Sometimes I think about how glad I am that there was no Facebook or any form of social media when I was a teenager. I’m also glad that I didn’t come of age as a parent in the days of Pinterest and blogging.
Blogs shape our culture, for better and for worse. They are what we turn to for advice and inspiration. The pressure to be perfect and to conform to unrealistic standards has always been there in different ways in years past; the ideas just spread more quickly through technology, through names we come to trust.
At one time or another, I’ve felt some amount of failure for not:
- staying slim and fit from the latest detox and fitness plan
- eating nothing but mostly raw, cerified organic, non-GMO, grain and sugar-free locally sourced foods
- looking stylish and wearing photo-app worthy outfits every day
- possessing insightful wit and humor in order to be charming in 140 characters
- having a sparkling, sanitized home by using the latest developed cleaning products
- organizing our home down to every nook and cranny using all of the genius “Why didn’t I think of that?” ideas on Pinterest
- running several miles each morning after completing a book study and online devotional
- being hospitable, missional, and active in social justice
- doing 101 homemade, hands-on activities with my children over the summer
And I haven’t even begun to talk about homeschooling. Where is that supposed to fit in, between making my own chalkboard furniture, doing nail art, and mixing homemade laundry detergent?
You may not struggle with any of it. (Maybe you are Supermom.) But I know that many moms are feeling suffocated under standards that they know they will never attain. We all have weak and tender areas where we are prone to discouragement and guilt. It doesn’t matter what other people can do; let that go. You have to find that path that God set out for you, and put on blinders to the rest of it.
Have interests and skills that you really love – if you enjoy knitting your baby’s wardrobe, by all means do it – but know that you will have less time and energy for all of those other activities that may look gloriously tempting. Understand that days, weeks, and even months may stretch by where you just need to focus on surviving and loving your family, and those temporal, pretty, sparkly, beautiful things don’t even matter when it comes down to it. You don’t have to apologize for that – you have a blessed life to show for it.