Full Disclosure

My week—at least according to Facebook—looked pretty good. Happy, mostly-clean children smiling on a front porch, then walking up a hill to celebrate their first day of school. A fun and engaging TV trivia taping with awesome colleagues. Comments that indicate I had ample time to watch fascinating videos and read a few articles.

In the interest of full disclosure, though, I offer a list of happenings that did not appear on my sanitized social media channel:

  • A string of days in which ALL THE THINGS went wrong at work. Deadlines were missed, balls were dropped, bad decisions were made.
  • Tears. A lot, actually—some hidden as I left my eight-year-old in a new classroom for, what–the third or fourth time? Some in frustration over work and relationships. Some as I wished earnestly for 10 minutes to shower without being asked a single question.
  • An actual tantrum—mine, sadly—in which I refused to make dinner one night. I did do the laundry later—though only with barely contained fury.
  • Unkind words to my sweet husband, and to my daughters.
  • Too many glasses of wine.
  • Frustration with a baby who isn’t sleeping, and shame because I know it’s due to illness.
  • Endless worry about time spent at home rather than at work.
  • Endless worry about time spent at work rather than at home.
  • Bedtimes that were probably earlier than they needed to be.
  • Guilt. So much guilt. Over everything from poorly-managed relationships, to phone calls I should have made but didn’t, to the thank you notes I STILL haven’t written.
  • 19 changes of clothes—only five of which I actually wore, and a promise yet again to lose 20 pounds.
  • A slice of pizza anyway.

I’ll note that, thankfully, a week like this is the exception and not the rule, but it feels disingenuous to let it go by without a bit of honesty. Social media makes it all to easy to create a facade that does no favors for women, for wives, for moms. Days can be filled with more blessings than you can count, but they can be brutal and cold.

So, with this declaration, I offer a glimpse into what is real, and—more importantly—a promise to myself and those I love to try and do better come Monday.

– Rebecca

PS – Those cupcakes? They were from a box.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Terri Turner on August 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Love this, Rebecca! Your honesty makes you more endearing!

  2. Posted by Karyl on August 16, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Rebecca – I sure wish we were closer to help out!! I do so remember those days with 4 kids – but I was not working on top of it all! I am sorry for your week – it can only get better! But the brutal honest truth is that you cannot have it all, all of the time, without tears, sacrifice, and heartache. Thinking of you – we are celebrating Jessica’s 38th, believe it or not, birthday here tomorrow – if you need a break from all things Lawrence, you are welcome to crash the party!

  3. Posted by Karyl on August 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    PS – to this day, my shower is the only time I demand to have private – if grandkids are here, I lock the door, and make sure that Doug is watching the little ones.

  4. Posted by Stefanie Kotch on August 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    here’s a smile to you……:) and sometimes the wine is just necessary to ge through it. I am the same way, I don’t like to completely unload the ugly on facebook but sometimes I just feel like a salmon swimming upstream. I just can’t keep up and then I feel that everything suffers. GUILT. It’s how we treat ourselves. I always feel like I don’t contribute enough by staying home and I feel sometimes like I am suffocating at home too. I don’t know what the answer to balance it all. Just know you are not alone.

  5. Posted by Dawn on August 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    The self imposed pressure of social media has resulted in two sorts of posts: the “my glass is always full and is rose colored” post and the “woe is me” post. No one believes the first and no one wants to read the second. Somewhere in between lies the truth — and real life. Life is messy, full of grey areas, and, in due turn, is filled with ups and downs. Everyone – working, stay at home, parent, single, divorced, etc… – just tries to do the best they can. I think you’ve succeeded, even if it doesn’t feel like it. (and I love the irony that you’ve posted a link to this on your Facebook page!).

  6. Posted by Laura on August 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Dawn, those are really perceptive comments about FB.

    Rebecca. You are heroic to take on all that you do. I can’t even believe you make dinner MOST nights. I just count on ordering take-out one night of the week. I can’t believe that you count it a failing to have made cupcakes from a box! I would have stopped at a bakery. I can’t believe you worry about rewriting thank you notes THAT YOU ALREADY WROTE. Who cares? We love Owen and would have gotten him gifts whether or not a note was to follow in the mail.

    Be gentle with yourself — after all, you did get two children off to school (looking perfectly clean and breathtakingly beautiful), you did make dinner other nights of the week, you did do laundry, and I’ll bet you also said plenty of kind words to your children and husband, too. You are a fantastic mom. You are so great at your job. Tell that guilt to go bother someone else for a while, and enjoy what I hope is a restful and calm weekend.

    Love!

  7. Posted by Laugh at Jessie on August 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Rebecca, you aren’t a wizard and your comment about barely contained fury made me laugh (sorry). I know I have told you many times that I think you are a bad example for women because YOU DO EVERYTHING SO WELL and that no one could possibly compete with that. It was interesting to read about your struggle last week, but please know on your worst day, you are still 10X the amazing person, mother, wife that most people could hope to be.

  8. Posted by Rebecca on August 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Thank god I didn’t have to go to the bank, too, Jess!

    And thank you, kind and wonderful ladies, for your support and humor. So far, this week is a bit better, in that no one is ill (yet…) and I’m feeling a bit calmer. The scale has yet to budge, but that probably has something to do with the wine. πŸ˜‰

  9. Posted by Doug Smith on August 20, 2013 at 8:47 am

    You touched a nerve in a way that Facebook moms never could. Facebook is just too happy, happy. This was a very well-written small essay that more moms should read. You can have it all, sort of, but it’s never easy. This took courage to write and post and you should feel great about all the women who responded to your guilt and anguish.

  10. Posted by jessica bergin on October 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for this πŸ™‚

  11. Posted by Rebecca on August 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I found this post via my FB memories feed. I am having the EXACT SAME DAY. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

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