Print the Pictures

Last night I had a rare opportunity. I was home for the most part by myself. Girls were with Grandparents, Josh was out with some guys for work, so it was just me and Tacy. I had grand plans on what I was going to do with my night and I ended up spending it working on photos.Every year I say I want to get better at documenting our lives. It is an easy thing to SAY it’s much harder to do. Last year I was actually pretty good at getting photos. But in this digital day and age it’s way too easy for those photos to stay on my computer or phone. So last night I bit the bullet. I created and ordered a photo book with my favorite 200 photos of 2013. I also ordered all the photos I have taken in the month of January so I can try my hand a new scrapbook system. Lastly I sorted through all the printed photos I have and organized them chronologically. All in all it was a good night, though not at all easy. It wasn’t the time or money, though both of those were a bit frustrating. More than anything it was spending hours and hours looking at photos of myself. While it has been a wonderful year it has been a hard year and giving birth to a baby rarely does kind things to our bodies. So here I sit a month into the new year staring at pages and pages of photos of myself I would rather bury. It would be very easy to hit delete but I didn’t I hit print. In 12 years when my now six month old is struggling with her body image I want her to look back and see pictures of me… a little stocky, exhausted, wearing a bright pink shirt standing on Aztec ruins in Cozumel my belly growing with her in it. I want all my daughters to see that I lived a full life. I want them to see that I didn’t let my insecurities hold me back. And so I hit print. And I will continue to take silly faced selfies with my girls, and let my husband snap photos even when I am covered in baby spit up, and I will continue to hit print. And I encourage you to do the same. Take photos, hit print, put them in a book, stash them in a drawer, just do something with them. Your children think you are absolutely beautiful, leave being proof for them that they are right.





Pinterest Envy

Sometimes I feel like I’m clawing my way back to some semblance of what and who I was before having a child. There have been quite a few moments in my life lately where I stop and ask myself, “Did I JUST say that?”. Usually it’s either my mother coming out of my mouth or some meaner version of myself because I’m exhausted, irritated, frustrated, or some combination of all. There are days when I want to bury my head under my pillow and just be silent. There are days when I want to open the door, step outside, close the door, and breathe for 5 minutes. And you know what? That is ok. That is the biggest lesson I’ve learned this month. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to get frustrated. I am NOWHERE NEAR a perfect person let alone a perfect mother. Pinterest has ruined the measure I hold myself to. I got found that I am so caught up in making things “perfect” or “picture worthy” that I miss the moment entirely. I miss the silly fun because I’m trying to get a perfect angle for the photo or I miss actually sitting down and enjoying the Tea Party that I’ve thrown for my step-daughters 6th birthday. Why? Because I am more concerned about documenting all of my hard work that I don’t get to experience the whole reason behind all of that effort. I’ll say it again, Pinterest has ruined me.


So often I am looking for fun ideas to do with the kids or different ideas for holidays (we’ve had at least one big one a month for the past 6 months). I get overwhelmed with what other people have thought of and done for their children. I think to myself, well, I can do that! So I set out and end up letting the process of making whatever it is so consuming that it actually puts me in a bad mood. I get stressed trying to be like those magical mothers on Pinterest and I turn into nothing like what they say they are. I get short, angry, sad, upset, all of the above. When did I decide that I have to work outside the home, make educational crafts for my 15 month old from scratch, make fantastic and complex meals every night, plan elaborate parties for a one year old and a six year old who would have been happy with a cake from a bakery with their name in rainbow colors? I do it to myself. I go WAY overboard. Why am I measuring myself against what I see on Pinterest? Does it make me less of a mother that I don’t have homemade pillow cases or recycle my old candle wax and turn it into a fantastic art project? No. If anyone is able to do all of that I sincerely applaud you. I do not have the stamina, patience, or energy. I’m exhausted. The tea party birthday has been over for three weeks and I’m still tired. Granted, it was fabulous and my teapot cake is something that I’m still very proud of but truly, I did too much. I stayed up late all week before the party to get things ready. As I’m typing this I’m shaking my head at myself. It’s not about the things that I did, it’s about the way I let it change my attitude because I was overextending myself. I am glad she had an awesome party, but I was miserable. I’m still a good mother. I will continue to make their birthday cakes but I need to calm down on my Pinterest envy and focus on the things that matter; like having tea with my kiddo while she eats star shaped sandwiches in her Aurora Princess dress and crown.

Am I alone in feeling this way? Do all mothers feel like they should be doing more? Do all mothers stop and feel so inadequate some days that it’s defeating? Yes, I believe they do. The positive to this is that there are sooo many wonderful things about motherhood that can drown some of this negativity out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be picture worthy. What I need to learn to focus on is the experience, not the “stuff”.

This was a really hard lesson for me to swallow this month. If you are anything like me, feel encouraged that you are not alone. We don’t have to be “the best mom in the world”, we just have to be the best mom to OUR children. That seems like a lot less pressure!