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Take It Easy(ier)

I know it’s January, and that means the making of resolutions and the reorganizing of priorities. I follow some blogs of busy moms, and it seems to me that a major theme this new year is to not beat yourself up trying to be perfect. I think it’s good advice; after all, no one is perfect. But with the advent of Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, and other sites, it’s difficult to not compare yourself and your lack of accomplishments with others. 

As I said, looking at just ordinary blogs that my friends are writing, it is tough to see the pictures of the delicious meals, involved desserts, stylish home furnishings, and crafts for their kids without feeling a bit overwhelmed. “What have I done today,” I ask myself? I fed my family, but it wasn’t nearly as tasty as that blog meal. I cleaned the house, but don’t invite Martha Stewart over. I found a few educational crafts on Pinterest that I printed out, but right now they’re sitting in a growing pile while my boys and I play trains.

When I was growing up, we never really knew what other moms and dads were doing in their free time. Now, everyone feels like they have to blast it around cyberspace. So you’re an award-winning photographer who also bakes cupcakes decorated with your own brand of frosting. And yes, you can create educational games out of old newspapers and glue sticks. But I wonder if their real lives, the lives that are lived when the camera is turned off, are more like mine.

I think they are. And that’s really what many mommy-bloggers were confessing. Homeschool moms wrote that somedays they wish they had a principal to send their own child off to. Moms who usually shared delicious-looking recipes said that there are days when it’s fast food for their families. Educators who share creative ways to teach reading and math said that there are maybe ten minutes a day when everything in their classrooms are worthy of a photo.

It’s not an excuse not to try to be better–if that’s your inclination. I really do want to reinforce school learning at home with my children. So, maybe we have fifteen minutes of that kind of thing–found easily on the Internet, no workbooks for us, thank you! Then we play trains, or read books, or set the table together. That quiet moments are worthwhile, too. If I want to explore cooking more detailed or healthier meals, I know I can start with one dish at a time. My husband is grateful, as he says, “that you cook for me at all.”

So, Katyites, relax this year and take a deep breath. Find one challenge a week, make a goal, and please tell us all about it! We’d love to hear what our neighbors are doing.

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