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Speaking Life Instead of Perfection

As a young mother, I felt incompetent — especially when I was around other mothers who looked so awake, confident, and relaxed as they casually cradled their babies and chatted happily at church, in my neighborhood, and at the store. “All of those women are so happy!” I fretted.“Why don’t I feel that way? Am I the only mother who feels like I’m perpetually walking through a fog bank? Am I the only one who can barely get showered by dinner time? Am I the only mother whose brain has turned into mush?” This relentless barrage of self-condemnation was stoked by well-intentioned people in my life, who asked why I couldn’t keep my house cleaner, why my oldest couldn’t walk yet, and why I didn’t do more of this, that, and everything else I was quite frankly too exhausted to do. These questions heightened my insecurity and convinced me that I was the most incompetent mother ever. And nothing my husband said could sway my opinion. I hid all of this angst behind a mask of false confidence until a …

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