Why I don’t want to be a Pinterest-perfect mom

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At one time in my life, I pored over Pinterest every night. Sometimes, for hours. My boards got bigger, and so did my guilt.

I never got around to making that diaper-cake for that baby shower, or refinish all my furniture. It just didn’t happen.

The thing is, Pinterest is amazing. The fact that I do not need to buy cook books anymore alone is one of the reasons I love Pinterest. From a practical standpoint, Pinterest is fantastic. I can search for ideas for free and simply save them all in one place. I’m not complaining about that. Plus, as a blogger, it almost seems necessary to have an active Pinterest account.

My problem is not so much with Pinterest, but with the age-old issue of people trying to make things like parenting or marriage look so “easy” and “beautiful”. Babies are adorable. They look precious lying on a bed of feathers with a lace headband in a photography shoot, but, come on, that little person still poops over a dozen times a day. Parenting, while the most awesome thing I have experienced, is anything but neat or easy. It is dirty, exhausting, and really, really hard most of the time.

As much as I wish I had the perfect house-warming gift with a personalized tag on it, or whoopie pies made from scratch for a brunch, the truth is I am usually running behind and throwing something together that usually looks like a bowl of mush. It will probably taste good, but it won’t ever look like something I want to photograph and throw on Pinterest. I just don’t have time for that.

The sad truth is I do worry about what people think. I struggle with not having a clean house when friends drop by on a whim. I apologize for toys all over the living room floor. I stress about my daughter’s appearance when I run errands, because her idea of “beautiful” is hair that hasn’t been brushed for days, a face full of food, pajama’s in the afternoon, and boots with no socks. I get annoyed when I don’t have time to workout or tweeze my bushy eyebrows or get around to sending Christmas cards out on time (will I ever accomplish that?). I long to have my home clean and dinner ready on time. I want my child to have a schedule, but I struggle with consistency. I long to have time to smear on some lipstick, put on a bit of perfume, and look nice for my husband from time to time instead of wear the same old yoga pants and baseball tee that seems to be my daily wardrobe.

One of my biggest writing blocks on this blog is that I love to share ideas or inspirations, but I feel insufficient to do such a thing. I am insecure, but it is more than insecure. I know that making things on a whim isn’t easy. There is always a time cost. I am not an expert on anything, and never will be. I am a mom trying to do my best day to day and constantly falling short.

Facebook and Pinterest have had less of a draw for me lately. I feel drained many times after checking my newsfeed or boards. I feel like I am missing out, somehow, and I realize more and more that I am simply missing out on my family.

Why is it so hard for me to just unplug and have downtime with my family? I recognize this issue as time presses on, and know it is one I need to face. I love not answering my phone for a whole day (or turning it off), getting lost watching my daughter play pretend games, and reading book after book and cuddling in bed. Yet, I feel the pull of my”to-do” and feel guilty if I don’t get back to people quickly or do something else in my life sloppy.

That is just the problem, I know in my gut that as a mom I will drop balls. Many balls. But maybe, for this season, it is ok to drop balls here and there. Perhaps it is even a better choice to, at one time or another, let a few responsibilities go. Still, I struggle with not doing things right, perfectly, or on time. I want to have more grace for myself as a mom, and other moms who feel the same pressure I feel… to do less judging and much more understanding. How we need that as mother’s.

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Hey Mom, watch this!

My daughter doesn’t need a perfect mom. My husband doesn’t, either. They need a mom who is honest about who she is, real about her mistakes, and genuine about her convictions. Teaching my daughter how to do everything isn’t all she needs. She needs to see forgiveness, grace, people make mistakes and learn from them, and love. Love is real, love delays errands and unnecessary things for the truly urgent needs of others. Love makes room for laughter, mourning, and inconveniences.

When people visit my home, I really don’t want them to be overwhelmed by how organized and pretty my rooms are (and let’s be honest here, they won’t be!). What I really want them to be overwhelmed by is the love they feel when they are with me and the kindness they are shown. I want to be present… with those in my home, and most importantly, with my family.

Not distracted by crafts, recipes, decor ideas, and vanity.

What I do know is my daughter needs my presence more than anything else. Being a mom isn’t about doing everything right, never making mistakes, or being the best hostess ever. Being a mom is kissing my daughter’s boo-boo’s, saying bedtime prayers with her, and stopping what I am doing to play a game of hide-and-seek. It is yogurt in my hair, chocolate on my shirt, and dirt under my nails. It is not caring what people think when we sing, loudly, “You are my sunshine”. It is jumping in muddy puddles (like Peppa Pig!), playing dress up, and holding her at night after a nightmare. Motherhood isn’t something that happens when I wanna play Mommy. It is around the clock, sometimes scary, often inconvenient, and when I step back to look at it all, simply precious. It is “Mom and Dad, I’m scared” at 2am, staying up all night when she has a stomach bug, and flinching every time she hits her head on a corner.

I love being a momma to my baby.

What about you? Do you struggle with stressing out over these sorts of things? Share with me!

Comments

  1. says

    I think Pinterest is a great place to get ideas and inspiration but it can definitely be overwhelming! Even when I’ve been using it as a dream board for our house, sometimes I get too caught up in how perfect a person’s room looks and how mine doesn’t look like that. But then I remember that I’m making my house mine and I don’t want mine magazine perfect, I want mine to feel like home!

    • Tiffany Cutcliff says

      I agree. Especially when I am taking blogging pics and my background living room is “ew, gross”- stacked with toys and all mismatching. But like you said, I want my house to feel like home, and my daughter sure loves to play with her toys!

  2. Laina Turner says

    Pinterest is amazing but man you’re right it can make us moms feel like we’re not living up to expectation.

  3. says

    I purposely avoid my feed on Pinterest. I search only what I am looking for so it narrows the focus and leaves me feeling less overwhelmed. Even then it’s a bit overload but it’s not as bad. I get the feeling though. I work full-time and I’m usually away from home 7:30am – 7pm. Sunday’s are spent at church in the morning and grocery shopping in the afternoon and meal prepping in the evening. I’ll be damned if I spend my Saturday’s stressing over meeting someone else’s level of perfection.

    • Tiffany Cutcliff says

      I have started doing the same thing! I only search when I need something and hardly “browse” anymore. The same with Facebook- I am usually on with a purpose! Thanks for the comment! Oh- and you are super busy, good for you for staying focused and living with intention.

  4. says

    Absolutely beautiful post <3 I agree with everything you said here. I am so addicted to Pinterest but you are right, sometimes I would get a little bummed that my house didn't look as amazing as other peoples, or I didn't have an amazing photo collage on the wall, or new DIY art to hang… but my daughter and husband know how much I love them and that I try, so that's all that really matters to me.

  5. says

    Tiffany… I LOVED this post. Seriously I can relate to everything you are saying!! Thank you SO MUCH for being so honest! The internet is hard, the comparison game is hard, it just feeds at our insecurities… but I read something recently (I wish I could remember where) and it was something along the lines of being more patient when you are in the moment.

    I truly believe I am a better mom when I disconnect, when I’m in the moment, regardless of the pinterest crafts or food that I’m putting on the table. 🙂

    I am going to feature this post as one of my top 5’s from the week (just a link to it) if that’s ok with you! So well done!! xoxo

    • says

      Also I just want to add… I almost bought a bigger house thanks to the pinterest/comparison pull… I almost lost sight of what is importance, of what I have right in front of me… 🙂 So yes I have all of the same feelings as you do. A lot of people are going to relate to this.

      • Tiffany Cutcliff says

        Ah- thanks for adding this, yes. We are constantly wanting to renovate and really have to regularly meet about our priorities vs. “wants”. I usually have to take a good, long break from Pinterest and Houzz, and so does my husband.

    • Tiffany Cutcliff says

      Tawna, you always leave the kindest comments that make a person’s day! I SO need to work on my patience. It is one of my greatest downfall’s. Thanks so much for featuring my post! It means so much.

    • balancingemma says

      I think that patience is key. It is something that I write in my planner every day. I find that I struggle with that every day with a tantrum throwing 17 month old!

  6. Jenny @ Unremarkable Files says

    Thanks for this post! I’ve also noticed an inverse relationship between size of my Pinterest boards and happiness. I guess all those people who talk about “moderation” must be on to something…

  7. Sasha says

    I love this! I am not yet a mother but can already feel the pressure of tons of moms around me. Beyond Pinterest, how do you respond/deal with those moms that “out-mom” everyone else and seem to really be able to “do it all”? My sister seems to manage it all and acts so almighty that it scares me to pieces to have kids of my own because I don’t aspire to be that way and imagine it’s going to be a beautiful disaster in my house (which I am sure will disturb her immensely).

    • Tiffany Cutcliff says

      I don’t hang out with them.

      Ha, I am totally kidding! 🙂 I truly believe each mom is different in her parenting styles and personality. I have a few friends who are complete scheduled people and operate on a to-do list type of lifestyle. I am not that way! So we simply talk to each other about our differences and appreciate both sides. I no longer envy other women who pretend like they have it all together or look like perfect parents, because I know that does not exist. I DO look up to women who are content with their lives and make time for their marriage and are loving and patient with their kids despite the insanity of being a mom much more than a mom who keeps her house perfect and looks perfect! I love women who are humble and honest and transparent about being a mom and try to make friends with gals like that.

      • Tiffany Cutcliff says

        And one more thing, one of my good friends said that “cleaning up after a toddler is like trying to brush your teeth with crushed Oreo’s.” She is right! 😉 But it is worth the mess!

    • Tiffany Cutcliff says

      Weddings have totally gotten nuts! I cannot believe how much some cost now! They sure can be beautiful, though. I am glad Pinterest wasn’t huge when I got married!

  8. balancingemma says

    You warmed my heart with this post. I think that this is exactly how I feel. Stretched between fifteen worlds, all expecting the most out of me. Except I have been trying to be all that, and failing. Thank you for your inspiring words of wisdom. Tonight, I wont feel guilty that my laundry isn’t done and that my floor is a mess, instead I will help my daughter build a block tower just so she can knock it down.

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