Perfection Does Not Exist
with Michele Lovetri
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Michele Lovetri and I created the blog Michele Lovetri – In My Own Words. This blog grew from my journey through postpartum depression and anxiety along with my evolution as a mother to fraternal twin boys. I wanted to connect us through the beauty and the mess of it all. I want to help others feel less alone. I want to break the stigma that social media creates around mental health and parenthood. I have been married to my husband for 7 years and our boys are 2 ½.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I was in the depths of postpartum depression and anxiety and was struggling so much to connect with my boys a dear friend told me, “Love grows.” I suddenly realized that I didn’t know them, nor did they know me and we had to get to know each other and let the love grow. I realized that it was my illness making me feel this way, not me as a mother or as a person. It profoundly changed my journey.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
Oh this is a fun one! I wish we could see ourselves as adults when we’re younger. I think we would go about this teenager thing a lot differently. I would tell her not to care what others think and that although you feel different from the others you are far more beautiful than you realize. I had awful self-esteem as a child, teen, young adult and well for most of my life. I continually wanted to be anyone else but myself and I know it broke my mother’s heart. I cared so much about what others thought of me. Looking back now I feel bad for her but am so happy with how far she has come.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
That perfection does not exist. There isn’t a perfect woman. There isn’t a perfect mother. That what we see on tv, or on social media does not depict true life. Our imperfections unite us and those qualities are what make us beautiful. All we do is strive to be better. Better mothers, wives, friends, siblings, entrepreneurs, and the list goes on. We worry so much about what’s next that we forget what is. We worry so much about everyone else and their needs we forget our own. I want women to know that it’s ok to press pause and focus on yourself. Whether that be for a few minutes a day, one minute, or an hour. It’s whatever is going to make you breathe and come back to yourself. We are only human.
What do you love most about yourself?
I have grown to love how strong I am. More so mentally than physically. Nothing has challenged me more than postpartum depression and anxiety. While the depression is better, the anxiety is overwhelming at times. It is something I battle every single day of my life. At times it has gotten so bad that I question whether I would have had kids had I known it would be this bad. I can feel very trapped in my body. Anxiety had also taught me what a fighter and survivor I am. Battling this illness takes everything I have but I will meet it day in and day out and I know I will win, each and every time.
What do you do everyday to grow and move forward?
I do a lot of reflection and I try to find something to be grateful for every single day. I have made friends with my anxiety if that makes any sense. I try and embrace the day. I try and not live in fear of it and I try to use my experiences to lift others up and create a foundation where they feel less alone. I have been doing a series entitled “Dear Anxiety” on Instagram and it highlights my real thoughts, and the thoughts of so many who suffer with anxiety, while providing strength and the courage to say “I’m not ok.”
What is something on your bucket list?
I will one day get to travel to Australia. But being healthy for many many years to come and watching my boys grow up is at the top.
What is the biggest thing you have learned along the way?
The biggest lessons I have learned have come with motherhood. I have learned that no one has this all figured out. I learned that there is no one right way to parent. I have learned that motherhood is filled with judgement but deep down we are all just doing the best we can and raising these babes as best we know how. I have learned that we must embrace today because tomorrow it all can change. While we cannot live in fear we can certainly grow in gratitude. Each day I wake to my family is such a blessing. I have also learned that we need each other more than we think. This road of mental health, this road of parenthood, these roads are not meant to be traveled alone. We need to lean on each other thru the mess, thru the chaos and thru the days where we don’t feel as strong. What we have to learn from each other is so much greater than ourselves.
More About Michele
Michele Lovetri founded a blog with the mission to unite parents and people. She believes we need more people in this world to tell us, ” I get it,” “You’re not alone,” and “You’re supported.” We’re all on this crazy ride of parenthood and life together and her hope is that through her blog she can offer an area of refuge. Michele is a mom to fraternal twin boys that are 2 1/2 and has been married to her best friend for seven years. She started her blog as a result of her postpartum depression and anxiety struggles and the ever evolving journey of motherhood.