Thursday, September 13, 2012

Real Life

I click on the link. And stare in awe at the craft creatively executed by two three-year-olds and, elaborately orchestrated and recorded by their mama.

The snapshot of a perfect moment.

I pin it. Brynne and Hadley would love to do that, I think. 

I sigh, recalling our morning. I woke up exhausted. My allergies were in full effect, so I took the only thing that is safe and somewhat effective---Benedryl, which makes me even more exhausted. I ached too---the effects of over-doing it again at boot camp. I can't seem to reconcile my pregnant body with my competitive, athletic heart. What I wouldn't give to be able to pop a few ibuprofen.

I glanced at the clock, it was almost 11, and the girls are still in their pajamas, and so was I. Getting the three of us dressed just felt like a chore.

We read some books that were strewn about the living room. I asked the girls if they'd let me rest for a minute, and this erupted in two crying toddlers that now needed their noses wiped in addition to needing a change of clothes.
What a mess!  Brynne comes and tells me.
So, we abandoned the books, to organize the five puzzles that the girls have dumped together in a pile. What a mess, indeed.

My day isn't even note-worthy, let alone Pinterest-worthy.

The temptation for me is to compare my day with the mama-extraordinaire whose craft I just pinned. Then, to feel tragically sorry for my girls who got the boring mama. Right next to board with toddler crafts is the board with encouraging words. I see this:


Sarcastically I think, Mr. Roosevelt hasn't seen this woman's craft.

I know, deep in my soul that I am the very best mama for Brynne and Hadley. I know that comparing myself to other mamas does steal my joy. And there are certainly days when we do things that rival that super-mama and her fantastic craft.

And days like today? It's okay to have days like this. Really. It is.

Image of "IT'S OK" Affirmation Banner
photo credit

And you know what else? That super-mama has days like mine too, guaranteed. She just doesn't take pictures of them and put them on Pinterest. 

My sweet friend, Melissa suggested recently that maybe it isn't the Pinterest-worthy moments that are most encouraging. Maybe it's those messy, real life, books-strewn-across-the-floor, two-toddlers-in-their-pajamas-till-noon kind of days that encourage best.

Maybe we should take pictures of the mess that is everyday, real life.

I've found this new (to me) blog, finding joy.  She writes these "dear mom letters" to encourage mamas. To make days like mine okay, normal, enough okay. She says this
Real is the everyday. Get up at the crack of dawn. Try to find underwear in the clothes baskets that still needs to be folded. Pour cereal in a bowl. Look for school papers. Change diapers. Wash dishes. Sweep floor. Read stories. And on and on and on. That's normal. That's real. ~Rachel Martin
There is a sacredness, a comfort in the mundane of everyday. The routine of living. The nothing special. When things are hard, that's where we go---to the familiar.

That's real life. That is okay.


Lauren said...

Rest assured, my life will never make you feel inadequate. I do hate those blogs that are all perfect and "Here are all the amazing activities I planned and did with my children!" Because over at my house, we just live our life. I'm not making lesson plans and preparing exciting crafts for the next day after Noah goes to bed at night. Nor do I think it's necessary. Heck, he's never even had a themed birthday party.

And I think that's okay.

Miss Megan said...

I try to embrace the mundane chaos of the "every-day". Not that it was perfect mind you, because it was far from it! Picking up the living room at least 6 x a day, reading the same 5 books over and over, breaking up fights, calming tempers...
Now that I'm back to work after having 8 wonderful weeks off with my kids I find myself missing the every day chaos that was my life for that short period of time.
Know that you can do it hun. Don't you worry about that. And yes, it is more difficult with three kiddos, but it's also more fufilling, enriching, and empowering than you can imagine!
How did your appointment/scan go on the 11th?

The Guddats said...

I LOVE that quote by Roosevelt. I definitely feel that one of the most harmful things we can do is compare ourselves to others--it just breeds discontent. Melissa also encouraged me with that post about it being our little moments and not the Pinterest worthy moments being sacred. I am not that type of mama and I am learning to be okay with that.

Olusola said...

I agree with that quote and I think that as a mom, I let so many irrelevant things steal my joy and the internet and blogging doesn't help. Not with all the perfect moms in blogosphere. I haven't seen a real life perfect mom but there's there's a ton of them in cyberspace

Krista D said...

While I do try to plan crafts once a week at our house its mostly to hold me accountable to spend quality time instead of sneaking in reading and computer time while he's playing. I blog about it mostly to hold myself accountable and to remember what we did a that was fun at this age -- since our kids will likely be space pretty far apart as we wait to adopt.

I think it would be fun to have a "real life" link-up for a Momma Loves day :) Toys all over the floor, dishes in the sink and laundry in various states of doneness often mean you are busy being a Mom and not a house keeper, or that's what I tell myself.

Allison Bodine said...

Thanks for making this working mama of twins feel better that we aren't the crafting, field tripping perfect family of four that you see on Pinterest. My girls are happy and healthy, and it is okay that my house looks like a tornado went through it sometimes (a lot of the time).

Anonymous said...

As long as everyone is in their bed by the end of the day with all their limbs attached, I call that a win.

You have a lot going on in your life right now, and will continue to have a lot going on for a while. Your girls could care less how often you blog/what kind of crafts you do/how the house looks. All they want is to play and be with their momma and you do that. Go Julia!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Julia, I love that quote but laughed at your thoughts about Roosevelt. :)

We've had a very "real" day today - in fact, it's still happening......

I really think one of the worst things in the wold is the blogosphere/ Pinterestosphere sometimes. It's great but also not because it so encourages comparison.

Me? I just use it to organise bookmarks and when these two are sleepnig, I'll go see what I can do for a craft because I need a creative outlet.

How are you doing..... really? I'm thinking and praying for you often!

championm2000 said...

So much truth here!

My sister (of all people) said something to me this week that really stung--something to the effect that we couldn't all have a "MaMe Musings moment." Really?? Do I project that fantasy through my blog?? I know the truth. The reality is much more messy but so much more beautiful than any blog post.

Thank you once again for the perspective.