What Your Mommy Blogger Wants You to Know: She’s Not Perfect

Not perfectThe other day, I noticed a lot of people finding my blog via Pinterest. I am not on Pinterest, so I followed the link and found a picture linking to my post about creating mind jars with my children. Someone commented on the link, “I kind of wanted to punch her, but I like that idea.” And another person responded, “I feel that way when I read parenting blogs, too.”

Oh, Pinterest. The exquisite handmade crafts, the gourmet lunches for toddlers, the gorgeously decorated homes. It all looks so perfect.

I am far from perfect.

Mommy blogs are not about “perfect parenting.” Perfection is unhealthy and unattainable.

Parenting, like yoga, like meditation, like life, is a practice.

We learn from our mistakes, we accept advice from others, and we strive to improve. To become better. Not perfect.

Parenting process

So if you’ve ever wanted to punch a mommy blogger because you envision her…

polishing an already-immaculately-clean stainless-steel kitchen, complete with homemade cork-board note stations, color-coded for each member of the family,

while serving organic quinoa and kale salad to her children, who ask, with Dickensian sweetness, “Please may I have a little more?”,

then effortlessly proceeding to clean up a four-alarm, ten-wipe diaper blowout while maintaining a serene Buddha smile,

and then praising her children for composing variations on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony…

… I’m sharing a list of things that you probably don’t know about her, and the things she probably wants you to know.

I would guess that …

… she might be really frustrated that her four-year-old still isn’t potty trained.

… her kids have probably told her she’s “really mean” and “just as bad as Mother Gothel.”

… she likely loses her cool somedays and yells at her children.

… her children have probably seen every episode of Sofia the First, and know the theme songs to Jake and the Pirates, Little Einsteins, and Dora the Explorer by heart.

live imperfection

… she most likely doesn’t find time for yoga or meditation or exercise every day. In fact, she may consider her gym membership a donation to the community.

… her children have probably gotten in trouble at school for things like, say, sending board game pieces flying because their turn was skipped in a game, or poking a kid in the eye. {These are purely hypothetical.}

… she has no doubt served several of the following, at one time or another, and called it “dinner”: pancakes, cereal, popcorn, Eggo waffles, or nachos.

… her children, we can assume, get into arguments multiple times a day. Hitting, hair pulling, and the word “poopy-butt” are probably involved.

be human

… her children presumably throw tantrums over things like mixing the exact same cereal from two different boxes.

… she, in all probability, has taken her iPhone with her to the park and checked Twitter while her children play.

… I would even speculate that one time, a mommy-blogger-who-shall-remain-nameless, who writes about mindful awareness, was once so busy making dinner and then rushing out the door to soccer practice, that she left the dog outside and he was found wandering the streets an hour later by a kind neighbor.

But I’m just guessing on these.

Nobody’s perfect.

Self-criticism

There are some other things I would guess that mommy blogger wants you to know…

:: She’s not mad at you for wanting to punch her.

:: One of her biggest fears she had when she started her blog was, in all likelihood, that people would want to punch her because they thought of her as preachy, or a know-it-all.

:: I think she would want to tell you that she doesn’t have it all figured out. In fact, I would bet her blog is an exercise in learning more about parenting.

:: Perhaps she would tell you that her blog is a bit like a Facebook page ~ it provides you glimpses of her life and thoughts a few days a week. And we all know that there is a lot more to people than what can be conveyed online. {Especially on Pinterest}.

:: Most likely, she would tell you that she wants her blog to be uplifting and inspiring, so she {sometimes agonizingly} works to balance portraying the honest reality of motherhood with positive messages and helpful stories.

:: Presumably, she wants to learn from her readers, and would love to hear how they navigate the journey of motherhood, too.

And I am absolutely certain the last thing she wants is for you to read her blog, and then judge yourself as a mother. I bet she hopes instead that you read and experience a connection, a “me too!” moment in which you see our common humanity.  

Above all, she wants you to visit her blog and know that mothers are not alone. 

Brown imperfection

She wants you to know that we all go through this collectively, and we are better when we practice the art of motherhood together.

Because no one is perfect.

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Sarah Rudell Beach

Sarah is a writer, teacher, and mother. At Left Brain Buddha, she writes about her journey to live and parent mindfully, joyfully, and thought-fully in her left-brain analytical life. When not working, she enjoys dancing, reading, and hanging out with her little Buddhas.
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Comments

  1. I love this post. We are better when we practice the art of motherhood together? AMEN. And I also love the idea of parenting as a practice. Well said.
    Ilene recently posted…Old Friends We’ve Just MetMy Profile

  2. Sarah, your blog is absolutely wonderful! As you said, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and even our blog are just GLIMPSES into our real lives. When will people realize that?? The way I see it is that you were sharing a strategy that has worked for you and your children in hopes that it might be helpful to others – and we can all use a little help from time to time!
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted…Tuesday Ten – Back to School EditionMy Profile

    • Thanks for such kind words, Lisa. I learn so much from other people’s blogs, too.
      {And I am so excited to connect with you at BBC in October!!}

  3. Oh, Sarah. If they knew you, they would never imagine punching you in the face. That Anthony Robbins quote is fantastic. This is a great post today. One of my favorites from you.

  4. Damn! That’s so mean. The thing which absolutely pisses me off about that kind of comment (and the whole ‘slating celebritites’ and ‘posting pictures of Walmartians to laugh at’) is that in the melee of bitchiness and bonding over someone whom fun or insult can be poked at, it is forgotten that the person being attacked is a PERSON. With feelings. And people who care for them, and whom they care for.

    And that hurts.

    Your response is incredible. *hugs*
    Considerer recently posted…On dualityMy Profile

    • Thanks, Lizzi. I was a bit taken aback at the comment, but didn’t let it bug me. Sadly, it’s far from the worst of the meanness that has been thrown my way since entering the blogosphere. She ultimately commented that she liked the idea, which is what led me to write this post. I think sometimes we may ignore the advice on “mommy blogs” because we assume these things only work for perfect mommies. But yes, any kind of criticism can hurt, and even if we don’t really mean it, I don’t like the idea of saying we want to punch someone. Alas….

      • Really? That’s horrible. I didn’t take you for someone who would stir up so much controversy and nastiness! Bizarre!

        Still, absolute kudos to you for handling it this way.
        Considerer recently posted…On dualityMy Profile

  5. I love this blog post! I do fear coming across as to “preachy”, but amazingly when I was being more preachy I had a stronger following go-figure. I totally agree with this blog post that we don’t want to come across as perfect in every way. I know I’m fair from perfect. All the things you mentioned about the kids doing, mine have done one or all, and I’ve done them too. ;)
    Crystal Green recently posted…The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Movie ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks Crystal!! And it’s funny, too, because the post she responded to by saying she wanted to punch me is, far-and-away, my most popular and most read post! Thanks for sharing…

  6. Oh, gosh. Sarah, this is exceptional. I’ve been feeling so many of these things during the past few weeks. I can relate in every way. First of all, I’m a master at self-criticism. Sarah, even though you may not be “perfect,” you are so good at making me feel better about my own struggles with being mindful, compassionate toward myself, and focusing my own blog toward the goal of helping other parents feel like they’re not alone. (By the way, I’ve already told you my own story of “losing” my dog and not realizing it for an entire day.)
    Jessica Smock recently posted…My 7 Tips For Work At Home Moms (Learned the Hard Way)My Profile

    • Thanks Jessica! And, um, yes, that’s right, you were actually the blogger I was referring to who abandoned their dog, ahem…. :) And I struggle with perfectionism, too… We are so often our worst critics, and Pinterest, for all the good it can do, probably doesn’t help our efforts to be happy with “good enough” and doing our best.

  7. Speak for yourself. I am totally perfect. (I can’t even type that without coughing). Great post!
    Erica recently posted…A Farewell to Our DogMy Profile

  8. I am feeling so relieved after reading this post.

    Being a mom can sometimes be very torturous especially with their holidays and myself sitting and blogging/commenting…lol

    No body is perfect but, we try to keep ourselves sane by activities around us.

    Wonderful post, Sarah
    ruchira recently posted…Living a life with PassionMy Profile

  9. A-expletive-men, sister. Great post. xo
    Deb @ Urban Moo Cow recently posted…How Often Do You Eat Dinner Together?My Profile

  10. Beautiful. Parenting is about being perfectly imperfect. Thanks for the reminder. :)
    Maggie Amada recently posted…The Art Of NoMy Profile

  11. I am a perfectionist and a new mom. I find it so hard with all the social media to feel anything but less. Your post reminds me that we all are real people with real children & real frustrations. And no matter how hard we try we are NOT going to perfect.
    Scarlett recently posted…What’s Cooking? Grilled Peaches…3 WaysMy Profile

  12. Does it defeat the purpose that *I* want to punch that person in the face on your behalf? Wait, yeah, that’s totally wrong. Sorry.

    And I loved this post. I think you have found a lovely balance of being inspiring, helpful, honest, and REAL. Great job with this. Thanks for reminding us that all the other parents we meet have more to them than meets the eye. (I kind of want to retract my whiny, jealous-sounding post that I just wrote today! Ha! )
    xo
    Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. recently posted…My Awkward Return to School: PTA, Poodle Skirts, and Mom-FailsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Stephanie. I loved your post today… because I bet other moms look at you and think, “she’s got it together, volunteering for the talent show and working part time too…” and then we realize we all have the same insecurities and fears… What we share is so important. xoxo

  13. I think it’s hard not to take criticism personally, but, at the end of the day, you have to be who you are, no matter what anyone else thinks about it. The internet is this brutal, anonymous world. We are lucky when we make a brief connection on it, really. Often, I think it’s an opportunity for disconnect or mis-connections (is that a word? I just made it up). I like your response to its brutality. You definitely took the high road! You go, sister!
    Rachel recently posted…My Toddler is Irrational and Other Obvious ObservationsMy Profile

    • Thanks Rachel – ultimately, I don’t think the commenter intended to be ‘mean’ as she did say she liked the idea… And it was a good exercise in compassion. I just don’t want parents to read mommy blogs and think, “well, that works for the lady who has Siddhartha for a child!” and then worry about themselves. Thanks for your comment!

  14. Absolutely love, love, love this!
    Alexa recently posted…The Boob-olutionMy Profile

  15. Sarah, pay no attention to those “poopy-butts” who vented their own unhappiness on Pinterest. Know that your honesty and positivity resonate with moms of all ages. Keep up the excellent work!
    Mo at Mocadeaux recently posted…Words of WisdomMy Profile

  16. I’m sorry that mom on Pinterest took out her frustrations on you, Sarah. We all blog about our strengths and weaknesses, and clearly this woman viewed the pin without knowing anything about you. Kudos to you for not taking it personally.
    Dana recently posted…Full of possibilitiesMy Profile

  17. Sarah, I can relate to so much of this. Our blogs have a similar slant, and I too have often struggled with this fear of seeming “preachy” – so much so that I have hesitated to share my blog with many people I know personally. I didn’t want them to think I thought I knew the answers (even though my strap line is: where not knowing the answer is the answer!)
    I can imagine it must have taken a moment or two to feel so magnanimous towards the person who wanted to punch you, even if she also complimented you!
    I totally agree with the perspective you present here: none of us are perfect or should even want to be.
    Great post.
    Yvonne recently posted…Comment on Thankful for My Father by JoyMy Profile

  18. I adored this. Because, ha, I am so not perfect. OMG.
    Jenna recently posted…I’m Not Good at ThisMy Profile

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