Monday, May 13, 2013

what if...

i should not be blogging right now. i should be sleeping. but as it inevitably turns out, while i was ex-hau-sted all day when i needed to be doing stuff, i'm completely awake now that the baby has gone down a whole half hour earlier than usual (part of our painfully slow and not-so-steady journey towards an 8 pm bedtime like normal children have).

so here i am.


i just remembered i never showered. i was gonna do that as soon as she went to bed...

which, weirdly enough, brings me to what i was going to write about anyway.

ok, i'm gonna make this quick so i can shower. cuz i need to. like, i really need to.

so i read a lot of blogs. "mommy blogs"(although i hate calling them that, because i think it makes it sound like i sit around all day trolling for new knitting patterns and recipes that call for 2 cups of breastmilk). my personal favorites are and (that's "momastery" as in "monastery" but not. not to be confused with "mom mastery", as i first thought).

just to give you an idea.

i've noticed that several of these women have blogged about the same topic, which i'll call the digital dilemma. in a nutshell, the idea is that many people (specifically, women, specifically, mothers) feel bad about themselves when they compare their lives to the seemingly perfect ones of their friends as portrayed on social media (facebook, instagram, pinterest, etc.). i guess these mom-bloggers get a lot of emails and whatnot from readers who say things like, "i wish i had your life, you make it all look so easy! i look at all the pictures you post of your kids in these sparkly adorable outfits, skipping around in the sunset; the spotless Easter brunch you prepared and color-coordinated to match your dining room napkins; the pinwheel cupcakes you sculpted from scratch and topped with honey you extracted by hand from the honeysuckles in your backyard... i look at these things and i feel so inadequate!!"

of course, the author always responds, you aren't getting the whole story. she is quick to point out the things you don't see, like the total meltdown child #2 had just before that particularly perfect photo was taken, or the fact that her dog ate all of the pinwheel cookies and she spend the next 2 days in bed crying about it. stuff like that.

don't worry, the bloggers reassure their freaking-out fans, for every perfect moment that gets captured on film and posted, there are 6,345,692 imperfect ones that don't.

this makes perfect sense.

i mean, how many people do you know who are running to snap photos of the worst moments of their day in order to preserve those memories for a lifetime? not me, that's for sure. and probably not you. not any of those bloggers.

but what if they did?

here's my thought about all of this. the point that the mommy-bloggers are making in response to their readers telling them how inadequate their photos and stories make them feel is to say, "don't feel bad about yourself - just because we only post the good and pretty stuff doesn't mean there isn't also bad and ugly stuff in our lives. you just don't see it because we don't show it."

my thing is, what if they did show it, and we did see it?

what if, instead of only posting photos of myself on days when i've showered, i also posted one of myself sitting here right now, in the same clothes and underwear i woke up in:

what if, instead of only posting photos of my pinterestly perfect meals (ok, let's face it, i don't actually generate those kinds of meals in reality), i showed you the mealworm in my artichoke:

what if, while i have yet to take any un-adorable photos of soph, i told you that at 6 months, she still is not sleep-trained, goes to bed around 9:30, and wakes up 4-5 times a night, and we are too big of pushovers to let her cry it out? what if i told you that, as i've been writing this, after having successfully gotten her into bed at 9, she woke up at 9:20 and has been screaming so loud i'm afraid she'll wake the dead (not to be confused with the deceased -- that's just what we call our next door neighbors who come by and complain if we flush the toilet too loudly)?

what if, unlike any other mother-blog i've yet to come across (although i'm sure they exist; i'm not THAT original), i gave you the bad and the ugly along with the good?

i think i'm going to start.

because, while i ADORE my blogs (i seriously think i would cease to function without, i think i would like to see one that takes things a step beyond "trust me, my life isn't perfect, even if i only show you the perfect stuff".

let's start showing that imperfect stuff! after all, that's reality. and i think a lot of us would feel a whole lot better if we SAW that other people's reality was just as messy as our own.

i know i would.

and on that note, my kid has finally stopped screaming...! i made it!!! i think i'll reward myself with a shower before (hopefully) getting a decent night's sleep.

scratch that. she literally started screaming again as i typed that last sentence. in the spirit of being brutally honest.

and continuing in that spirit... i'm totally about to go console her.

i know. i'm a miserable failure. just like the rest of you.

just kidding ;-)



  1. Right on, Theresee....I remember those crying, sleepless nights. I can remember Katelyn crying in our apartment in Manassas (how Ruth managed to sleep in that same idea). I found humming and a timer kept me sane. God bless. Love that Sophie! You guys are fantastic classy parents!

  2. way to go theresee! and you and bryan and soph are the best!