Lately, I’ve read a lot of blog confessions that I can relate to. Not the ones about looking at my iPhone rather than my kids or wiping their snot on my housecoat sleeves and rolling them over (it’s not a confession if everyone knows you do it). I’ve been reading the ones about Pinterest, and how it makes me feel like I’m not meeting ‘mom standards’ aka got me feeling Pinadequate.
I mean, there is always gonna be that one over-achiever mom who tries to make her whole life Pin-worthy. You know the one who throws her two-year-old a birthday with sandwich sculptures of Dora, individual homemade yurts for each kid to nap in and rainbow-dyed organic handmade candles on the 3D interactive jungle cake. You find yourself cursing her as you are sitting on her stupid dual-flush toilet wiping with a stupid toilet paper origami swan and washing in her stupid rock-filled sink with vegan handmade stupid soap derived from her neighbour’s kitchen scraps. ‘Oh? What’s that? You saw it on Pinterest?! I’ve only met one mom like that and I got over it by the time I was stuffing my face with cake. She was an over-achiever but she made awesome cake (of course she did!).
But I still love Pinterest, I love seeing great organization ideas or adorable (doable) themed birthdays. I love putting together ideas/aspirations/visions that I didn’t even know I had and/or may never get the time to attain. But Pinterest and Mom Bloggers didn’t invent these things – it’s not new. I remember a princess birthday with handmade tiaras and the barbie cake; an Easter with rice krispie baskets; and handmade matching outfits for me and my cabbage patch kid. I’m sure my mom was buying all the Woman’s World and homemaking magazines available and dog-earring all the projects she hoped to do. I’m also sure there was some other mom rolling her eyes at my mom’s pineapple-shaped invitation to her Hawaiian Luau dinner party that was really an excuse to drink pina coladas, put flowers around necks and joke that you got ‘lei’ed (the only verifiable fact in this statement is that my mama does make a mean pina colada)
I enjoy a good DIY. I usually will make something rather than buy it – but I’ve had a lot of fails (so many I stopped taking Pinfail photos) and I still haven’t mastered how to keep my toilet paper on the holder or keep a kitchen herb alive. I’ve even had to take a little break from certain bloggers or Instgrammers who made it look too flipping easy to keep their brood of naturally-birthed kids well behaved in public; their house run on the dewey decimal system with the latest decor trends and themselves sensibly and stylishly pulled together. That’s not real life, not mine at least….
….but I still try, and I don’t want the fear of being judged by another mom to keep me from sharing a project I am passionate about. It’s easy to hate on the Pinterest mom, but at the end of the day, you have to respect something that is there…. the passion. Being a mom (especially a stay at home mom) can sometimes feel like you are drowning in a sea of dishes, diapers, demands, meal times and routines. This day in, day out routine can be relentlessly boring. You need something more than monotony.
Once you’ve become bored, or resentful, or frustrated, or have lost sight of the value you have as a mother and wife maybe you have lost your passion. When you lose your passion you risk losing your ambition and joy. You start running on auto-pilot (been there, done that!) and it ain’t a pretty thing for you and everyone around you. (Disclaimer: Not applicable to pregnant or nursing women. Your hormones just surged through your body like a tsunami and your body needs time to recalibrate – also you have a little babe that needs you. Put your feet up, make/nurse a baby and watch Mad Men. There is lots of time for washi tape and custom drawn comic books of your kid’s lives).
There are so many chances to fall into this passionless place in motherhood. But what do these Pinterest moms do? They make a handmade game for their kids, put a little vavoom in their wardrobe, hunt for furniture to restore, make meal planning boards. Why? Because they are choosing to do more than the day in, day out. They choose to be a little more passionate about their living.
There are Pinterest moms out there who might do it from a place of perfectionism, or performing – but there are a whole lotta Pinterest moms who are just getting in touch with that passionate spring inside them. They are trying things, doing things, putting themselves out there.
One of the biggest lies we all buy into is that we have to be perfect to be loveable – so we make a subconscious checklist of what perfect looks like, usually by comparing ourselves to others. In my eyes, perfect does not make us loveable, being loving makes us loveable and where there is love there is passion.
Look for passions in your own daily life. Maybe it is in how you peel an orange, the way you braid your girl’s hair, how you stake your beanpoles, collecting stamps, or memorizing the lyrics to ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’. It can be anything at all, but it doesn’t have to be everything.
So before you judge that mom who stayed up all night to make cookie monster cupcakes for their two-year-old’s birthday (even if they didn’t work out) put away your measuring stick and tell her they are great and eat one like cookie monster to give those cupcakes the respect they deserve!
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