I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I mean, yes, obviously I love seeing random people I don’t know fight about politics on someone else’s status. And who doesn’t enjoy all the random Buzzfeed articles about how you know you were born in the 90’s, and answers to quizzes about what fictional character that girl from your 5th grade class is. It’s good information to know since you haven’t spoken to her since, well, the 5th grade. How else would you know anything about her other than the time she peed her pants and everyone laughed? Now you know she’d FOR SURE be Hermione Granger if she was indeed a Harry Potter character.
But then there’s the weirdness of seeing all the perfection of what seems like everyone else’s lives but mine. People are out doing things on the weekends (What? No. Saturdays are pajama days. Actually, everyday is pajama day.) And it seems like whatever I’m doing, someone else is doing it better and definitely looking better than me while doing it. And it’s not just mothering, it’s everything.
I’m 24, so most the people I knew in high school and college are getting engaged right about now. And it’s awesome, it’s adorable to see all their pictures of their engagements captured at Disney World, and other romantic places that were special to them. I’ve never told this story before, but you want to know where I got proposed to? December 9, after a candlelit dinner at the always classy Olive Garden, Big S and I made a pit stop at Babies R Us to grab some anti nausea medicine since I was, ahem, 9 weeks pregnant, and not feeling the greatest. Then as were leaving, Preggie Pop Drops in hand, he gets down on one knee IN THE PARKING LOT and proposed (I mean there was a ring too, he didn’t propose with the nausea candy). So no. The Babies R Us parking lot was not captured to be forever immortalized on social media, destined to be flooded with likes and comments of congratulations. In fact, I’m pretty sure when I did post that Big S and I were engaged I typed too fast and called him my finance instead of fiance, and these were the days before the edit was available on statuses (#thestruggleisreal). And it wasn’t even exciting because people would be like “Oh so when’s the wedding? 2 months out?? Oh…OOOOHHHHHH” And then there would be a sympathetic/judgemental glance towards my belly.
But the mothering competition has never ending levels. Everyday I feel like I’m being flooded with “NO ELECTRONICS! NO VACCINATIONS! NOTHING BUT ORGANIC FOOD! ORGANIZED PLAY! NO PRESCHOOL! HOME SCHOOL! NEVER DRINK COFFEE TO MAKE SURE YOURE EXTRA EXHAUSTED TO FEEL THE TRUE JOY OF MOTHERHOOD!”
Listen, this is a bunch of bologna.
I could go and refute every article I’ve seen that pops up daily with a new unattainable goal to achieve, the perfection of parenting. But I’ll be really honest: I don’t want any suggestions of what ELSE I should be doing. I already feel like I’m drowning half the time, and my brain might possibly explode if I have to throw away one more plate of organic cardboard my children wont eat. And hey, if I want to hand Little S his LeapPad, toss Rae the iPad AND turn on the TV to make sure they’re over stimulated enough that I can shower for 4 minutes, I’m going to do it for the sake of my husband and everyone else who could come within 10 feet of me.
I’m reading Amy Poehler’s book right now. She talks about her divorce and Parks and Rec and motherhood. She talks a lot about what it’s like to be a woman and having, what feels like, all eyes on you, scrutinizing every little thing you do. She has this one line that’s been stuck in my head for 2 weeks now: Good for her! Not for me.
I think this is probably the most profound mantra a girl, a wife, a mother could take. Do I want to strive to be the best woman I can be? Absolutely. But there are just some things that are unnecessary and the only thing they actually add to your life is stress.
So my hope for this year, is to just say “Good for her! Not for me.”
It’s just so hard, because even the things I know I’m doing right, someones doing them better.
I eat a pretty healthy vegan diet, but she’s eating a raw vegan diet free of oils and processed foods. Good for her! Not for me.
I attempt feed my kids some carrots or broccoli every day, but she’s feeding her kids all non GMO foods. Good for her! Not for me.
I’m 24, almost married for 4 years, with 2 kids and no career path I’m focused on, but she’s just now starting to date and taking her time to settle down so she has time to establish a career. Good for her! Not for me.
I did some crafts with my kids today, but she taught her 8 month old to recite the entirety of pi by memory up to the 100th decibel. Good for her! Not for me.
I ran 10 miles today, but she ran 12 and she ran it half a minute faster than me. Good for her! Not for me.
I did the dishes and a load of laundry this morning, but she reorganized her entire house in an hour. Good for her! Not for me.
I try to make date night a priority in our marriage once a month, but she hires a baby sitter so she can have date night every weekend. Good for her! Not for me.
I put my phone upstairs and played with the kids for 2 hours completely uninterrupted one day this week, but she does that everyday. Good for her! Not for me.
I lost all the baby weight, but she lost all the baby weight then got herself a nice set of abs and toned arms (because she’s a jerk and wants us all to look bad). Good for her! Not for me.
Let me just say, I’m not great at this yet. I feel like I’m constantly being pulled into the idea that if I just added one more thing to my plate, if I just was a little more organized, or a little older, or a little skinnier, or a little healthier, or a little more fun with my kids, or did a little bit more chores every day then everything would be perfect. But the thing is, I couldn’t be any happier than I am in my mess. I can’t think of anything better than our 8 Pm bedtime routine, snuggled up with Big S and laying together quietly. I don’t think slimmer thighs are going to make me delight in life any more. I don’t think I’d laugh as much if Little S and Rae called me mom instead of being Bullseye, Rapunzel, Jessie or whoever else I’m assigned to be that day. And for the one who has all of the perfection and the still maintains some happiness, good for her.
But that’s not for me. This is:
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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