Her “Pinterest-Perfect” Life and Other LIES Moms Believe
Updated: May 16, 2020
That Pinterest-Perfect-Life. Have you ever had that thought? Simply put: How do I get my life to look like my Pinterest Boards. That perfect meal. The beautiful room décor. The perfect children? That perfect homeschool?
Scroll down your facebook or Instagram feed for a while. Depending on the day, a few more subconscious questions may sneak in: How come it looks so easy for her? How does she do it? Why can’t I? What’s wrong with me? Or my kids?
So, what do you do when your life doesn’t match the bubblegum-tinted rosy snapshot that your facebook home feed painted? Keep reading and we are going to dismantle that lie and liberate your point of view. #PinterestPerfectLies
DEFEATED. That’s how I felt, 11 years ago during one of the most stretch-you-till-you-pop-and-snap years of my life. 2009. It was the year my beautiful son was born when unplanned and unpredicted traumatic life events sucked us onto a violent roller coaster drama trail, and it felt like we kept getting sucker punched every time we tried to get off. In short, in the span of a year we had numerous trips to the ER, such as a life threatening virus for my daughter, an emergency appendectomy for me, the stomach virus 5 times, one that lasted 7 days and nights, car accidents, business trials, chaos on every side.
Back then, as I scrolled through my new bright Facebook account; however, I was greeted by all the happy, smiley-so-sunshiny faces of what seemed then ALL my fellow moms. And EVERYONE was happy. Their lives were PINTEREST PERFECT.
It seemed to me the totality of their motherhood experience was wrapped in a rainbow-filtered halo of Awesome fun. Their perfectly dressed babies with sparkling-star-blinging smiles seemed so very peaceful. Lovely. Beautiful. And “Pinterest-worthy” Perfect. AND for me, so very UNattainable.
My daily reality lacked the glossy filter. I was getting pooped and snotted on in and out of the ER. Most days I was simply cleaning up messes, calming tantrums, chasing Mr. Poopies, huffing a double stroller around, in between listening to their beloved hip-hop version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on a sweet-but-broken-record repeat. Trying to smile my way through toddler tantrums and midday meltdowns and midnight feedings, I felt confused at the core.
All I could think was, “What’s wrong with me that here I am overwhelmed with only 2 babies? I should be “nailing” this thing called motherhood. After all, I have years of experience as a teacher. I used to have class sizes of 32! Now I only have 2. Am I really that weak?”
Have you ever had a similar thought?
A typical day back then, if I could provide a single-not-so-simple snapshot of a typical morning, looked like THIS.
A planner like me couldn’t have been more FRUSTRATED! EVERYTHING was unpredictable. MY PERFECT PLAN was constantly disrupted. The very moment I tried to get out the door to do a simple grocery run, something like THIS would happen. AND VERY SLOWLY I learned to . . .
LET MY PLAN GO.
LET GO OF THE “PINTEREST PERFECT" PLAN.
The. Very. Long. PAINFUL. DIE TO MY SELF AND MY BEAUTIFUL PLAN. kind-of-Way.
I’m writing this post because I think mothers need to be encouraged NOW more than ever and reminded that facebook feeds and Pinterest posts are only a SNAPSHOT. A Moment. A second. We often post the perfect picture, and, if we’re not careful, we can start believing the false perception that other people have it all together. And maybe at times they do. But let’s not forget that motherhood is a JOURNEY and the landscape is constantly changing. Your kids are changing. Their needs are changing. And so are yours.
Add to that a global pandemic, and no wonder moms are having a hard time right now. Motherhood is hard. Especially now that schools are closed and moms are trying to do it all amid a global crisis. I’m not saying that to complain. I’m saying that to validate. Motherhood alone is very challenging. Someone needed to hear that. I just know it. You are not alone.
As a dear friend encouraged me years ago: “Motherhood is organized chaos.” Hearing that, made me feel slightly validated. As we chatted for a quick 5 minutes on the phone, she was interrupted 3 times by her young toddlers, one screaming her lungs out. NOW I felt validated. Maybe I wasn’t alone …
“Like the waves of the ocean,” my mother encouraged me. “Children are like the waves of the ocean—that’s what your Great Grandfather used to say.” UNpredictable. UNcontainable. Moving. Pulling you in and out until you’re either lost at sea or learn to navigate and withstand the waves.
Well, the point is, there was nothing about most days that seemed like the glorious golden basket of joy that I had expected or that Facebook-forecasted or my"Pinterest-Perfect" boards Painted.
Then there was the day that GOD met me on the bench. Yes, a bench in a mall—(Ah, remember the days of walking through a mall "PreQuarintineLife") I was finally sitting alone one day at a bench and somehow there in a moment of solitude, I heard God whisper to my heart with UTTER CLARITY.
He said, “I see you.” And followed it with, “I get you.”
These words were so simple and yet so profound. FINALLY. I felt SEEN. UNDERSTOOD. Just one moment with God, one encounter with His presence, lifted the weights off my shoulders. Something about his voice ripped through the condemning accusation that I was missing it as a mom. And instead, in just one moment with God I felt seen. Heard. Validated. Accepted. And in the deep places, I knew I WAS ENOUGH.
I’m not sure where you may be in the season of motherhood. It may be only on one side of the extreme of crazy or good, and my guess is that during a global crisis, probably on the side of chaos. But one truth I’d like to encourage you with is to put aside the Pinterest perfectionism. It’s not real. It’s not attainable. And it’s not what you are called to. Motherhood is messy. But you are CHOSEN. And You ARE ENOUGH.
We are all learning as we go. Everyone’s lot (the weight they are carrying) looks different in each season. So resist comparing your ease or difficulty with others. As the saying goes, "comparison is the thief of joy." Instead of trying to be perfect, the goal should be to try to be a better version of ourselves than the day before. That's for me where leaning on God comes in.
Instead, if I may encourage us all, seek out some time for yourself, and, yes, it may be at a crazy time of day depending on the age of your children, and go sit on a bench, a couch, the grass even, and ask God to speak to you. Then wait. Listen. What do you hear him say? Let that resonate in your soul and REPLACE everything else. And the next time you think of the “Pinterest Perfect” Mom Life, instead picture you and God sitting together framed by his words of affirmation. Let God replace your vision with his own glory filter over your perspective on motherhood. And let his voice overshadow every other picture in your mind.
Sometimes you have to RESET AND UPGRADE your mom-filter by spending time in God's presence. And put pinterest to rest. Perfectionism isn't real or attainable, but learning to better love your kids, yourself and others is.
Thanks for reading. Go on and keep raising those world changers one crazygood day at a time.