I have a confession to share. As most confessions go, it’s kind of an ugly one. It involves a bit of jealous, insecurity, and feelings of inadequacy.
Here it goes…
I’m the Queen of Putting Unnecessary Pressure On Myself. Seriously. I do it all the time. I look at all the moms out there and wonder, how do you do it? How do you have your mom-shit together so perfectly?
You do DIY projects like crazy. And they turn out great! You cook homemade meals from scratch, using no processed foods and free range chicken. You have beautiful things in your beautiful home. You have unlimited patience. Your children are always so neat and lovely and wonderful, and you are always so stylish and trendy. You rock the SAHM gig, the WAHM gig the whatever you may be doing gig with a fresh face and food spill free clothes. The truth is, I admire you.
And you make me want to cry.
It’s not your fault, it’s really not. It’s mine, for putting you on pedestals. It’s not good to put people you don’t really know on pedestals. It’s not good to put anyone on a pedestal, actually.
But it’s human nature to compare, and compare I do. I don’t mean to compare, but I do. I’ll be strumming along, reading all these blogs, and I’ll think of the people behind them as perfect. Perfect people, people outfits, perfect adventures, perfect homes, and I’ll feel small. I know, in reality, nobody and nothing is perfect. People in the blogging world are a lot like the characters in books — even me! You only know what you read, there are scenes you don’t get a glimpse of, and you often turn a blind eye to their not so great qualities even when you’re presented with them (see also; the worlds obsession with male characters like Edward Cullen and Christian Grey. Can you say ew?). Most people, understandably so, put their best faces on for the blogging world, and the real world too.
Each day, I read a lot of blogs written by fantastic moms about their daily adventures and style books. Each day, I feel a little bit deflated when I peek down at my sweat pants and baggy t-shirt.
If I could just make homemade pickles or jams, have myself and my kids dressed immediately upon waking every single day. If I could only get my kids to eat all their veggies…and their meats. And, well, anything outside of the grilled cheese & Mac and Cheese family. If only I had killer outfits and fantastic hair. If only I could always have my mom-shit together.
I want to have my mom-shit together. I truly do. I want to be able to know I rock this gig in my core, as some of you lovely people do. But I lack that confidence. I am an over thinker, I strive for perfection and when I can’t have that perfection, I pout about it. Perfection is exhausting. I’ll go days of striving to be the Stepford wife and mom type, and then I’ll just give up for a bit. I’ll still clean, but not as obsessively.
I suck at finding the balance between “obsessive cleaning mom” and “totally fun mom”. One day I’m one type, the next day I’m the other. There’s several of you that always manage to have a spotless house and be doing fun activities at the same time. How though? What’s your secret? Is it photoshop? Please tell me it’s photoshop?
Truthfully, I know I am to blame here. I put such pressure on myself and then get discouraged when I fall short of my own expectations. In some cases, I’m learning to let go. I’m learning to take a chill pill and just let it be. I love my kids, and besides…are they really going to look back on their childhood and get angry about not having a mom that made homemade pickles and DIY crafts whilst always having a spotless home? Are they going to look back and scoff at the less-than-trendy furniture we had (that wouldn’t be so terrible if certain children didn’t continuously decorate it in kid-goo)? Are they going to notice the things I didn’t do, or couldn’t do?
I already know they’ll likely laugh at my wardrobe choices. I laugh at my wardrobe choices, most days. Some days I can kill it in one of the few semi-cute secondhand dresses I have, but…my wardrobe is worn. Typically, I’m okay with that. I’d rather focus on more important things, like little adventures with my family and shoveling food into my mouth hole.
More often than not, I forget my importance. I forget that we do a lot of remarkable things, abide small things. I forget because I get too busy comparing myself to other people. I’m too busy looking at what I’m not doing, or not able to do, when I should be seeing what I am doing.
I’m working on changing this, because no one is perfect, no one should be placed on a pedestal. We are all human, we all have our not-so-great moments.
I just happen to be very open with mine.
I’m open with my not-so-great moments and our struggles because I hope to help similar people like me, who battle feelings of inadequacy on the daily. Inspired by themselves, of course. But I hope to convey the message to them that it’s ok if you don’t have spotless floors and educational activities planned every waking moment of the day. And it’s ok if you do. It’s ok if you don’t get yourself and your kids dressed until 9am or later because you’re busy taking advantage of the fact that your usually busy children are all soft and snugly and not fully awake yet, and it’s ok if you do get yourself/everyone else dressed too.
I want to thank the moms out there who seem to always have their mom-shit together, because you’re doing a great job. I also want to thank the moms, like me, who don’t always have their mom-shit together, because you’re doing a great job too.
Back pats and high fives, we’re all raising beautiful kids and doing great things with our days. Even if some of us (see: me) sometimes don’t feel that they’ve done great things.
There is a simple perfection of playing in the dirt all day with no plans. I know it, and my boys know it. And I’m sure they don’t mind when I have raccoon eyes, so long as I keep reading their favourite books. These seemingly small activities mean the world to those small boys, raccoon eyes and sweat pants aside.