Have you ever been witness to a Real-Life pendulum swing? I feel like that’s happening now with Mamas out there. The pendulum was swinging in favor of the Pinterest Era Mama. If you weren’t one of the ones making three-tiered, decorative cakes for your two-year-old’s birthday, you may have felt like a failure. But now, it seems as though the Real-est Mamas are swinging back in the opposite direction. Hooray, Mamas! That means you, me, all of us, collectively, can still be great Mamas without an entire replica of Ariel’s Under the Sea birthday party for our two-year-old. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs this is clearly a source of contention for me–I am not that crafty! I tried to make Cinnamon Swirl Heart Pancakes for Valentine’s Day this year. This is how they turned out… So after that debacle, I decided for Julia’s 2nd birthday that I would make homemade cupcakes with Sesame Street Toppers. No stress, easy peasy!
One Mama, in particular, that I’ve been following, is Tiffany Jenkins, who does the series of videos you may have seen called “Juggling the Jenkins“… and she is beautiful. Every part of it is TRUE. REAL. HONEST. That’s what we all want, right? We want to see the organic and to feel that we are on the same playing field as the other Mamas out there. On her blog page, she openly discusses her history with addiction and is a huge proponent of being transparent about mental illness. She is living proof of what we all feel but for some reason, are afraid to admit out loud! In her amazingly witty angle, she addresses the craziness of school/life balance, how she is confusing as a wife, and has even teamed up with another Real Mama, Meredith Masony of That’s Inappropriate. These two together, are raising the bar for Mamas. And they aren’t suggesting to try and be better than every Mama out there, but to show all of us, on a real level, what life is actually like when you take off the filters and makeup of Social Media.
I mean… I can relate. For starters, my little baby boy Brooks, 9 months, snapped his finger in a mousetrap last weekend. Shortly after, his big sister Julia pushed him down the stairs. These two things combined made me feel different stings. First, how could I have forgotten that the mousetrap was on the side of the couch by the wall? I should have moved it. Second, why wasn’t the gate up on the stairs? I need to remember to always put it up. In both instances, my first, initial thought was, Oh my gosh, are you ok honey? Then immediately, [thankfully] once I see the kid is fine, I turn to ME… I somehow make everything my fault. My husband though, in all his glory, just brushed it off. He’s fine, it wasn’t that bad! I bet he won’t touch a mousetrap again. Isn’t it amazing how truly logical that sounds, yet I have zero ability to think that way? Maybe Tiffany or Meredith have this ability because they are so real. Or maybe they don’t and that’s what makes them real. Either way, it doesn’t matter. No one is judging me… Except Me. Talk about snapping me back to reality.
I recently began reading the book, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Rachel is the EPITOME of what I’m talking about. She talks all things hunky husband, being a nerd, and admits to being a part of the “Cult of Glam” on social media platforms. But the thing that sets her apart is that she balances it all by sharing equal parts REAL life. One of my favorite lines from her book is, I stopped comparing myself to other people, and I also stopped comparing myself to whomever I thought I was supposed to be. Comparison is the death of joy, and the only person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday. This line, albeit so obvious, was an eye-opener for me. When my kid puts his hand in the mousetrap I have two choices: Feel sorry for myself and feel like a bad Mama, or Make sure my kid is ok and do better tomorrow!
Things happen in our lives that are not glamorous. These happen daily in my life, how about you? I yell at my toddler. I fight with my spouse. I let my kid put his hand in a mousetrap. It’s all part of life. And if I want to get through this life as happily as possible, I need to start promising to be a better version of myself tomorrow and stop wallowing in what I think I should be!
Since I started this blog I have learned SO much. Not only about things that other Mamas have experienced, but how seriously connected we all are and these things that happen in our lives. It makes me feel so human to know I’m not alone. So thank you to all of you, who have continued to encourage me to do this blog. I am loving every minute of it.
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