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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best of 2014 (or something like that)

So I most definitely shouldn't be doing a "Best of 2014" post when I've only been blogging for three months.  But it's my blog.  And I want to.  (Also, it makes me seem way more popular than I am.)

So here it is!

The most popular post of 2014 (aka the past three months)...


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I tried to be a Pinterest mom.

Once.

I planned a Ninjago-themed birthday party for my soon-to-be six-year-old son and seven of his squirmy kindergarten classmates.

It started as healthy browsing and ended in a pinning frenzy.  I chose the activities and foods that seemed fun, cute, and doable for a non-crafty, average-cooking mom.  I laid out my party plans and created a checklist of all the pre-party to-do's... so I wouldn't go too crazy the day of.

I kept telling myself in the week leading up to the party that I actually enjoyed this.  That I was happy to plan a party my son would enjoy.  One that he could be proud of when we didn't necessarily want to spend the money on the playhouse/soccer/swimming parties we frequented throughout the year.

But then the morning of the party arrived and I became slightly to very homicidal.  I won't go into details.  Let's just say, for the sake of my marriage, I don't plan Pinterest parties anymore.

And yet I truly believe there are some moms who do enjoy planning cute, intricate, matching birthday parties for their little ones.  Just like I know there are moms who actually like doing crafts and cooking with their kids.

Just because I'm not one of them doesn't mean they don't exist.

I get tired of reading articles and hearing people talk about these "Pinterest moms."  Like somehow their very existence threatens our own motherhood.

For the one week I imagined myself as a Pinterest mom, I didn't once think, I can't wait to post these pictures to Facebook and make all those non-Pinterest mamas feel small, small, small.

I mean, I did post pictures to Facebook.  I was proud of my work.  And after the near-sacrifice of my marriage, you can bet I needed to display some proof that it was worth it (right Joel?).

But I didn't do it to make anyone else feel less than.

I think as moms (and dads) that sometimes we can take each other's parenting successes personally.

I know because I'm guilty of it too.

When Aiden was in his first year of preschool a friend sent me a link to another mom's blog.  It was cute and crafty and by the time I read two posts I felt like I was three years behind in mother/child crafty bonding, and I started to panic a little.

So much so that the very next day I kept him home from preschool.  I saw that the crafty mom had made a tower of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti with her kids.  That seemed like something I could do, so I raided our US stash for marshmallows, spread them across the table with a big smile on of my face, and instructed my kids to build.

But mostly they just wanted to eat marshmallows and every attempt at building ended in my saying something along the lines of "oh my gosh, did you really just break another one" or "you're not finished until it looks like something!"

My kids ended up eating marshmallows on the couch, watching Spiderman.  I felt defeated.

But here's the thing.  I have this good friend here who loves to craft with her kids.  But guess what?  She loves to craft by herself too!  (Is it called crafting?  See, that's how little I know about it.)

It's not that I don't enjoy doing things with my kids.  It's that I was trying to force something that none of us were interested in.

So now I try to look for the intersection of our interests.  It's easy for Joel.  The boys love Star Wars and video games and bike rides.  But I have to be a little more creative.

For example, Finny and I both love food.  I don't have a lot of patience for kids cooking in the kitchen, but if I prep enough and have no time frame, I can let him cook with me.  More so, though, we love eating together.  That one I can handle.

Aiden's a bit harder for me, as he seems to possess boundless energy and I definitely don't.  But we both love to read.  So that's something.

Benjamin loves everything right now, so that's easy.

We all have our things.  My things with my kids aren't exciting or pretty enough to post to Facebook most of the time.  But if they were, I would proudly put it out there for all the world to see.  And why not?

I believe there's a way to appreciate other moms, and the moments that make them feel good, without feeling bad ourselves.

It's easy to relate to someone being honest about how hard it is.  But what about someone who's just being honest about how good it is.  Because there's both.  There's always both.  And just because someone is having a good mom moment, doesn't mean that we should have a bad one.

So Pinterest mamas of the world... we're behind you!  We understand that you can put hours and hours of work into a party just to see the joy on your child's face.  That you can craft and cook with your kids because you actually, truly enjoy it.

And those of us who don't, we have our moments too.  Snuggling on the couch for movie night, reading a favorite book, taking a child on a coffee/treat date (my favorite, of course).

Even if I don't enjoy one moment all day long, it doesn't make your moment any less valuable.  So keep showing us your moments.  The good and the bad.  And we'll keep showing you ours.

I may not plan Pinterest parties anymore, but I support those who do.

Plan on, mamas.  Plan on.




2 comments:

  1. This is very good. I feel a new post coming on where I can share and celebrate the really good moments I have as a mom, not just he bad ones. It is important to get the message out there that parenting has so many good moments too. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll be sure to include a link to your post.

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    1. Thanks Julie! You're right, it is way too easy to forget about the good with so many small things running around... but there is so much good! Glad my words could inspire you... looking forward to reading your post:)

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