I feel like it’s really easy to get caught up in sharing all the ways our lives are working. The moments we feel in love, the days our kids are being cute and sweet, the meals we make that are absolutely gorgeous.
It’s not as fun to share the bad moments. On one hand, it’s not picture perfect. On the other, the negative things in our lives feel way more personal than the good. The good is encouraging. It’s not heavy. It doesn’t involve affirmations or putting your problems on an awkward pedestal. Anything negative is best hidden away in our homes and in our minds. Not on our feeds or in our posts.
I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing to limit the negativity we share. I don’t love to be around people that spend all their time airing their dirty laundry. Being too wrapped up in the negative things is also not good.
But when you’re someone like me who has a desire to help people better their lives through sharing their own experiences, it’s important to sometimes open up about the fact that your life isn’t perfect. That even if you have a million things figured out, there’s still a million other things you’re still working on.
MY LIFE ISN’T PERFECT AND THAT’S OKAY
I give a lot of advice about kids and relationships and mental health, but that doesn’t mean I am the best wife or mother or person in the whole entire world. I have so much that I’m learning. My standards are set but they can change. There’s always new studies, new information, new ways of doing things to try. The best I can do is share what works right now and be humble about the things I don’t know anything about.
So for the sake of being open and letting you know that you’re not inadequate just because you may not know everything, here are all the things I’m still working on.
We don’t eat the most healthy meals every single day. Sometimes not even every week. My son still eats sugary fruit snacks and food that comes in plastic packages that’s been processed to the nines. I’m trying to buy healthier groceries. I attempt to make things here and there, I do try. But still, our meals are half home made (and half of that is from processed, packaged food) and half from fast food restaurants. We don’t eat enough fruit and veggies and when we do, it’s not always organic or non-GMO or whatever else it’s supposed to be.
Some of this depends on my mood and some of it depends on how much money is in the budget that week.
I’ve learned tricks and all of the tricks I’ve learned, I’ve shared. But I’m not perfect and honestly, sometimes fruit snacks are just easier.
Our house is not spotless. I don’t sweep the floors every time I should. I wait too long to clean the bathrooms and I still have no idea how exactly I want our kitchen counters set up to reduce the clutter. I don’t know how to manage every piece of clutter that comes into our home and we still have a lot of upgrades that will need to be made over time. We have an old rug with stains. A 5 year old, cheap Ikea couch that has been through hell and back. We’ve collected a lot of hand-me-downs and made frivolous purchases in a whim that don’t fit an aesthetic of any kind.
We have a lot of stuff we don’t need and need a lot of stuff we don’t have. Nothing is specifically curated, but I’m working on it.
My goal is to have a beautiful house with items I love where every corner is perfectly instagrammable at any moment. I have spaces I love and I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job at figuring out how to keep my home clean enough, but my home is no where near perfect in the slightest. As I find home hacks, I share them, but I’m still learning everyday how to make a home feel like home.
MINIMALISM, SLOW LIVING, AND ZERO WASTE
The big buzzwords of the day. I love the idea of each and every one of these things. I will recommend adding these mindsets and lifestyles into anyone’s life. I’ve figured out how to add these big ticket items as major focuses and factors in my life and decision making, but I’m not perfect by any standard.
I still shop. I still mindlessly shop. I still buy things that I know I don’t need just to fill a void in a moment of weakness. I buy from big box stores. Strolls through target where I buy some plastic thing with tons of packaging is still a loved pastime of mine. I forget to be patient about projects and activities. I buy cheap items and wasteful items. I still have paper towels in my kitchen and pretty much all of my clothes are bought without a thought put into the purchase from a fast fashion store.
I’m learning how to make my home minimal and sustainable. I’m working on focusing on the little things and taking in small moments like drinking a good cup of coffee or simply sitting outside and watching the wind blow. I get so excited in the moments where I’ve figured something out to help myself and others engage in these lifestyles. But I’m not perfect. I haven’t mastered anything and I’m still learning how to include these things into my daily life. As I learn, I share, as with everything. But I can never claim that I’m perfect at any of these things.
The advice I give for relationships comes from many trial and error experiences. Every lesson I’ve learned about people and relationships has been the hard way and every piece of advice I give is intended to help as many people as possible to not have to learn the hard way.
I’m a hermit for the most part. I have a few people I keep in touch with, but I mostly just sit at home with my very select few (being Ian and Oliver). I have friends I wish I kept in touch with, conflicts I could’ve handled with much more care. I have many, many moments I regret. I haven’t been the perfect sister or daughter or friend or wife. I’ve only just recently learned how to be a little good at all of those things. And even still, I’m still learning. I get insecure, I get afraid. I have moments where I’m convinced I will never be enough to deserve care of any kind and in turn, I make choices to not care for others in advance.
But I’m learning. I learn everyday in my marriage how to be better. Sometimes, I’m great at it; but most of the time, I’m learning.
We have moments where we fight. We bicker at least once a day and I can guarantee we haven’t mastered married life by any means. Do we love each other? Do we Try our best? Absolutely. Are we perfect in anyway? Not in the slightest.
When I discover something that helps us move forward or helps me to move a little closer in my other relationships, I share it. But my advice will never be a claim to perfection.
This one is a hard one you guys. Pretty much everyone who shares their motherhood experience seems like they have perfectly behaved and caring children who never watch TV and have a better wardrobe than anyone. They appear to eat clever snacks and somehow all of them like kale for some reason.
Motherhood is one of those things where having a community of people to relate to is extremely helpful and reassuring. Having people around that go through what you do really just helps you get through it. But sharing your negative experiences motherhood is almost a sin. Admitting that you don’t love every moment or that you make mistakes is terrifying. Sometimes I honestly feel like if I were to share a stream of my whole day with my son, someone would decide I was doing something morally wrong and call child services or something. People are INTENSE about childcare and everyone has different standards and morals for what is right and what is wrong.
I get it. Kids need advocates and I’ve even been one to share my opinion on certain parenting styles for the sake of the kids.
But it’s never to say I’m perfect. It’s never to say I don’t have bad days. I can at least refrain from horribly scarring my son, but that doesn’t mean I don’t grab a pillow to scream in as he’s running to get into something he’s not suppose to for the millionth time that hour. We definitely watch too much TV and he totally screamed just the other day at a very quiet coffee shop. I have to walk away sometimes and lock myself in a room. Sometimes there are even tears that follow that out of frustration and anger and disappointment that I have to be the bad guy sometimes and make my son hate me to the point of refusing a pre-bedtime hug and kiss at the end of the day.
I could write a novel on how not everyday of motherhood is a dream of cuteness and love. I will always be the first to say that I have no idea what I’m doing and when I do figure something out that sort of works, I’ll be the first to tell you to not take my word for it. It’s important to figure out this mothering stuff for yourself, but it’s nice to know you’re not alone which is why I feel the need to say: don’t worry sister. I’m not perfect either.
I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO SHARE THE HARD TIMES SOMETIMES
I think it’s really important for me to share that, along with everything I’ve learned, I’m still learning new things everyday.
If you feel like you don’t have anything figured out, you’re not alone. If you feel like there are more bad days than good days sometimes, I feel your pain.
If you think you’re the only one who’s kid screams in public or who’s marriage isn’t perfect or who’s home isn’t carefully curated or who hasn’t mastered all the buzzword lifestyles…
Let me be the first to tell you, I'm right there with you.