I’M NOT A MOMMY BLOGGER. Yes, it’s true that I’m a mommy and a whenever-the-wind-is-blowing-at-15MPH-to-the-East-during-a-Blue-Moon blogger, but I don’t venture into the Mamasphere on my blog. Parenting is hard. I’ve only been at this gig for a little over a year and I don’t expect it to get easier any time soon. I applaud the women who are brave enough to share their parenting journeys with an expansive, critical and, often times, relentlessly nasty audience of faceless people bursting with opinions, judgment and primed-to-be-hurt feelings. Those bloggers have skin made of rubber. My skin is made of hot glue, which is why I stick to crafting and picking paint colors on my blog.
Since I blogged incessantly about my son’s nursery during my pregnancy, I’m all over the Internet as a ‘mom’ and viewed by some organizations and advertisers as a mommy blogger lying in wait. I’ve been approached by organizations asking me to weigh in on baby products or to talk about safety issues on my blog.
My answer is always the same. No, no, and, no.
Although I knew my reluctance to blog about the thing that I devote 95% of my time to nowadays would severely impact the frequency with which I blog, I also knew the minute I decided to jump into the shark infested mommy blogging waters that someone would get hurt. I don’t want to talk about things related to parenting that could be viewed as judgmental or that would hurt the feelings of fellow moms who are just trying to do their best every day. So here I stand with my feet firmly planted in home décor, crafting and DIY land, vigilantly protecting my friends and readers from feeling shamed and criticized for the choices they make and things they accomplish as mothers.
Or so I thought. Recently, a friend posted this article on Facebook, which made me feel like I got it all wrong. The article is about mothers feeling the sting of an ever-present desire to achieve domestic perfection in a world where social media makes sharing the ins and outs of our daily lives easier every day. While I thought my choice to stay out of the wars being waged on the mommy blogs was the way to ensure I wouldn’t be seen as judging or shaming my fellow moms, this article made me realize that I may still be impacting them in a negative way by continuing to share a perfectly styled version of my life on Embrace My Space and its social media platforms.
If you read the article in the above link, it mentions that some of the negative feelings associated with the failure to achieve domestic perfection are likely related to the innate human desire to overachieve, especially for us Type A personalities. I do agree with the article in that I think we are all in control of our own feelings and reactions to things–including the pretty things we see on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter–out there in the world. That said, I certainly believe social media has a way of turning us all into unwilling pawns in a never-ending game of Keeping up with the Joneses. Unless you swear off all forms of social media, you’re bound to be confronted with images of “perfection” on a daily basis. And, let’s face it, when you’re suffering with a good ol’ case of the Mondays (or Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays), all this perfect stuff can be a hard pill to swallow.
All along I thought I was just showing a picture of my new bedding or the cake I baked for my son’s first birthday. This is all safe territory, right? No feelings could possibly be hurt in the posting of these pictures. But perhaps what I was doing unknowingly when sharing these things was causing a fellow mom ask herself why she didn’t make her bed that day or why she had to buy her cake from the grocery store. Of course, the last thing I want to do is make another person feel like they aren’t enough. I’m here to share, to inspire and to encourage others to create.
I’m not here to say that I will stop blogging styled images of my home or my day-to-day, because I’m a creator and it’s what I love to do. Social media also gives me the feeling of connectedness in the solitary existence that is being a stay-at-home mom.
What I am here to say is that I want to show support and compassion to my fellow mamas fighting the good fight. I’m here to say that I acknowledge how I could be feeding your inner perfection monster by sharing only pretty pictures of my home and life. I’m here to say that I will make an effort to remind everyone that even though my bed was made in that picture I just posted on Instagram, that the rest of my house is messy, my laundry is not done, my refrigerator is empty, my kid has spaghetti sauce on his face and I’m still in my pajamas at 3PM.
Enter #realmomMonday. A friend recently suggested that we should use this new hashtag to show the world motherhood in all its real, messy glory. I think it’s a great idea and from here on out I will be sharing not-so-perfectly-styled snippets of my attempt at being the best mom I can be every Monday (or Tuesday, because real mom’s can’t always stick to a schedule).
I hope #realmomMonday catches on. And when my fellow moms are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of facing the new week, their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds will be filled with reminders from other moms that, while our lives may be messy, our love for our children is perfect and we are enough. And that is all that matters.