Anonymous Mom: I Used To Have A Serious Career, Now I Show Off On Pinterest
I have never been very good at being a girl.
I don’t get my hair done. I don’t wear makeup. I definitely can’t put together a stylish outfit. I don’t even drink wine. So it’s kind of a shock to me that I have found myself on Pinterest lately looking at all of the beautiful porches, decorations, nurseries, crafts, sensory tables, and other things I know I could never create (unless I shamelessly copied every detail from the picture). I find myself relating to the women who talk about their plans for a thrift store search to find that cute, distressed, window to turn into a picture frame.
I want to be that mom on Facebook who posts the perfectly staged portraits of my 5-month-old twins wearing their handmade tutus and ridiculously large bows half the size of their head, posed so it looks like all they do is hold hands…in a meadow…with a beam of sunshine. They would of course not be crying or drooling or any of the other gross things they do on a daily basis. Next would be the picture of my artfully arranged fall porch with the adorable wood pumpkin that says, “Happy Fall, ya’ll!”.
I’ve tried to understand why I want to create these things and decorate my house in this way when I never have before. It’s not who I am. I am the science nerd. I read fantasy books. I got good grades and worked hard at my job. I was the teacher who stayed until 7 pm to finish planning that awesome lesson involving the latest technology I read about in a blog over the weekend. I pushed myself to be one of the best; a teacher the parents wanted for their child and one who other teachers respected. I wanted to be the person my colleagues would come to if they wanted advice on how to incorporate new strategies into their teaching. In other words, I wanted to excel.
Then I had twins. This, in my area, meant I could not afford daycare on a teachers’ salary. So I am a stay at home mom now. I spend all day, every day talking at two babies who look at me with their adorable smiles, not comprehending a single word I say. I love my daughters and I love the time I get to spend with them. I know how fortunate I am to be able to spend that time with them. But let’s face it — it’s not hard to excel at taking care of babies. You give them a toy they can chew on and it’s the best moment of their lives. Getting through the monotonous day, trying not to let the crying sear into your soul is hard. But the actual tasks involved are not difficult.
So I miss having something in which I have to work at to excel. This is where the Pinterest perfect mom in me emerges. That stylish and trendy girl I never expected to want to be says if I can turn my living room into something magazine-cover-worthy, I have shown that I excel at being a stay at home mom. If I create mouthwatering, impeccably decorated cupcakes, it shows I’m at the top of my game. Do I realize how vain this is? Yes, of course. But I accept that I like to be the best at things and that is not something I can (or want to) change. What I can change are the things I consider to be evidence of being the best mom.
Instead of wanting to paint perfect chevron walls in the nursery, I can be proud of the fact there are clean sheets on the cribs. I don’t need a chalkboard hung on the wall elegantly framed with 100 year old wood and a cascade of Spanish moss down the side — have my multicolored pack of sticky notes. My girls can play in the dirt and get all the sensory experience they want! It’s a completely different mindset and one that I need to embrace.
(photo: Agnes Kantaruk/ Shutterstock)