Messy Imperfections {#wholemama}


 It’s hard to be honest about messes. 

This mess, this floor mess. Was easy. 

Any mess my children make is easy, the state of my laundry pile (huge!) is easy to share. 

I’ve somehow grown accustomed to sharing aspects of my home as token markers of imperfection. “Look at me, my life is messy too!” 

And it is. It’s true. 

But the messes on my floor aren’t important to me. Yes, sometimes they drive me crazy and I go wild-mama let’s pick everything up for an hour or so. 

But really, I’ve already let go of any expectations I have in keeping my house perfect. 

So my home is my claim to imperfection. 

But other messes are harder to share. My heart is a mess. My emotions are a mess. My relationships are a mess. 

Somehow there’s more grace for a messy home and dishes moldering in the sink than there is for messes that simply point out my humanity.

My perfectionism rests and grows in the crannies of my heart, telling me lies about who I am and what I’m worth. 

Shame and anything less than happy emotions come hand in hand. 

And honestly that’s more messy than anything in my home could ever be. 

Somehow in this act of motherhood we’ve been fed the lie that it’s ok for messes to take over your house and sometimes lose it with your children, but the degree of negative emotions I feel on a day to day basis is out of the question and “why would anyone feel that way”.

At least to me that’s how it feels. 

We’re supposed to ba happy shiny containers that just love wiping up the messy bums, listening to screaming fits, and cleaning up the same toys ove and over again. Or at least be explicitly patient and absolutely no spanking or yelling because bad and broken children will be the result. 

But shaming people for their struggle to deal with the life in front if them doesn’t empower, or love, or protect, or inspire. Especially when the shame is a product of your own perfectionism. 

I need to make space for my messy emotional journey through motherhood. 

I need to embrace the fact that my kids will drive me crazy sometimes and then demand room in a society (or self-expectation?) that wishes we’d only express positive emotions.

In my life imperfection is tears and yelling and the inability to communicate anything clearly. 

It is admitting those moments on facebook somehow soothe the abrasive edges of a day and may e it’s not such a bad place after all. And the monotonouse beauty and positivity of pinterest lets a little calming light in around the corners. Imperfection is admitting that social media feeds us in positive ways right alongside the negative. 

Imperfection is embracing the loud outside while not forcing the loud in your soul to silence. 

Imperfections and messiness feed our need for God. 

But we need to normalize the emotional craziness moms deal with everyday. It’s not just hormones. Please don’t minimize my messy feelings and messy everyday. 

We need to move on from there.

And with the messy story comes a messy ending. There isn’t one. I’ll just point you towards some people and books that help me through now and again. 

Lisa Jo Baker – recently: Someone Saw What You Did Last Week and Wants to Give You a Medal

Glennon at Momastery – recently: The Storm Before the Calm is a Good Place to Start (bonus: I’m pretty sure that photo is Idaho) 

Ann Voskamp – recently: When Your Plans Don’t Turn Out at All

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” by Brene Brown

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11 thoughts on “Messy Imperfections {#wholemama}

  1. Thanks for being so open Erika. It’s true that our messes can also make us more reliant on God. But sometimes I imagine him reacting the way I used to sometimes with my kids, What in the world did you do?! You clean this up right now, missy. Or maybe sometimes he gets a chuckle out of it, or maybe sometimes our messes make him weep.


  2. Yes! Jesus left us with the family of God so that we could help each other through the messes. The church cannot function properly if we are all walking around pretending we are perfect. Great words Erika!


  3. “I need to make space for my messy emotional journey through motherhood.” Yes, that is so important. It is definitely a messy emotional journey that I know many times I felt so unqualified for. ” Please don’t minimize my messy feelings and messy everyday.” Oh, yes, we need to acknowledge and accept them and work through them. Many times I would just have to say a quick prayer to help me when motherhood got overwhelming. Of course sometimes I would forget to do that and just seem to stumble under the weight of it all. But God is faithful and will give strength and grace. Motherhood is hard and messy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I absolutely love being a mother even with all the messiness.


  4. We are all messy. Pretty much all of the time. My mess became so big that I couldn’t hide it from people, and so I’ve spent the past 2 years being utterly honest with many people about the mess my marriage was ( and the mess I was). It’s been the most freeing and whole thing I’ve maybe ever done. And people have not turned their backs in horror or been appalled. Mostly they’ve then told me about their mess. This is a great post and I really hope that you will find people who will not minimise your mess. xxx


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