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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/.