Over the last few weeks and months I’ve read quite a number of news stories and Facebook posts about how Pinterest and ‘Mommy blogs’ are making life hard for mothers. Most with an underlying theme that those of us who DIY and make are all A-type overachievers with nothing more to do than to compete at motherhood.
This one, was posted yesterday on the Facebook page of a Mommy blogger and clearly states in its title that Modern Moms are looking for perfection in all the wrong places.
I feel compelled to comment. Particularly as of late, I’ve had a number of people not so subtly hint that I’m creating problems for other mothers.
Yes I bake elaborate cakes, host themed parties, host dinner parties, create invites, paper art, sew, crochet, embroider, knit, letterpress, re-purpose, eat mostly organic and entirely gluten-free. Then I post the things I make, create and host on this blog. I share my creations and give most of them away for free. I’m starting a small business selling a few of them.
And I’m a Mum!
I do what I do because I love it. I relax and enjoy creating. I love the space I go to in my mind when I’m making. I enjoy the process of creating as much as the finished product. For me, putting together a party is as much fun as the actual event! I find inspiration and genuine pleasure when I see what others have made and so share what I do to feed into that inspirational pool.
I don’t do these things to make others feel bad.
I don’t feel like I’m entering a competition.
I did ALL of these things before I had Munchkin and now I do many of them for her.
Lately I’m starting to feel pressure to apologise continually for my creations. But I don’t need to apologise, nor do I want to.
I’m far from perfect. My house is often a mess. I never make it through my to-do lists. I often don’t get the exercise I need. My projects sometimes belong on Pinterest Fails or Cake Wrecks. My daughter watches more television than I’d like. Munchkin sometimes eats one pot, heat and serve meals when I’m seriously short on time. My friends know that it’s just as likely that they’ll arrive at my house for coffee to find it clean and tidy and be served freshly baked cake as it is that I’ll put out a box of chocolates and ask that they ignore the clutter. I often feel like I’m struggling to find a balance between being Mother/ Wife/ Self that is akin to finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. And a multitude of other stresses, private issues, disappointments and frustrations.
I don’t post these things on Facebook or my blog. There is no point. It’s not constructive, nor, I believe, healthy to do so. I wouldn’t walk down the street telling strangers my problems so why would I post it publicly?
Why can’t we all realise that very few of us post/ share the bad things, and recognise that we all have private, sometimes chaotic lives?
I don’t care how you choose to live your life. If you chose to buy a birthday cake from the grocery store or make one. If you chose to feed your children organic, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, or entirely from the frozen food aisle. Unless what you’re doing is exceedingly dangerous I would never consider commenting on it.
Munchkin won’t care if she’s at her own birthday party with home-made cake or at a friends eating store-bought ice-cream cake. She’ll adore both parties. And I’ll adore that your little one invited Munchkin, that you went to the effort to generously host a party, that she had a ball, ate ice-cream and played with her friends. I don’t think that any party, dinner party or other project is any less worthy because the host decided to buy a cake and hates crafting. And there is no reason anyone should feel pressure to do anything they don’t want to.
I’m a firm believer that everyone should prioritise the things that matter to them and let others make their own priorities. We all chose to do things differently. It’s what makes us wonderfully interesting human beings.
So please, mother or not, if reading my blog, looking at Pinterest or another Mum is making you feel badly or like a failure, stop reading it, delete your account, ignore them and live your life as you see fit. Because I fully intend to happily live mine as I choose. And I choose to bake my daughter’s birthday cakes, host themed parties, sew, knit, crochet and anything else creative I can think of and can find time to do.
Not because I’m expected to, but because I want to and thoroughly enjoy the process.
If you don’t enjoy it. It’s simple. Don’t do it!
When we all stop turning our mere existence into a competition and comparing ourselves to everyone else, we’ll all be so much happier!