Starting out motherhood is such a scary, unfamiliar, and very complicated journey. In my case it was a whirlwind with 4 babies in 6 years and a mommy brain filled with super high expectations of the life we were going to lead. This journey has taken so many twists and turns through the years and our family has decided to go SIMPLE.
Before children I envisioned myself as a mommy with clean, well-mannered, and matching-outfit-children who listened to me THE FIRST TIME, and responded with, ‘yes maam.’ Picture if you will the old cartoon scene with the momma duck climbing out of the pond with all of her adorable little baby ducks lining up right behind her…. this was my chosen vision of motherhood.
So… safe to say I was hit hard with the realities of motherhood head-on and the impact was mind blowing. I REALLY tried to keep up with the Joneses as they say for the first few years in, but for me it was just way too exhausting.
EVERYTHING these days has to be better and bigger to compete with complete strangers or acquaintances on the internet… crazy, right? All of the crazy prom proposals, baby gender reveal parties, kids birthday parties, etc.. are bigger and more elaborate and for what? To seem perfect on social media?
To each his own and I obviously realize some personalities thrive in that sort of environment, but for me as a mother I had to truly evaluate my priorities and what was most important for me and my family.
I found myself in a place of constantly comparing my life with others and for someone who has never been that competitive I was starting to do just that. Compete on social media for who has the better life. It seems so crazy to me even typing that, but it is painfully true. I got so wrapped up in trying to maintain a social-media, picture perfect life.
It is so easy during this transitional phase to get caught-up in trying to be EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY.
Running myself and my children ragged all around town for activities and events and making sure to take and post numerous photos of it. No photos of course of the in-between picture time with screaming children and a tired, frustrated mommy also screaming and like a banshee no less. I was not happy. I just wanted to LOOK happy.
It finally hit me… Why was I doing this to us? What is my ultimate goal? Why was I trying to impress people who I rarely even see in person EVER?! After this much needed realization in my head I decided to change my mindset. I was going to downshift our lives and find the areas I should really be focusing on.
Everything is so complicated anymore and everyone is so BUSY all of the time.
I took the kids out of their activities and we moved from the bustling city out to the sticks for a slower pace of life. To me, in my life at this moment, time is the most precious thing to me. Time well spent interacting and engaging my sweet babies and spending numerous hours on adventures around our new land.
We live right down the dirt road to an extremely large horse farm and I have to say our time just adventuring and going to see the horsies has been so incredible for my soul. I truly know in my heart my babies will cherish these memories.
The adjustments we have made in our lives have been so amazing for everyone in our family. We are not constantly rushing around, me frazzled, kids tired, and everyone screaming. I have noticed myself being so much more present in the moment and that in itself is so rewarding.
We sit down for a home cooked meal together as a family almost every night and go around the table to say our favorite part of the day and mine is always that very moment. Just sitting and eating with my most favorite people. No activities, no rushing around… just being together.
I am finding so much happiness with NOT TRYING to keep-up with all the perfect social media mommies and to truly embrace all of our flaws and imperfections. I am so much calmer and confident in my parenting now because I can clearly see what I want to relay to my children and WHY.
I want them to know people and relationships are way more valuable to them than material things will ever be. That spending quality time together and making memories is all this momma is about. To truly just be KIDS and play, be silly, and have as much fun as possible. And while money is nice it could never buy them happiness. I want them to know that I am only human and will make mistakes along the way but my love for them will never waiver no matter the circumstance.
We are definitely not perfect and the screaming unfortunately still happens from time to time, but lets get real I have two very emotional girls, and a loud, passionate little man and this mommy cant always keep her cool no matter how zen she is! Some days I feel like my children want me to yell at them, like they will do anything under the sun to burst my bubble and make that crazy screaming banshee reappear.
The banshee has not emerged nearly as much since we switched to a simpler, less-hectic lifestyle and I have been a lot more patient and not as quick-fused with my children. It is a slow process but I have really enjoyed it and think without a doubt it has been the right decision for our family.
Do you enjoy the simpler lifestyle or the fast-paced lifestyle for your family?
Have you found yourself mommy comparing/competing on social media?