As I habitually move through my nightly bedtime ritual: remove makeup, wash face, serums, and moisturizers, all of a sudden I am left with my bare reflection starring back at me. A reflection that quite honestly I’m harder on than I should be.
Nevertheless, over the years, I have seen myself change. Albeit sometimes overnight, a not so gentle reminder that time stops for no one.
That pain that sometimes comes out of nowhere, but is always close by — what if I never have a child of my own? What is wrong with my body? How many more “good” years do I have left? Why her, and not me? Will I ever find myself a part of that ever-elusive club of motherhood?
The more I thought about it, I realized that even though I might not be a mom, I am part of a club equally amazing. Womanhood.
“You are not a failure.”
During this journey of infertility, these words are something I am constantly reminding myself of. But as a woman, I have repeated these words to myself for a myriad of reasons. Despite what those reasons are, I know we, as women, have felt this same emotion. That you are not good enough. Moms are judged if they work. They are judged if they are stay-at-home moms. If they don’t have it all together. Even in this time of uncertainty when moms are just trying to figure out what Zoom meeting their kid needs to be on for school, much less feeling like they need to have a perfect homeschooling area set up.
Childless women are judged because people think we are selfish or too old to have kids or that their world is “less than” because we don’t have children. Not knowing if we ever had a child at one point in our lives.
Women, in general, are judged on everything, all the time. Who they are. What they believe. Who they love. How they dress. How they lead. Who they want to be. How they look. Etc. This judging of what you think someone’s life is like has to stop. What works for someone else, might not work for you and your life. Guess what? Neither is wrong. A single mom working to provide for her family is a goddess. A woman who stays at home to provide for her family is a goddess. A single woman with no kids and a killer career is a goddess.
Do we often feel like a failure in life or as our sex because of the pressures we put on ourselves or is it the pressure we put (unknowingly or not) onto others?
Words matter. They matter to yourself and to others. Life is hard enough without the constant struggle of trying to trust beyond the things you can see.
It’s okay to be a mess. It’s okay to praise Jesus that you made it to the end of the day. It is okay to cry. It is okay to struggle. It is also okay to succeed. It is okay to kick butt, take names, and still have the energy to go out and celebrate. It’s okay to not fit in the tiny box of what society defines womanhood to be.
Celebrate and be proud of who you are and how different but equally worthy others are. Life is short and we need to do more things to elevate our lives instead of diminishing our spirit.
Here’s to all the women who are just trying to trust beyond what we can see.