My perfect life is what others might assume from the outside. I was out with friends a while ago. One woman I was just getting to know, and she was dumbfounded that I wasn’t a type A personality based on her experience with my blog.
Recently I started counseling, and the counselor said to me, “I’ve seen your blog. You seem pretty perfect.”
Working with youth is a passion. I recently went on a mission trip and one newer girl ended up in my group. We became close, but toward the end of the trip, through tears, she said to me, “When I originally found out you were my leader I was really disappointed. I only knew you from your blog and didn’t want the perfect/have-it-all-together mom to be my leader.” Once she got to know me and realized that I have real struggles, we discovered that God definitely put our group together for a reason.
Whoa – the impression I may be giving off is far from reality. Authenticity is important to me, so let’s just take a moment to clear the air.
My Perfect Life
I’ve tried to be real. There have been times I’ve told you that I have everything I’ve ever wanted and yet have felt unhappy – even depressed. “I Lost Myself When I Became a Mom,” is another confession. You know about my mom blues.
Sure, I know how to host a party, make a tasty meal or dress up for an occasion, but I never want that to come across as having it all together.
My house can look amazingly clean for a party or guests, but you have no idea what it takes to get it there. I’m a bit of a crazy mom leading up to events. If you drop in unexpectedly you’d see that I am raising little cyclones that drop things everywhere.
When people come over for food, I might receive all kind of compliments on what I’ve made. What you don’t see is the battle we have with food. My oldest is sensitive to dairy. My middle only wants dairy and never is willing to try new things. My youngest is on a low FODMAP diet because of digestive issues. Feeding my picky and limited family is one of the lowlights of my day.
I might know how to get dressed up, but the reality is that I’m in casual clothes 97% of the time. You’ve heard the phrase, “I wasn’t quite ready for bikini season, but I’m definitely ready for hoodie season”? Yes! That’s my motto. Hoodies. Yoga Pants. Baseball Caps. Flat Shoes. Yes, please! Make-up, doing my hair and dressing up is not my go-to at all. I’m also an eternity away from getting any kind of pre-baby body back. That stretched marked belly is just part of my reality now.
My sister-in-law was asking how I was doing the other day. I said, “I’m OK.” She asked what was up, and I responded, “Jeremy (my husband) and I are in a funk.” She said, “Huh! Weird! I don’t picture you guys struggling like that.” What?! We have talked with her so many times about our conflicts and funks. I think people, in general, idealize other people’s lives, which only leads to more discontentment with their own lives. I talk about that here.
I worry too much, which is why I’m in counseling. Years of stressing myself out over parenting struggles and feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders to make sure everything turn out OK is starting to take a toll. Our family has had to navigate some harder things like anger issues and sensory processing struggles. Dealing with these issues day after day is exhausting and discouraging. Sometimes I feel like I used to see the world in technicolor, and now I see it in black and white. Raising kids isn’t quite what I expected, and we all know how unmet expectations can have a negative impact on reality. The hope, however, is that we have seen a lot of growth. With perseverance and adjustment on everyone’s part, we see the fruits of our labor.
So, when you look at my blog…when you look at other people’s social media in general…you are catching a snapshot. What you see is me – it is really me, but it is a piece. Please remember that. My perfect life is lovely and blessed, but it is also hard and hurting. My perfect life is far from perfect, but it is a work in progress.
Thankfully I have a God who doesn’t expect perfection. He was perfection, and He died on the cross so that I could be in union with a spotless and holy God despite all of my shortcomings. Some day I will be complete. Until then, you get the imperfect me who wants to walk alongside you on this life journey.
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So appreciate your ‘real’ moments! I think that you hold yourself to a very high standard. I see that in all that you do. It’s a good attribute to have and yet I know it can be really hard at the same time! Unlike some people though, you are very personable, very relatable and so I’ve never felt unworthy or put-down by your content but welcome and inspired! Wish I could meet you in person!
Thanks so much, Janine. That is encouraging. I really want people to come to my site and feel both inspired but also not alone in this parenting journey. I never want it to be a place that makes them think they aren’t doing enough or can’t measure up as a mom. We all do put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think part of that is a sign of a good mom – wanting to do really well by the family. However, I know it my case it causes too much worry and not enough reliance. We are definitely all a work in progress. I’d love to meet in person some time too. We aren’t ridiculously far away from one another, so I imagine we will meet at some time. I’d enjoy that. My niece is going to Boise state next year, and I have two really good friends there. That should bring me closer your direction if we can swing a meet up. 🙂