Those Moms, I Know We Have All Seen Them
(Insert a slight amount of sarcasm when reading this)
Maybe you have seen the picture posted by that one mom who snapped a picture of her toddler sipping almond milk from a BPA-free sippy cup while eating avocado tzatziki dip and wearing fair trade clothing (made without dyes), as they took a short break from the intermediate yoga class for her child. This mommy happens to only feed her children locally-sourced organic food and delivers it fresh via their dinner plates.
As you are viewing her facebook account you know that your child is sitting in front of the television eating fruit snacks (made with red dye) and drinking Kool-Aid from her sippy cup that containing BPA and wearing clothes made in a sweatshop in China.
What About These Moms?
Or what about the mom who regularly posts her opinion on why you should not immunize your child. She gives you the impression that if you do immunize your child that you must not love your child.
What about pictures of the perfectly-themed birthday parties and matching gift bags?
Or the photo albums of a cousin’s trip to Disney World with her family and the 152 pictures of her identically dressed adorable children.
Or the facebook posts from a friend who spends way too much time on Pinterest scouring for ideas on how to keep her children entertained. You can see from her shared list, “30 Summer Activities to Keep Your Child Entertained.”
Do you get the picture? This is what I call a Pinterest Perfect Mom.
The Effects of Social Media on Motherhood
Viewing social media such as Instagram or Facebook, perusing through Pinterest, reading mommy blogs, or viewing mommy vloggers on YouTube often adds to the guilt that we deal with as moms.
We see posts, comments, and pictures that add to the guilt we already feel. Mommy bloggers and mommy vloggers often seem to paint this picture that their lives are perfect, somehow (even if unintentionally) making you feel as if your life was less than perfect. I know I have felt this way many times after seeing posts made by my facebook friends or read other blogs written by moms.
“Mommy Wars” are alive and well. With social media, a mother has been given a platform to spout their opinion, er, I mean educate others on what is best for their child.
- Breastfeeding vs Bottle feeding: Becoming a new parent is overwhelming enough, but to have to choose between bottle feeding or breastfeeding can make you feel like you are deciding their future with one decision. It is simple, your child needs to be fed. Decide how and what works for your family, and do it. Don’t worry about other mom’s. Their lives are not yours. As a child born in the 70’s it was not very popular to breastfeed your babies at that point, at least where I was being raised. My mom fed me formula. I was on solid milk at six weeks and potty trained by nine months. When I began having my children in 2004, I chose to breastfeed beginning with my firstborn. And by the time I had my seventh child, I was a pro at nursing anywhere and could cook an entire meal one-handed because I was holding the baby in the other while nursing. I turned out fine. My children turned out fine, too.
- Cloth diapering vs. disposable diapering: Perhaps a mom prefers to cloth diaper to help decrease her carbon footprint on the environment. Or maybe another mom wants to be frugal and use cloth diapers, but you would prefer disposable for their convenience and ease in your life. Yet the diapering wars can divide a friendship.
The List Goes On
- Parenting styles: Helicoptering vs. Free Range Parenting, attachment vs. authoritarian…As mom’s we were all raised differently, thus we have our own opinions
- Mainstream vs natural mom
- Homeschooling vs traditional schooling mom
- Stay-at-home moms vs Working Mothers
- Permissive parenting vs stricter parenting
Mom guilt is real. Competition among mothers is fierce. The guilt you feel can cause you to feel as if you are failing as a mother.
The guilt can be overwhelming. It can drive you nuts. It can make you question all that you have done as a mother and what you want for your children. This guilt can eat right at the core of our mothering hearts. You do not have to stay in mommy guilt. It does not have to eat at you.
We will always make mistakes. We will always wish for things to be different or have done things differently. It is part of life and learning. It becomes part of who we are as mothers. And as a mom, we should always seek to be the best we can possibly can. However, not to the extent of it ruling over our lives.
GRACE, try some today
Today is a gift.
Today is also a new day.
His mercies are new each morning.
Rest assured that His grace will cover our shortcomings and fill in the gap where we make mistakes.
Give yourself some grace.
Moms, we all have a tough job. Trust me, I know. But do you know that God knows that, too? And He has not left your side nor will He ever leave you to do this task alone. The grace that saves us is the same grace that meets us every morning as a mom. You do not have to be Pinterest perfect or defend your actions in the endless debates in mommy wars.
Dig into His grace today!
After all, grace was bestowed upon us by our loving heavenly Father. It would not hurt to have some grace for yourself as a mom. Trying to be perfect will result in a never-ending cycle of disappointment.
If your children are fed, happy, and clothed you are doing it right. Do you read to your children? Do you tell them that you love them on a daily basis? Do you apologize to them when you are in the wrong? Do you spend time with them?
God Does Not Make Mistakes
Social media is great but certainly has its downfalls. You cannot be everything, mom.
God made you the way you are. He does not make mistakes. He made you to have the children you have. Not one mom is like another. We each bring to the table our own unique talents, gifts, and abilities. You are the best mom for your child.
Not good at crafts, but you love to cook. You are doing it right.
Do you let your kid fall? Or are you a helicopter mom? Either way, you are doing it right.
Take a hold of that grace that is available to you, especially as a mom. We all fall short of the glory God. Romans 3:23.
We all make mistakes. We all sin. If we were perfect we would have no need for the living Savior. The Jesus that is so real and loving.
See the good you have done as a mother. Be thankful for those good times with your children. Continue to love your children the best that you can do. Stop with the guilt.
Enjoy those children. Stop with the guilt.
Take comfort in the grace bestowed upon you. Stop with the guilt.
Mommas, we don’t have to measure ourselves by other people’s standards.
Pinterest perfect mom or not, you are doing it right.
*(Disclaimer: This is for the majority of mothers, not to be misused or to mislead mothers who truly need help or have their children removed for their own safety)