closed the door on the screaming without even looking back.
“Wow, there is someone who looks like how I feel,” I thought. I was still a new enough mommy to put on a temporary façade of perfection and do adult things like holding intellectual conversations for more than five minutes. Sometimes I wonder, though — is life, real mommy life supposed to be easy?
Two years and two additional little ones later, I am finding it harder to put on the million-dollar smile and tell everyone I’m doing great. It’s exhausting trying to tie up my eighty pound dog in the back yard quick enough that the neighbors won’t see my bed-head hair and pink pajama bottoms. After all, I have an image to maintain: I’ve got it all together. I am self-sufficient. I don’t need people.
Really, though, I’m a fake.
Real life is paying for your $5.00 take-out pizza with change you’ve been saving for a month. Real life is getting child-snot all over your sexy, pre-baby dress that you just now can fit into. Real life is locking the two oldest in their bedroom and giving them dry cereal and a sippy cup so you can get “second breakfast” on the table sometime before 10:30 a.m.
Communities don’t need fakes. Churches don’t need fakes. Neighbors don’t need fakes. Husbands don’t need fakes. Sons and daughters don’t need fakes.
When it comes down to it, I know what I need. I need you. Yes mommy, you reading this, I need you! Your hardships, embarrassments and victories give me courage to keep going. I know I’m not alone; that others have gone before, done stupid things and still made it.
I need you to have broccoli in your teeth or toilet paper stuck your shoe. I need you to have a screaming 6-month-old and not be able to figure out why she’s crying. I need you to tell me you caved and did that baby mommy thing you said you’d never do.
I need you to laugh with me because I like Barry Manilow. I need you, despite your best efforts, to have black dog hair all over your family’s clothes. I need you to extend grace and mercy to me when I act like an uptight fool, and to lovingly reprove me about it later.
You are so important fellow mommy. Yes, I see what I need. I need you.