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.
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!