A couple weeks ago I went to a writing conference (Maven Coalition Conference). It was a huge opportunity. They paid all my expenses and I got to tour the beautiful Whistler in British Columbia. It was amazing! All these great minds were there! Then the speaker said "I have invited all of the greatest minds in journalism and have high hopes for each of us in our individual businesses."
"I Am Such a Fraud"
There I stood listening to him, and not for the first nor the last time that weekend, I felt like a fraud.
"Great mind?" I have the memory of a fish! No, not a great mind!
"Journalist?" Well, I've never thought of myself as that. I guess having published 249 articles in my life does make me a journalist. Yet, I'm not an expert! Wait, that was the word they used in my invitation. Could they have made a mistake? Maybe I got an invitation by mistake. Did they really mean to invite ME?!?!?
As he closed his speech I prayed that God would help me through that weekend? I didn't want everyone to know how desperately I need an editor. How I have stuff published I am embarrassed about. I didn't want anyone to know, I didn't really belong among all these great minds and journalists.
Then I found a friend.
We Are Not Alone
She was much more outgoing than me and very open. She dragged me from table to table, introducing me and filling the empty space, so I didn't find myself in awkward silence.
As she talked with ease to others and myself, I noticed she often shared that she felt like a failure. Others were sharing their own flops and mishaps, complete with embarrassments. We all then began talking about how much we have grown over the years. Yet each shared the same sentiment, they aren't quite where they want to be. I quickly realized, if I was a fraud they were too.
Failing as a Mom
That got me thinking how often I feel like a fraud even in my own motherhood. I have my days where I'm the picture of patience and portraying the ideal pinterest mom. Then out of the blue, I completely lose it over a glass that is set on the wrong part of the counter. (True story.) Or I say a harsh word that hurts my daughter's feelings that was neither helpful nor one hundred percent true.
It's inevitable on the days where I feel like the worst mom ever, I get a text, call, or instant message from a friend saying, "Hey I need advice!"
They are turning to me for advice? Are they crazy? I just shouted at my daughter because she put a glass on the wrong part of the counter! Is there really a wrong part of the counter? Even if there was, was yelling really necessary? Why would anyone turn to someone who raises their voice over a glass on the wrong part of the counter?
Being Willing to Learn and Grow
Yet, I answer them. Not because I think that I am this great wise woman, but because I know that I am a failure who is constantly learning and growing. We all feel like failures at times, yet we are all trying our best.
More importantly, I am WILLING to learn and grow. Through studying my bible, reading books, following blogs, listening to both younger and older moms I have gained knowledge and wisdom. I realize my friends know I am not a picturesque mom. They know I cannot find directions to anywhere even with a GPS, I most likely have misplaced my phone and forgot my purse at home. They don't turn to me because I'm perfect, but because they know I try and I care. Heck they know my faults, because I openly share them. And they share with me theirs too.
So I am here to tell you mom, you may feel like a failure. You may feel like a fraud. You may be looking at that picture perfect mom wishing you were like her. Chances are, that mom you idolize, feels like a failure and fraud too. Even if they feel secure in their motherhood, I can almost bet they lost it on their child a time or two. They become frustrated. They cry. They feel helpless on occasion. And you know what? It's okay.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.