Every Day I'm Strugglin'6:00 AM
Yesterday I spent a good chunk of time just browsing at past blog posts. I realize that lately I haven't exactly been posting regularly. On the contrary, I have found myself avoiding blogging. Why? I asked myself that same question.
I've realized that in the past year or so I was getting caught up. Caught up in the idea that I had to "be the best". Take amazing pictures for everyone to envy. Post amazing recipes for everyone to try and cook. Share amazing stories/devotionals/ideas for everyone to find inspiring. I got caught up in trying to be the super-amazing-mommy-wife-blogger.
I mean, I jumped from having 66 total posts in 2011 to having 212 in 2012. I started really getting a feel for our SLR camera. I started thinking about things like blog posts, and immediately wanting to blog whenever we finished hanging out as a family or I finished cooking or whatever. I was always thinking about the blog.
Then I hit a rough patch. I was so excited for my "25 Days of Christmas" idea, and it ended up pretty much being a sinking ship. I felt so much pressure to get a blog post up every day that my pictures were mediocre, some of my grammar atrocious, the the giveaways I had lined up barely had any entries. I was devastated. I mean, I really thought my blog was growing, and then it turned out I really could only count on my friends/family to make it look good when everyone could so clearly see it was drowning.
As 2013 started, I was pretty close to just letting my blog go. Let it slowly die out. Post every now and then when I was excited to share and if there was any new interest shown, but ultimately I was just going to let time run out.
I know, melodramatic. But I got so caught up in the fact that my blog wasn't "perfect". That all these women were making their lives look so wonderful and picture-perfect and I just couldn't keep up.
I told this to a friend, who said my blog was refreshing because it seemed real compared to so many others out there. But I honestly wasn't convinced. If mine's so refreshing, how come I only have 59 followers? When I told another friend about my struggle, and said I may try to simplify, she suggested I find a focus and run with it. I know this is because my blog can be all over the place.
The past three months of this new year that I proclaimed was going to be "the year", have kind of sucked. Excuse the expression but I find no other way of saying it. I have been struggling more with my eating habits, losing my temper at tiny things, and letting my house go to the point that I'm pretty sure Michael and I got sick from the overwhelming amounts of dog hair, dust, and who knows what else. I haven't been depressed, per say, but I certainly haven't been in the best of places.
What does this have to do with blogging? Let me tell you.
I missed it.
I missed blogging and yet the pressure I was putting on myself for my blog to be perfect was keeping me from it. You may recall the post I did last year about the Super-SAHM. You know, that every stay-at-home-mom these days has to be this all-powerful person and do everything wonderfully and organically and gosh forbid if you use disposable diapers or don't make your own baby food. YES, I am one of those mothers. I made a huge deal about making my own baby food, and love our cloth diapers. BUT I don't think mothers who don't do that are any less of mothers.
A woman in my Bible study who I look up to so much said that she's found that all mothers need to start building each other up as mothers rather than pointing out each others' flaws.
Just because a mom doesn't eat organically, or just because she uses disposable diapers, or just because she makes brownies from a box, or just because she works full time doesn't make her ANY LESS OF A MOTHER. It makes her human. Moms have the hardest jobs of all, and to constantly put each other down or try to out do the other just to appear to be the "better mom" only hurts us-- the women.
Why would we want to do that to each other? Doesn't the world put us down enough in one way or another? Shouldn't we be supporting each other?
What does this have to do with blogging? Let me tell you.
I was letting other women get to me.
Women who I don't even know, who haven't ever said a negative to me or in my general direction, were making me feel inferior. These women who can have family outings and take gorgeous pictures were making me feel self conscious. These women who lost their baby weight in a heart beat and don't struggle with food choices were making me feel like I wanted to eat everything in sight. These women who have kids who are already potty trained (and are Michael's age) or who do constant crafts with their children were making me feel like a failure. These women who work, buy organic foods, have bigger houses, have nicer furniture, have their children in their own beds, are constantly taking outings with friends and family-- were making me feel naive and inadequate, even though I don't know them at all.
All of this was keeping me from blogging. Suddenly I was aware of my mediocre pictures from a point and shoot camera (since our SLR was stolen in November). Suddenly I was aware that I haven't been making the best food choices for me or Michael. Suddenly I was aware that maybe my child already watches too much TV. Suddenly I was aware that I wasn't up to par with all these other women.
And now, I'm aware that it doesn't matter.
I am who I am as a mom. I need to stop holding myself to all these "blogger standards" that may not even really be there and blog because I enjoy it, and blog for those that enjoy what I do. The internet is vast and never ending, so it seems, and the fact that I'm letting all the ridiculousness of the world get to me is, well, ridiculous. We blogging mothers (and mothers/women in general) need to stick together and support one another, no matter our circumstances.
So, whether you're an outstanding photographer or just sport a point-and-shoot, whether you use disposable or cloth diapers, whether you make your own baby food or buy it in the store... you get the idea... I am behind you.
You are awesome.
For more ideas on being an "imperfect mom" check out Jillsavage.org!