When Liz Petrone shared her thoughts about the inexplicable contradictions of parenting (and self/life, even) it quite rightly has gone viral in a heartbeat. Content note: This post discusses depression.
“I’m afraid, and I’m still doing it.
I’m lonely, and I’m blessed.
And that’s enough…”
We’re pretty sure the sound of a zillion tissues being yanked from boxes by sniffling, heartened parents can be heard across the globe right about now. It’s like Liz had crawled inside our hearts and pulled the most worrying and wonderful bits of parenthood/ourselves out into the bright light of day. And thank goodness she did.
Not only are those worried-about bits beautifully human, many of us were anxious about the very same feelings and situations – and exhibiting the very same contradictions and complexities.
Not only did this piece give Liz a chance to make sense of her feelings of “both” and express them to the wold – it showed other women that we can be many very opposing things at once.These contradictions don’t indicate that we’re a fraud – but rather that we’re beautifully flawed. And that’s what makes us, us.
"I am both.I'm both "I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT THIS SECOND" and "I hope you don't expect me to put that bra back…
“How not alone I truly was”
Liz’s piece was shared on the popular Love What Matters Facebook page and it really took off from there, with many thousands of people sharing her words.
An obviously emotional and bolstered Liz sent out a message of thanks and solidarity, under the Love What Matters share:
“Ahhhhh! Thank you so much for sharing my words! When I wrote this it came from a place of loneliness, and then as people started to respond I realized how not alone I truly was. To all of you who may feel the same way, I’m with you,” Liz wrote.
Here’s the post that has everyone nodding and sobbing:
“I am both.
I’m both “I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT THIS SECOND” and “I hope you don’t expect me to put that bra back on and go anywhere.”
I am at once “why do my friends never invite me places anymore?” and “oh great, how am I going to get out of this one?”
I am “for the love of all that is holy if one more person touches me I will fall to the ground in a pile of cold ash” and I’m “someone get over here and snuggle me to sleep, already.”
I am “I’m so embarrassed my house is a disaster,” and I’m “judge me, fedex guy, I freaking dare you.”
I’m together sucking it all in until the day I die and proud of the beautiful belly I’ve earned.
I’m both getting up early to do all the things and making love to the snooze button for two hours.
I’m in four inch heels and big earrings and then too I’m in bleach-stained sweatpants and fuzzy socks.
I’m quinoa and bone broth and whole 30 and I’m chips and dip and caramel lattes and a too-big glass of chilled wine with ice on the front porch.
I’m the kind of depression that hangs from your neck and settles like a weight on your back, dragging you down towards the dark, and I’m also the kind of morning sunlight that bursts arrogant through the trees and makes shadows that look like art and dance when the breeze blows just right.
I’m the woman who doesn’t want vacation to ever end and I’m the one who CANNOT WAIT to get back home.
I’ve never been so tired and I’ve never felt more alive.
I’m the oldest I’ve ever been and yet I will never again be this young.
I’m a mom, and I’m still me.
I’m afraid, and I’m still doing it.
I’m lonely, and I’m blessed.
And that’s enough right now.”
“I’m afraid and I’m still doing it”
Women commenting on Liz’s share were relieved to see so many of their own secret thoughts out in the open, in black and white on-screen.
“This is me. You crawled right into my soul and wrote it down on paper. There are so many kindred spirits here when I thought I was alone in it,” one wrote.
“This is freaking amazing. I’m crying. Me. You. Us. Together. Just yes. See, I can’t even put a coherent sentence together because I’m having all the feels,” another posted.
“I’m afraid and I’m still doing it” – such powerful words and so ME. I raised two kids on my own on a near-poverty level wage and no support – the fear was palpable every single day. Now I watch those two lovely women raising their own children and I marvel at how calm and confident they are. Where did that come from when I was a quaking mess the whole time I raised them?” an awesome mum commented.
Where did that come from indeed. Just further proof – from a mum who has done the hard yards – that we truly can be a total mess and a total triumph, all on the very same day (sometimes in the very same minute, even!).