Finding Your Spot at the Table

How did I get here? I am not quite sure I belong.

I have spent a majority of my life asking myself this very question, making this very statement. I look around and wonder how I fit. It got worse the older I became. Motherhood added a whole new layer of “I am the ONLY one” I feel like I am the only one who barely has their act together, if at all. Let alone the amazement that is mine, when I realize I am allowed to raise human beings.

Compared to other moms Room at the Table

In the school drop off line in the morning, no one else appears to be fresh from bed, hair four days dirty, pajamas that are about 12 years (yes, 12 years) past their maturity date. At the classroom holiday party everyone else is bringing in spectacular homemade creations that will make you ohhh and ahh, while I am lugging in a bag of potato chips (curse you person who signed up to bring in napkins before I could get to it!).  If I have make-up on at the PTA meeting, it is only because I JUST showered at 5 p.m. On the weekend, your average Sally Supermom has taken her kids to 3,543 sporting activities before I have even left my bed. I feel like I am still a kid, pretending to know what I am doing in an adult world.

Compared to coworkers

I walk into a work meeting where other women have on a nice blouse, hair curled, and they are actually wearing lipstick.  While I am once again sporting a free t-shirt with my company’s logo, jeans, and tennis shoes. I THINK I washed my hair a couple of days ago….maybe.  I make a mental note to start trying a little harder. But never do.

Compared to…well….most women around me

The women around me all appear to have it under control. They appear to be strong, yet meek. Never the need to yell, slow to anger, they have it all figured out. I, however, am the opposite. I am loud. I am harsh, very rough around the edges. I embarrass myself, and others, for the things that fly out of my mouth that later I think “oh dear Lord.” I talk over my husband. I don’t get led into a room; I barrel through it. But, I watch these women who are delicate and strong and sometimes I think how ladylike they are….and how unladylike I am.

If I am being totally honest, there are often moments of doubt. Moments when I look at all of these great women around me and I think I don’t measure up, or that I am drastically different. I don’t have my kids in a million things like Cori, I don’t know everything about the kid’s school like Tracy, I have not finished 13 workouts today like Holly, I am not level headed like Kim.  Where to do I fit in? Is there room at this giant table of womanhood for me, too? Or am I still just a kid that belongs at the kiddie table?

But let me take a moment to remind myself how boring it would be to sit around a table full of the same kind of people. That each person who comes to the table brings something special, as do I. As do you! And often despite appearances and how much I convince myself that I am the only one, I am not.

Someone else in the carpool line surely has on old, gross pajamas. I would never judge that, yet, I am judging myself?  Therefore as I remind myself, let me also remind you dear reader…. we all struggle at times. We all have moments of doubt.  We all look at someone else and think they have it all together, but they just might not. I am loud, but I can be fun. I do say things that are embarrassing, but I tell great stories. My hair is dirty but….well….there isn’t really a positive spin on that, so let’s just move on.

My point is, stop looking around at what others are doing. Stop comparing. Think of all the wonderful things you bring to the table. We are all different and special in our own way. There is no one mold for womanhood. There is no one right answer. May we all feel welcome at the table. May we share our stories of differences and similarities. May we encourage the woman next to us to be who she truly is, and love her for it.  May we all walk into this year and rightfully claim our spot. May we know we all belong.