Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Pressures of…Pinterest?

Standard

What did breastfeeding women do before Pinterest?

I admit it. I sit in front of my computer while nursing my newest addition & gleefully click away on what I like to call “the happiest place on the interwebs.”

My newest addition. Pretty cute, huh?

Now I know that everyone says breastfeeding time should be spent bonding with Baby, but perhaps they had babies who actually looked at them while sucking the life from their chests.

I do not.

Neither of my children ever looked at me. Not once. So I busy myself with other aimless pursuits, like Pinterest. And I’m totally ok with that.

Recently a blog post  has been circulating Facebook about the pressures moms face these days from the internet, namely Pinterest and blogs. Pressure to complete crafts and projects. Pressure to do and be some superwoman who sews all her children’s clothes and makes fun, interesting, healthy snacks (no goldfish for you!) and does creative crafts with her kids that both teach & entertain and decorates her house with old toilet paper rolls & shipping pallets and maintains a girlish figure in designer clothes.

Click the pic to go to the blog post how-to at http://matsutakeblog.blogspot.com.

And I get the point of the blog. I really do. Because we’ve all felt the pressure, and it’s easy to sometimes forget the most important thing we can do as mothers is make our children feel seen, loved, cherished, and important.

BUT…

I can’t help but feel that Pinterest (along with most things on the Internet) got a bit of a bad rap.

Maybe I’m being a bit sensitive,,,it’s been known to happen…but I don’t think so.

Because I think moms were feeling the pressure long before Pinterest or Facebook or blogs ever came along. The pressure was there before the parenting magazines were arriving in our mailboxes. Women in the ’50s felt the pressure so much, they took drugs to be the wives and mothers they felt they should be.

Check out http://ramblingasusual.blogspot.com for this & other posts. BTW, I’m totally doing this in my laundry room.

I think the real issue comes down to our hearts. The state of our hearts.

When we can accept that not being perfect is ok, that completing countless projects & crafts doesn’t make us better mothers or people, and that love isn’t measured by toilet paper rolls turned into stunning works of decorative art, then we can let the pressure roll off our shoulders and simply enjoy the wonders of motherhood.

Go to http://ivaalex.blogspot.com to get the how-to on this lovely TP roll wreath.

I know that my pride & insecurities can result in comparing myself to other moms and me wanting to measure up to the expectations we all feel. But when I step back and simply look at my children, I realize that they are happy, they feel safe & secure, and they just want to spend time with me, doing what I do (good or bad, so I’ve got to watch it).

It’s when I shake off the expectations that then I can be the mother of MY children. Because my children are different than all the other children out there. My children need different things. They learn in different ways. They enjoy different activities. They are unique individuals whom I know better than anyone else does.

You see, I don’t have to do everything the other moms are doing. I just have to do the things my children need and respond to.

While Pinteresting, I just might stumble across something that I want to bring into real life…and then I can. Or I might find instructions for a project I’ve been wanting to do but wasn’t sure how. Or I might find a recipe that actually fits into my limited skills and is tasty & healthy to boot. Or I might find an image that fills my heart with peace or a quote or verse that soothes my restless spirit.

Click the link to check out http://tinywhitedaisies.tumblr.com.

Or I might just spend 20 minutes (while my child refuses to acknowledge me beyond my breasts) enjoying pretty pictures. Score!

And actually, I have made a few of the recipes I’ve found on Pinterest. It made me feel good to give my family something new and made me feel encouraged to have a new meal in my box of tricks. (I’ll post some reviews with links later.) However, I feel no guilt about the plethora of other recipes I’ve pinned and haven’t tried.

My point is, whether we Pinterest or not, none of us need be slaves to the pressures of society or blogs or how our moms did things or whatever. We can’t do anything about what those around us say or expect.

But we CAN each study our own hearts and identify the unreal expectations we place on ourselves. Really, isn’t the pressure we feel just a result of our own internal monologue pointing out when we haven’t been the wife, mother or woman WE think we should be?


Maybe I’m all wet. Maybe none of this really applies to anyone else. But I know it’s true for me.

I’m learning that I don’t have to be perfect. There is room for improvement, always, and I try to consider those things honestly. But I’m confident that none of those things will be repaired or improved by a new craft, outfit or dinner. Those things are temporary and fleeting.

You know what’s permanent? The fact that God determined that I am the best mother for my children. He decided that I was exactly what they need, and He will give me what I need to fulfill my role. Pinterest can’t do that.

Found this on Pinterest, uploaded by user, & it makes me feel good. Would love to give credit!

So I’ll continue to enjoy my Pinteresting and the creativity of others. I will continue to happily pin all the meals I’ll never make and all the crafts I’ll never craft and all the clothes I’ll never wear and all the vacation destinations I’ll never visit, and I will smile all the while. Because who knows?

Life is full of surprises.

You can follow me on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/MommyLearns/.

Advertisements

Potholders & Beanies & Baby Booties

Standard

I decided it’s time to learn to crochet, so last week I hopped on YouTube & found me some video tutorials.

I’ve done cross stitch since I was in 4th grade (I’m not saying how many decades that is, so don’t ask). It’s nice to think that plays into my ability to pick up on other hand crafts, but who knows?

Regardless, I found an awesome 2-part video tutorial:

 

Obviously, I had nothing to do with making this video, so please go by YouTube & watch it, like it, & comment on it there, because Donna (www.naztazia.com) did an absolutely fabulous job with this.

Thanks, Donna!

By working along with the video above, I was able to crochet a potholder in about 2 hours. Considering I’ve not crocheted since the one (& only) time my grandma tried (& failed) to teach me during a long RV ride cross country one summer (many, many moons ago), I was pretty impressed.

The Dishcloth...or Washcloth...or Something

Snicker if you must, but I'm pretty proud of this thing.

So there you have it. Proof.

I have learned to tie a slip knot, chain a row, single crochet 20 rows (I think), tie off, & weave the leftover threads into my work (I did that after I took this pic).

So if you’ve been tempted to try crochet or tried at one point & quit, the above video is a great intro to the craft.

I just did this Saturday night (yes, this is what I do on Saturday nights now), & Sunday, I started an adorable beanie for my toddler! I actually finished it early Monday morning, & the toddler loves it! I’ll blog about it later.

I’m currently trying my hand at some baby booties. That might take me a bit longer, but I’ll let you know when it’s done.

So, no more excuses. Go find that H hook & some pretty yarn, & sit down with a cup of tea & this tutorial.

Good times.

Learning to be Mommy

Standard

Some women are born to be moms & wives. It’s just in their DNA.

They rise before the sun, run 9 miles, cook a well-balanced breakfast for the whole family, get everyone out the door on time (or keep them home, whatever), keep a house clean (not just free of trip-hazards), bake made-from-scratch cookies every day, get all the laundry done (AND folded AND put away), sew adorable outfits for their 27 children, think of things like cutting sandwiches into shapes, and buy 20 bags of healthy, organic, GMO-free groceries for $30 after super-couponing…all without batting an eyelash.

That ain’t me.

I’m the woman who’s perpetually 10 (15, 20) minutes late for nearly everything, who once drove across town after forgetting to buckle my toddler into her carseat, who can’t leave a store (ANY store) without purchasing at least one item, who’s constantly exhausted because my subconscious smells freedom as soon as the kids are asleep & promptly re-energizes.

I can cook, but I rarely enjoy it (unless it involves beating a raw chicken with a blunt instrument).

Besides, food always tastes better when someone else prepares it. I am adamant about buying GMO-free food, however, although I rarely walk out of the store having paid less than $200. Someday!

Cleaning?

I joke that I’m building my children’s immune systems, so I don’t vacuum. (Actually, there is an element of truth to that.) But I actually do clean…begrudgingly…because I know that, as soon as I’m “finished,” someone will come along and destroy it…be it husband, child, or 4-legged companion. (Ever notice that kitties puke on everything you love? And the dog will always choose the carpet over the tile floor.)

Let’s face it. Cleaning is never done.

Yeah, I’m crafty.

I’ve made my own hummingbird food, cross stitched several patterns, photoshopped pictures (& put them on stamps, mugs, mouse pads, and more, all to the amazement of family & friends), and beaded my own jewelry (but I kinda have to do that to use up all the beads & components I bought during that phase when I, apparently, drank too much wine and decided to start a jewelry business).

Let’s just say, I’m not always good at finishing what I start, but my intentions are sincere!

And I can’t even jog for two minutes without being out of breath…9 miles is Mt. Kilimanjaro, thank you very much.

Once upon a time, before children and medical treatments, I was a fitness trainer. A darn good one, too! Now I’m a candidate for The Biggest Loser. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! (Or widened, as it were.) But I’m gunning to complete Tough Mudder in 2013, so this paragraph will be rendered obsolete eventually. (Then all you mamas running 9 miles are going DOWN.)

See? So imperfect. So flawed.

But I’m learning. Aren’t we all?

When I had my first child (almost 3 years ago), I “knew” it wouldn’t be easy…but in my heart, I though, “Ha! I got this!”

So really, I didn’t know anything at all.

Now I’ve got two children…and I know even less! But I wear it better now.

(It’s nice being confident in what I don’t know.)

So while my family might not always get a home-cooked meal (sometimes a pre-made, frozen lasagna is just how it goes) and the house may just be tidy & deathtrap-free instead of spotless & pristine and some projects might sit unfinished for a few months (years, decades) and maybe the laundry sits in baskets all clean & stuff, just waiting for something to happen…well, I learn a little more every day.

And every day, I get a little closer to being the mommy I want to be.

So follow along as I share what I learn, how I fail, when I succeed, and what I accomplish. If nothing else, you might just get a good laugh out of it.

Oh, and don’t take me too seriously. My humor tends to be…well, not funny. Or so I’m told. (I think I’m hilarious.)

Welcome to my world!