I get so sick of trying to keep up with Pinterest mamas and their perfect birthday parties, their perfect homes, and their perfect schedules. Let me tell you, mamas, it is not real. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter…you’re getting the highlights. This is not real life. It is ok to be a Pinterest Fail Mom! There is no such thing as a perfect mom.
I used to try to be that perfect mom. I really thought I could do it all, and I could do it all while my husband was gone for half of the month. Being supermom and superhuman was totally possible. Who needs sleep anyway?! I was working full time, moving up in my career, cooking wholesome meals, restricting TV for my kids, and enjoying all the free, fun stuff around town I could find for us to do. Thing is, I was driving myself over the edge and towards a near nervous breakdown. I was doing way too much, rather than just focusing on what truly mattered. That’s when I decided to simplify my life.
You can’t do it all…at least you shouldn’t try to do it all
We’re all the same when it comes to time. We all have 24 hours in the day. You get to choose how these 24 hours look. It’s all a choice. For every choice you make is a trade-off with another.
Some of the choices you make in your day are necessary. A lot of us have to go to work, make dinner every night, and clean our own homes. Many of us have to hold down the fort while our husbands are gone or because there’s no one else to hold down the fort with us. Time does not always allow us to be the high expectation we hold of ourselves to be a perfect mom.
Once you accept the fact that you cannot (or at least should not) do it all, you are not a failure. You’re probably one of the smarter moms out there. You’re certainly smarter than how I was a few years ago when I really did try to do it all.
You see, I was working 40+ hours a week and trying to move up the corporate ladder, I was making from scratch meals, meal planning and shopping for deals, planning the perfect birthday parties, AND trying to be the best intentional parent. I was trying so hard to be the perfect mom. Add on to that trying to be a good wife and homemaker, and I had about 40 hours of tasks to do in a 24 hour period, every day. It was an impossible uphill battle, and I was starting to feel it!
Your kids don’t care if you’re a Pinterest perfect mom
I made a cake for my daughter‘s third birthday after finishing up a very long week at work. It was Friday, and we had a birthday party scheduled at Chuck-E-Cheese at 10 AM the next morning. I asked my daughter what kind of cake she wanted, and she said a princess castle. Rather than go to the grocery store and spend $20 on a perfect cake with a perfect plastic castle on top, I was going to make one. My cake would not come out of a box, it would be homemade and a three-dimensional castle. I was super mom, and nothing could stop me, not even 40 hours of work that week and pure exhaustion.
My plans for the birthday cake didn’t go as I wanted. The more frustrated I got, the more wine I poured. I had to remake the cake once (we live at elevation and it sank). The proportions were all off, and nothing was working like it was supposed to! This is what it looked like when I was done:
I was so frustrated, I wanted to cry, and I was embarrassed to show my little three-year-old her cake that I had promised the next morning. When I showed it to her, do you know what she said?
She said, “Oh mommy!!! I love it! You made me a real castle cake.”
I said, “I’m so sorry it’s not perfect, mama is not very good at making cakes.”
Her response? “Oh, mommy none of my other friends’ mommies make cakes. They just buy them at the store.”
It was in that moment that I realized my little girl did not care if I was a Pinterest perfect mom. All she cared about was that I was her mommy and making her day special. That’s a lot of wisdom shared from a three-year-old.
Stop trying so hard
Stop trying so hard to give your kids the best and most of everything. Your kids don’t need all of these things that cost so much of your money and so much of your time to be a happy kid. They don’t have to be signed up for sports every day of the week. They don’t have to participate in multiple extracurricular activities. And believe it or not, they don’t have to have the fanciest clothes, the fanciest birthday parties, or the fanciest schools. They also don’t need the latest and greatest of all of the tech toys that exist today for kids.
Your kids would rather spend quality time with you than be signed up to participate in all the fun things that are available today. Your kids would also rather have time with you to do the things they love rather than have a perfect project for school or perfect dessert for their party. Let them do things with you. Let things be messy. They really don’t care.
It’s OK for things not to be pretty
I took my girls to a birthday party at a giant house once with fancy cars parked in the driveway and all the Pinterest perfect decorations inside. We brought over a gift that included books and dress up scarves, some of my favorite minimalist gifts for kids.
I let the girls place the gifts in a box and then wrap the box with brown shipping paper. It was not very pretty. You know what though? My kids and the child receiving the gift loved it! My kids drew their favorite pictures all over the brown wrapping paper and even put stickers all over it. They also wrote the sweetest notes on the wrapping paper to their little girlfriend. It wasn’t packaged with the designer toy store wrapping paper. It was not pretty.
Not pretty is OK, especially when it is made with love and brings joy to all those involved.
Be proud to be a Perfect Pinterest Fail Mom…Not a perfect mom!
Sometimes it’s hard to be proud when you don’t have the fanciest parties, desserts, or clever little projects that you completed with the help of some of the brilliant people out in the internet world. I can’t say it enough times though, your kids do not care. They want to do projects with you, and they want to help you make a mess. They also want things made out of love and don’t care how pretty something looks.
Go ahead and get your hands dirty with your kids, and make something to be proud of it even if it’s not perfect. Make a princess castle cake and enjoy every single delicious chocolate bite. Be a perfect Pinterest Fail Mom.