I’ve been a mother for 20+ years now, and parenting is more difficult now than it was when I had my first child.

I believe the constant analysis of our everyday lives combined with the emergence of social media has created a hostile environment for parents. From internet trolls commenting on the lives of complete strangers, to the constant hysteria the media creates, to parent shaming combined with the scrutiny of people with more opinions than sense. We’ve now become a panicked culture of parents living in the shadows of shame and guilt! Realizing (but would NEVER admit) that we’ve been eating way too much fast food lately only when we discover the treasure trove of McDonald’s happy meal toys under the seat in the car.

Recently I admitted to my daughter……there are 40-something-year-old mean girls in this world.

It’s simply a losing battle to engage in any of the nonsense.

Instead…..the best approach….as cheesy as it sounds….is an attitude of gratitude.

I have been immensely blessed in the friendship department in my life. Friends who rise above the noise with their grace, humor and common sense. So here’s a little tribute (based on personal real life experiences) to those incredible people who just let me be the perfectly imperfect me.

  • Thank you to my friend who never uses the word “perfect” to describe herself, her marriage, children, home or life because it allows us to connect as women, wives, and mothers.
  • Thank you to my friend who posts real life moments on social media because it gives me the opportunity to laugh or cry with you.
  • Thank you to my friend who understands that my children’s bedrooms are never going to be Pinterest-worthy.
  • Thank you to my friend who sees me walk into work on 4 hours of sleep, with puffy eyes and a stain on my shirt and smiles and says “You look pretty today!”
  • Thank you to my friend who didn’t judge me when I decided to be a stay at home mom.
  • Thank you to my friend who didn’t judge me when I decided to work outside my home.
  • Thank you to my friend who told me I was brilliant when I stepped outside of my comfort zone and started a scary new venture.
  • Thank you to my friend who pointed out that the fight I had with my spouse/child/coworker was actually hilarious.
  • Thank you to my friend who let your kid eat the Cheetos I brought for a team snack because I still don’t understand what gluten is and why it’s the devil.
  • Thank you to my friend who checks in on me because your timing is always perfect.
  • Thank you to my friend who is completely cool that I canceled last minute because my child really is sick……or I was just too tired to leave the couch.
  • Thank you to my friend who is excited to hear my voice and doesn’t remind me that I took a long time to return a call or text message.
  • Thank you to my friend who applauded me while others were critiquing every mistake I made.
  • Thank you to my friend who still invited my child to the birthday party even though he/she goes nuts with a little excitement and some cake.
  • Thank you to my friend who didn’t show the raised eyebrow of judgment when I didn’t enroll my kid in the “right” school/team/club/class because sometimes I just want my kid to enjoy being a kid.

Thank you to ALL friends out there who understand this parenting thing is a marathon and we all deserve a trophy!

Thanks for reading!

Janel

(To the person who will send me a message about the “unnecessary comma before a preposition” yeah thanks, I know…. I decided to keep it!)

thank-you-to-my-friend-who