This is something I have been thinking about since mid October, when I saw Soleil Moon Frye (remember Punky Brewster?) pedaling her new book on some TV show – she was talking about motherhood, and how you have to “embrace the mess” and not worry about how life and the house gets messy, just enjoy it for what it is . . .
And then they showed pictures of her and her children “in their mess . . .” — it seriously looked like they were at a party, with colorful banners and things, and Soleil looking adoringly at her daughter. And it made me gag.
My mess doesn’t look like a party. My mess looks like a mess.
And I can’t hire someone to come clean it up for me.
Then a few days later I was blog surfing and came across a mommy blog where some woman was talking about the fun things she does with her kids. I can get on board with that. I talk about the fun thing I do with my kids all the time . . .
And then I read her sidebar. It said – and I quote:
“I am a fun mom. I don’t worry if the house gets dirty.”
And I stopped reading right there. I clicked the x at the top of the tab, and closed the blog never to return again.
Because really, does never worrying about your house make you a fun mom? And by fun, I mean, better than me?
I’ve heard women complain that mommy blogs make them feel like they have to “keep up” with the picture perfect reality portrayed on the internet. I’ve never really felt that about other blogs that I’ve read (excepting the one I mentioned above of course.)
But then I got on Pinterest –
My life would be so much better if I had blah blah blah . . .
Those moms must be AMAZING if they have time to make blah blah blah . . .
I wish I was blah blah blah . . .
Like a teenager being pushed to anorexia by the media’s portrayal of “ideal” – I somehow felt inferior by my very “fat” and ordinary life.
And so I did what any normal teenage girl who loves yummy food would do – I turned the media off. I got off Pinterest. I even stopped reading other blogs for a while.
“Did you see?” my friends would ask me.
And then I remembered an afternoon long ago – it was just after I had graduated from college. Something happened – my life was in crisis. Not just “hey, you’re having a bad day” sort of stuff, but long term I’m going to be facing these challenges for years sort of stuff.
And I remember sitting at work, feeling like I was about to go postal with all the stress and sadness I felt.
And then the words came – “Count your Blessings.” (Complete with a tune!)
So I started a list. It’s still taped into my journal. It was 52 points long before my work shift was over. And they were real blessings too – not just things like “the sky is blue today” but real things that were long term blessings I have had in my life.
By the end of the day I felt so optimistic about my life. How could it get any better?!
And the same is true today. Even on the days when all I do is tackle that mountain of laundry that I swear was just done yesterday, or run errands that should only take a few hours but end up taking all day, or burn the dinner or read books to the kids or attend school Christmas programs or listen to Calvin tell me all about how he’s “hungry” – does life ever get any better than this?
I think not.
And so, I present you with my picture perfect reality.