Family is “supposed” to look just like this.

We are a family who loves each other. We love each other in a messy, beautiful, broken, and together way. Sometimes that means making messes in the kitchen with spaghetti sauce finger prints on the glasses and stains on the tablecloth. Sometimes it means trying to scrape together tiny remnants of sanity for bedtime routines. Sometimes it means kissing a dirty forehead as I tuck them in at night and thinking it’s okay, they’ll take a bath tomorrow.

In our family we fight. We argue about things. We say we’re sorry. We overreact and then we apologize. We take a minute in the other room to pull ourselves together. Some of us are more full of passion than others, and I take full ownership of my title as Queen.

In our family we spill milk and we break glasses almost every time we do the dishes. When we do art projects, they take over entire rooms and dining tables. We do a lot of doing first and thinking later.

In our family we make mistakes. We hurt each other’s feelings and we are selfish sometimes. We say sorry and we forgive. We pull each other close and we love each other still.

In our family we encourage each other loudly and often; we are each other’s biggest fans.

In our family we get tired and grumpy. Sometimes we all feel that way at the same time, and that is when it is a good idea to have a family movie night and eat pizza.

In our family we worry. My husband and I get stressed about finances or jobs and we get needlessly defensive and snappy with each other. We talk, and then we hug, and we remember that no matter what may come, we are up for the task and we are walking through it together.

In our family we do beach days, reading in front of the fire, and toasts with wine and sparkling cider.

In our family we know we can’t control the future, but sometimes we try anyway.

In our family we love each other forever and ever and no matter what.

What if the miracle of family isn’t the perfect storybook fantasy we’ve been told? What if it isn’t a home of poised parenting and dust-free light fixtures? What if it isn’t a mom who never loses her cool and doesn’t mind crafts that involve scissors and glitter? It could be that, but it isn’t always that.

What if the miracle of family is what we already have?

What if it’s just us, exactly as we are today?

What if I, their mom, am exactly who I’m supposed to be…already? What if I’m actually damn good at this even when I feel like I’m not? What if even though I say the wrong the things sometimes, the thing that actually matters is that my heart burns and bleeds for them? My heart bleeds for them and my mind works for them…endless hours of worry and problem solving.

If they could see me inside-out they would never for a second doubt my love or doubt how amazing they are.

My job as mom is to show them my insides as much as I possibly can.

I’m never going to be a mom who knows where the socks are or talks softly when I’m mad.

But I am me and I will show up every day with my whole heart.

I will always say sorry when I get it wrong and I will always hug tight and hard and maybe too long.

What if the miracle of family is that it’s really really messy, but that’s what makes it beautiful? What if there isn’t a perfect personality for motherhood, but all of us are in fact just right for our own kids?

What if what often steals our joy is that we don’t feel like we are the “mother” we are supposed to be? We constantly feel like we need to work on this and work on that…and what if THAT is actually the filthiest lie of all?

What if we are okay exactly how we are, just like our kids are okay exactly as they are?

Whoever you are today, I salute you. WE ARE MOMS. WE ARE WHAT MOTHERHOOD IS “SUPPOSED” TO LOOK LIKE and our families are what family is supposed to look like.

If we love our kids then we are 99.9 percent already there.

Whether you are a working mom, a traveling mom, a stay-at-home mom, a baby wearing mom, a natural mom, a sensitive mom, a doesntputupwithanyshit mom, a not very maternal mom… IT DOESN’T MATTER…it doesn’t define us, we define IT.

We are good moms.

We have beautiful families.




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9 responses to “Family is “supposed” to look just like this.”

  1. I love this! Powerful and beautiful 💕

  2. So true and necessary to shout from the rooftops.

  3. Ahhh! Just what I needed today as l tried not to cry after putting on makeup for the first time in 3 days, and attempt to break down 100 loads of laundry!! Well said! Thank you!

  4. This. “If they could see me inside-out they would never for a second doubt my love or doubt how amazing they are.”

  5. I shared your Text on Facebook, because for me thats exactly how it is.Thank you for your blog..We are thinkingalikesisters:-)

  6. I too was a mother like that – our family was like that. We had two beautiful daughters – we have been deprived of our 43 year old daughter and our only granddaughter, as have 70 million other parents by the choice of their own adult children. We were blindsided by this and were like deer in the headlights. We didn’t know what to do – we still don’t. It’s been 2 years of silence – two missed birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgivings, our granddaughter H.S. graduation. We have been shunned – according to Psychology Today this is psychological torture. Never in a million years did we think this happened or would ever happen to us. It did. We are broken and live in overwhelming sadness. We are 76 and 78 now. We lost 1/2 of our family. We do not know why we have been judged so harshly. I continue to hope in a God who promises to bring good out of everything. Please pray for our daughter so her heart will not be hardened against us.

  7. I am so so sorry! I can’t imagine the heart break you must be feeling.

  8. Karen,
    I am praying for you today.

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