people often ask me how i do it-keeping it all together, being so attentive to details and my kids.
just kidding. no one ever asks me that.
probably mostly because we are lucky to all be dressed fully when we leave the house. and usually i forget something really important. like deodorant.
but when people do say anything along the lines of, "good job" i instantly feel like something is up, because i do not feel like i am doing a good job at anything lately.
i think i am not alone. i think probably most mothers feel like they are failing in some area of their lives.
i see a lot of "articles" (if you can call blog posts articles) about how social media and sites like pinterest are heaping mounds of pressure on our heads. but i am not sure that is really the culprit. yes, we live in an information age, where we have a glimpse into what other parents are doing, 24/7. but i am not convinced this is inflicting the guilt that we claim it does.
sure, we see pictures of becky at the beach with her cute little baby. any of us who have cute little babies know that it's all dreamy and glorious for about 10 minutes. then little cutie sticks a fist full of sand in his mouth and starts screaming, right as a gust of wind blows the top off of your styrofoam cooler, sending you running clumsily after it (because who can run in sand and a bathing suit holding a baby and her sun hat on? this ain't baywatch, people), only to come back and find that the sea gulls ate all your bread and your water is floating in the tide. but hey, i got a good picture, and darnit, i will instagram this bad boy so i can have proof that i am in a cool place.
we blame social media for feeling like we are not living our best life, but really, if you are spending that much time on facebook, your problem is probably staring you in the face.
i think as mothers, we judge ourselves harshly, sure, but i am rarely thinking of what that doctor who wrote that book said about how yelling at my child will permanently damage her ego, causing her to want to blow stuff up. generally, when i am harshest on myself, it's because the person i identify with is not shining.
i am losing the 'me' i think i ought to be. honestly, that comes the moment we decided to have kids. i love them, so much so that it hurts. and having them in my life feels complete. but there are days, when my hair is a hot mess, the scale is lying (because it's a lying liar.), and i've found some weird sign that i am, in fact, no longer 18, when the house is a mess and the laundry is not done, there are days, where i jut feel like a failure.
i remember before i had kids, thinking, "when i (said with all the self righteousness a non-kidded person can muster) am an adult, my house will be clean and my kids will not look homeless all the time". and this is what i'm talking about. some weird expectation that houses are always picture perfect and kids never get chocolate all over their toes when eating m&m's (seriously, how does that happen???), which existed long before the internet started showing us pictures of people perfect houses.
this week, i am going to try to lose my unrealistic expectations. yes, i want my house to be tidy. and i want my kids to be clean. but mostly, i want to feel sane and i want my kids to be happy and free to enjoy being kids. i will not apologize when someone drops by and there are toys all over the floor. and i will not stress when "eating a strawberry" looks like a bad makeup job on a horror film.
and also, cora is 5 months old, going on a year apparently (she is nearly 20 lbs!)