Priorities. Everyone has them. Lists and Lists of to-do’s, lined up and prioritized. Moms though, moms have a special breed of to-do lists because our priorities, always, are our children. Along with that one, major priority, we give ourselves a thousand little to-do’s. Each designed to make you a better mom, your child a more well-rounded, smarter kid, your house a cleaner, more well-run house. All of it- ALL- is in the name of the love of your children.
Everyday, we feel the pressure of motherhood and our priorities tugging on our sleeve. “This is important!” it says, “And this! And this- NO, THIS!”
So we strive for perfection. We pin and plot and plan. Then we take those plans to clean and bake and kiss and snuggle and nurse. Or rather, we cry and yell and guzzle coffee like it’s a lifeline.
Mothers are amazing, strong, multi-tasking super-heroes.
And trying to do it all is killing us.
In working to become that Pinterest perfect, insta-mom for our babies, we are allowing our “Priorities” to steal our joy. Consequently I find myself so concerned with all the things I do- or don’t do- for my children that I stop appreciating being in the moment with their tiny chubby toes and kissable cheeks. I run and run and run, but I’m never on time. I’m never fully on that mom-train of perfection. My house is never clean. I cook home-made, from scratch meals just about as often as I slap together a peanut butter and jelly or throw chicken nuggets in the oven.
Honestly, I have nightmares that I am rushing someplace, but a thousand priorities and needs pop up and I can never, ever make it.
Recently, I watched a video that was floating around Facebook, with two mothers discussing all the plans they had made.
I’m going to make a chore chart! So I can get my house clean and do a little every day!”
“Yes! and I’m going to plan out my grocery shopping with a menu every day for my family!”
“And Snack baskets! Pre-made with healthy foods for my kids”
“I’m going to start working out every morning at 530”
“Oh me too, and…
I was a full 45 seconds in, nodding my head to all those things I wanted to do for my family, when I realized it was a parody.
That’s how much pressure we put on ourselves to strive for perfection.
Mothers need to actually prioritize our priorities!
It’s time I jerk my sleeve back from those Pinterest perfect insta-mom expectations.
No. This is important.”
I may never catch that perfection train.
I may hustle and bustle but my life will never be the pinterest perfect home, filled with food from scratch, crafts, activities, and perfectly behaved children. It is most likely that I will never stick to that chore chart I just designed and printed out so adorably on the fridge. My newfound determination to make a meal plan each week will probably last a week and a half.
Maybe I will miss that train to motherhood perfection, never quite having my self-appointed priorities in order. But the road to get there, the time with my children in my whirlwind loud chaotic mess of a home will be the greatest adventure I could ever hope for.
So when that dream shadow of that pinterest perfect insta-mom begins tugging on my sleeve, demanding I do better, try harder; that this and this and THIS are important, I will pull my sleeve away from her and place my hand on my heart. Then I will tell her that I did not settle for this chaotic beautiful mess of a life.
I chose it.
I will continue to choose it, and my perfectly imperfect home and children, every day.
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