Mama, you make it look easy (but we both know the truth)

I wonder how you do it all.

How you make it look so easy.

How you're keeping it together.

Sometimes I see you at the grocery store picking up organic fruits and veggies with your hair blown out and makeup on and your organized shopping list neatly written out on pretty stationery and I wonder how I compare in my yoga pants and fresh face holding a crumpled up paper towel with scribbled reminders of what I need to buy.

And I wonder what you think of me.

Sometimes I look through my social media feeds and I wonder how you're on vacation again and how good it is that you're taking the time to put your marriage first and how do you afford it and how does your body look so awesome in that bikini after kids?

And I wonder if your life is as perfect on the inside as it looks on the outside.

Sometimes I hear about the incredible school lunches you pack for your kids and I see their matching monogrammed outfits they wear and I drool over every family photo you post because everyone is smiling and looking at the camera and I'm over here just hoping my kids don't fight me on whether they're going to wear pants today or not.

And I wonder if your day-to-day life always runs so smoothly.

Sometimes I watch you effortlessly deal with a tantrum and feel a twinge of jealousy when your child listens to your request the first time you ask. Sometimes I wonder if your kids ever talk back to you or you ever lose your patience.

And I wonder if you ever struggle with your kids.

But then I see a little crack. A tiny hint of imperfection, and I'm not going to lie—it calms and comforts me.

It reminds me that we're all just doing our best to raise children who are happy and loved, while staying sane and happy ourselves.

This realness you've shown me reminds me that you struggle, too.

That you cry. That you doubt yourself. That you lose your patience. That you are not always put together. That you make mistakes. That you don't always feel beautiful. That you feel overwhelmed at times. That you don't know if you're doing anything right. That you don't have the secret recipe for balancing motherhood, marriage, work, friendships, and personal goals. That we share similar challenges and celebrate similar successes.

You're not some perfect mother robot. And I know that. Because neither am I.

And so I want to apologize—to you, and to myself.

I'm sorry that I’ve perpetuated this perfect persona of you in my mind. I'm sorry because I have let it intimidate me, I have used it to misjudge you, and because—it's just not accurate.

Perfection is boring and you're so much more than that. You're interesting and genuine and are going through a very similar stage of motherhood as me—and that's really comforting to know.

I'm sorry to myself for putting the added pressure on my shoulders of keeping up with—or shaming myself for not keeping up with—this made up perfection of yours.

I seem to have the uncanny ability to pile expectations on myself easy enough, I don't need to add to that pile by striving to be the ‘perfect mother’ when there really is no such thing.

‘Perfect mother’ is, in a way, an oxymoron. No mother is perfect after all, because all mothers are human, and part of being human is making mistakes.

As parents, a lot of our training and experience is gained while on-the-job. So there's a lot of trial and error, and a lot of mistakes. But we learn and we grow and we move on to new parenting hurdles and we make mistakes and learn and move on again. It's a constant cycle.

So remember that even though you may feel like you're the only mother in the world who can never (no matter what it seems!) get herself and her children out the door on time or the only mother to feed her children chicken nuggets and mac and cheese three nights in a row this week—know that you're not.

We are right there with you.

Because for every time that seemingly “perfect mother” dominates the healthy lunch game, her toddler has a meltdown over the broccoli on her plate at dinner time.

And for every time that seemingly “perfect mother” posts a romantic date-night selfie of her and her husband, she snaps at her husband about doing something “the wrong way” and then feels really bad about it.

And for every time that seemingly “perfect mother” looks like she is dominating the #MomLife with her cool, calm and casual attitude, she's also crying in the shower when she allows herself to succumb to the feeling of overwhelm.

And for every time you think she's perfect and you compare yourself to her, she wishes you wouldn't.

Because she's not. And you don't have to be either.

And mostly she wants you to know that she just wants to be your friend—so you can connect with each other, support one another and enjoy the imperfections of motherhood together.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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