I sometimes feel like I’m the only person feeling what I’m feeling, but I KNOW that’s not true, so I plan to make this post “sticky” – so that this is the post that someone reads first when stumbling across my blog. Because I want you to know what real life is like around here. I have said before that Pinterest is for people with lots of time, an only child (or no kids at all), and a live-in maid. I still believe that. Because many of the picture perfect projects, hairstyles, and fashion ideas on Pinterest are impossible for someone like me. And while I know that I am a unique individual, and I KNOW noone has my exact set of circumstances, I know moms. Lots of them. And I see the competitions and the pain, and I KNOW the feeling. Ya know, that one that says “If I don’t do what that mom is doing with her kids, with my own, then I’m not as good as she is.”
THAT COULDN’T BE A BIGGER LIE.
I read this post from The Artful Parent a while back, and it made me really sit up and take notice. We all (even our idols) have someone that we idolize and want to be just like. I would love to be like Jean Van’t Hul. I would love to be willing to let my kids get paint all over themselves to end up with a fabulous piece of art when they are done. I was even so proud of myself when I bought sponges and cut them into shapes for Becca to stamp on paper with finger paints. Have we done it yet? No. BUT THAT’S OK.
You see, you might look through my blog, or any other mom’s blog, and see things that you want to do with your kids, that you can easily do in just a couple minutes and work great for your family. Or, you might look through with different eyes and see all the things you AREN’T doing with your kids, and begin to feel guilty. PLEASE DON’T!
As moms, we have these things called “Mommy Wars” – Do you cloth diaper or use disposable? Do you breast feed or formula feed? Pacifier or not? Circumcision or not? Baby wearing or stroller using? Regular baby food or homemade? Fast food or organic at home? Homeschool or public school? Private Christian or Montessori? TV or not? Sleepovers with friends or not? Homework before play or after? All these issues are put in front of us on an almost DAILY basis, and we are often made to feel that OUR WAY is WRONG. Because who ever we are talking to or reading about firmly believes that they are right. AND THEY ARE.
What? They are right? YES. They are perfectly right. They know exactly what their family needs. The problem comes in because our mind then wants to take that information and say that we are wrong. And thats where you ARE wrong. Because they ARE right. They know what’s right for them, but you are wrong to thing that what you do in your home is wrong. Lots of negatives. Lots of positives. Let me break it down more clearly for you:
Your real life is your real life.
And it’s exactly what your family needs it to be.
Their real life is their real life.
And it’s exactly what their family needs it to be.
You are you, she is she. There’s no way around it. Somehow we as moms have to break out of this lock that seems to be on our brains that says that we are not “good enough” if we don’t do what others do. Honey, noone else has your kids, your husband, your house, your personality, your physical abilities or lack their of. Noone else is you. SO STOP COMPARING YOURSELF!
I started recording the activities I’m doing with Becca on more of a regular basis because I’m prone to forget, and I don’t want to. I want to remember her cute little replies, the fun stuff we’ve done, and all that, so I can share it with her when she’s older. And so that I can replicate some of these fun things when little brother comes along in a couple years. I DO NOT BLOG TO UPSET ANYONE. I DO NOT BLOG TO PUT ANYONE DOWN. I DO NOT BLOG TO MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF OR YOUR PARENTING ABILITIES.
And now, here’s the hardest truth of all – I DO NOT BLOG TO PUT MYSELF DOWN WHEN I HAVE A BAD DAY. Because you see, despite all the other moms out there that can make us feel bad about ourselves, it’s our own mind that is our worst enemy. Days like I had yesterday are miserable because my own mind plays tricks on me and tells me I can do better and that I’m being a bad mom – I’m not living up to the standards I have set for myself.
But I’ve never lived yesterday before, and I’ll never live it again (THANK GOD!). I won’t ever wake up with exactly the same issues on my mind, or have exactly the same tasks to complete. The kids will never be that exact age again. Because yesterday was a singular event. And the fact that it didn’t go real well… well, that’s just life. It’s ok that we were way off of our nap schedule. It’s ok that I felt like crap. It’s ok that I forgot several things I was supposed to do until well after they should have been done. It’s ok that Becca didn’t have a fun new activity to do after nap. It’s ok that the only pictures I took of the kids were at the church yesterday morning while we did stuff for MOPS. It’s ok that Grayson’s morning nap was finally taken when he simply couldn’t stay awake anymore and fell asleep in the bouncy chair.
Seriously… isn’t he adorable?
It’s ok that I fed Becca a crappy meal from Whataburger in the car because our timing was so far off that anything else just wasn’t gonna happen. It’s ok that when I went to bed the sink was still full of dishes because after I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher I just couldn’t stand and hand wash the leftovers. It’s ok that there’s laundry piled high in our room because I just couldn’t bear to stand and hang it up before bed.
Because despite all the negative feelings I had TOWARD MYSELF because my brain was telling me I wasn’t living up to my standards, GOOD THINGS DID HAPPEN YESTERDAY! The MOPS closet at the church is cleaned out and organized, and moms were able to do that because I watched their children. Becca was sweet and caring and played well with her friends. We snuggled under the blanket on the couch and watched Super Why together after nap time, and I was once again amazed at how her reading abilities are growing. And yesterday’s biggest victory – she went pee pee in the potty at bedtime!!
Ladies, Mommies, PLEASE. Please don’t read the posts on this blog and feel guilty. Please know that I’m happy to share these ideas with folks who have the desire and ability to make them work in their own families, but these are NOT meant to hurt anyone. They are not meant to make you put yourself down. Heck, I know how hard life is. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have two kids. I work from home several hours a day. I have more plates spinning than should even be possible – causing my head to spin on quite a regular basis. I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE BUSY. I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO FEEL CRAZY. Please know that real life DOES happen around here. We do not live in a bubble of perfection. We are FAR from it.
You are not alone. You are not an island. If the activities here are helpful, then read them. If they aren’t, then please, don’t compare yourself to me. You aren’t me, and God didn’t make you to be. Find your happy place. Find the place where you are content to be the woman and wife and mommy that God created YOU to be. Because you are the only one He created to be exactly like you. And you are the only one that can be you to your husband and your kids. Be the YOU that God created you to be, and be PROUD of that person!