I have found that when you are up in the middle of the night with a baby for the better part of 10 months you have a lot of time to think about stuff. Some of the time is spent thinking about ridiculous things like, why is the food at Ikea so cheap? Or if water aerobics is so good for you, why do only old people do it?
Other times the thoughts are of the serious and reflective type. In the middle of the night I can't help but wonder, "Am I the kind of mother I want to be?"
Today I used the kid's nap to do a little Pinteresting (that is the verb right?!) and catch up on some blog reading. One of (more like 30 of) my lovely mommy friends has pinned one of those "Rules for Mothers of Sons" type posts that are floating around - myself included. Why do we (loving moms) feel compelled to pin stuff like that? Not one of those posts contains anything more than an idealized picture of parenthood. If my friend group is any indication, the moms who make those posts so popular are not the ones who need to be reminded to "hug their sons" or "let them get really dirty." They are sweet and I understand that some days we just need to remind ourselves what kind of mom we are striving to be...on our best days. But today?
Today I am not buying it. Being a mom is hard enough without feeling like every other mom out there is following through with all of these ideals, while my kids pull toys out of each other's hands and I chase after them in a coffee stained t-shirt yelling empty threats. Don't get me wrong, I totally get sucked in to all of the delicious looking desserts and crisp linen closets, the amazing playrooms and custom party favors...but that is SO not my life. Yes we have a cute playroom, but it almost always looks like a crime scene.
Just like home improvement shows make me feel like my house is a dump (which it certainly is not), Pinterest has a way of making me feel totally inadequate. I am not writing this post so that you will tell me how wonderful I am. I know that I am a caring and devoted mother/wife who works hard to keep the house from caving in around us. I am just venting my frustration, on this particular day, with social media. It of course doesn't stop at Pinterest, I suspect that most people's entire online identity is a polished up version of reality. I know mine is. I am totally guilty of changing the kids out of their pjs at 4 in the afternoon so that I can take a few pictures for the blog. In truth, Ben wears pjs almost all of the time. I can't be bothered with "real clothes" for a baby.
I will also fess up that behind every homemade meal I have pinned (or will pin in the future for that matter) is a veggie chicken nugget served right out of the microwave. For every beautiful handmade craft, is a dollar store coloring book and a handful of stickers I swiped from the pediatricians office.
If this post has any purpose at all, it is to serve as a reminder to myself that things aren't "Pinterest perfect" every minute of the day. My kids are happy, healthy, and will just as eagerly eat store bought play-doh as the homemade kind.