Long before I became a blogger I strived to be the best version of my job roles I could be. Whether that was being the best office manager and managing my employees the best way I possibly could or being the outstanding wife making sure dinner was on the table every night. Something imaginary driving me to do it all, and do it perfectly or else.
Then I became a blogger. Look out! And those same (fictitious) pressures to be better and better followed suit. I was reading a blog post the other day from the lovely Not A Frumpy Mum and she talked about giving ourselves a break and it got me thinking – YES! We all need to give ourselves a break!
I am the first to admit I am hardest on myself. I am not sure where it started in life to strive to be like this imaginary person that doesn’t actually exist. The one only Pinterest pretends to be and laughs as we tweet yet another ‘Pinterest fail’. I have news for you all and myself included: SHE DOESN’T EXIST! She has never existed. She is a figment of our imagination created by one of us long ago that just went a little too far on the “Stepford wives” side of life. (if you haven’t seen the movie ignore the pun). In short of it, they were robots but we are not! We are humans! Humans have flaws!
While we sit and point fingers at Pinterest for making us feel like failures and pushing us to create these glossy magazine fake lives, we really do still secretly love you Pinterest. You motivate us and help our creative juices flow. But we also can let it get to us. We let it push us to that overwhelming state, time and time again where we feel the pressures of it too. It’s a love/hate relationship. No one is Pinterest perfect!
I am obsessed with Instagram too, but it is no better with it’s beautiful styled photos and flashy and awe striking vignettes. It both motivates me and overwhelms me at the same time. I love that it gets my creativity going but sometimes it almost makes me feel like I am not quite good enough. I know I am not alone either. Again, all figments of our imagination. We are all creators in our own way and that’s the beauty of it as long as we don’t let it put pressure on us to be better or different. We are already us so let’s stay us and share us! Going back to what Jo said above, give ourselves a break. We get pressures from all parts of our lives, work, school run, friends, social media, blogging, vlogging, neighbors, family, media, magazines. The list is endless. But what are we all striving for… a perfect person doesn’t exist so how do we set the bar high but not unrealistically too high for ourselves?
Things can appear perfect from the outside, but everyone has their ups and downs, their struggles, their flaws, their strengths and their weaknesses. I have seen it more and more since I started blogging, people writing about not being good enough, or comparing themselves to that fictitious person that I would love to meet someday! I am the guiltiest one of them all but as I get older and more experienced in life I realize I set the bar too high sometimes. It’s ok not to be good at everything, it’s ok to even fail as long as you pick yourself back up and try again. Life is about learning as we go along and so I am learning that SHE DOESN’T EXIST nor HE if I am being politically correct. Dads feel pressures too, as parents we all do.
Ignore that image you may have in your head about this fake perfect person, he or she, doing the washing, the cooking, the cleaning, grocery buying, taking care of the kids, working/blogging, showering and looking fashionable, quality time with partners, sex, quality time with the kids, family adventures and hobbies beyond reach isn’t real. No one can do all these things with a smile on their face, saying it’s easy, you love it, and never have a bad day. It’s unattainable and impossible. You may think others are like that or you may be one to say you are like this… but I bet you still have a normal bad day like the rest of us. The more of us that admit it, the more the rest of us will stop striving for the unattainable!
You all are unique and valuable in your own way. Let’s give ourselves a break and stop striving to be like the mythical person in our dreams. Super woman is not real!
I know I write fluffy and bubbly in most of my posts because that’s just me but I promise you behind that nice outfit might be hair not wash it days, or food spilled down my leg and crusted. The kids might look like they are all dressed up having a grand old time together but behind the camera I am most likely wear non-matching pjs with no makeup on. My living room might look clean in the background but it’s only because all the toys are probably left in the other room from my children dragging them into their wigwam. We have bad days, messy days, sick days, things haven’t gone right days and we also have happy days, exciting days, adventurous days too. We are normal here at Let’s Talk Mommy household, I promise you!
Linking up #PoCoLo
Great post Jenny! This is exactly the kind of thing I’m encouraging people to link to my The Truth about… linky – I probably haven’t tweeted you about it because I know you like to do a certain style of aspirational blogging but I love it when I read something like this which is so true and open and honest – it just makes the rest of us Pinterest failers feel a bit more of a team! And if it’s any consolation I think the amount that you manage to do consistently still blows my mind! Xx
Thanks Sam. Sounds like a great linky. I am trying to get back to writing more inspiring things and sharing my thoughts not just my fluff as I want people to know the true and real me. I am FAR from perfect, I mess things up all the time and I am never the yummy mummy dresses to impress with my two in tow. lol
Lovely and very real post, Jenny. I think one of the major keys to us getting rid of this fictitious, perfect individual, is for us women to be more open and honest with one another. The perfect life shared on instagram and blogs is beautiful but it really needs to be spiced up with a dose of reality sometimes or people end up feeling woefully inadequate. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be inspired and really enjoy all things pretty but i just identify with a little bit of vulnerability so much better! Thanks for sharing this Jenny 🙂 x
Me too, that’s what this post is all about. I love styling photos for instagram and aweing over them. But as long as people don’t perceive this as perfect life or perfect thing to strive for because it doesn’t exist. She has never existed. I agree, if we all share our secrets, failures, and attempts at things in life we wouldn’t be so quick to compare ourselves to some fictitious perfection.
Oh Jenny isn’t that the truth of it – I was chatting to my sister the other day about that sort of pressure; we were both pretty driven in our careers and now she’s on a little career break while her son is very small and I’m on maternity leave and we both said we felt a huge pressure that being home all day our houses should be magazine perfect. It’s not coming from our husbands, they like a vaguely tidy house but neither of them would be phased if they came home and the house still looked like it had been buried alive in Duplo. I wonder how much of it comes from the urban myth that stay at home mums do nothing all day – we feel we have to justify our days in a way I never would about a rather unproductive work day.
Exactly Carie such a great point. it truly is a myth and I do think as stay at home moms or even stay at home working moms have this guilt that we should have this perfect home put together because we have nothing better to do all day. Not coming from hubby here either but society in general. I really wish that mythical perfect person would melt away into the past because she doens’t exist and yet we still all strive to be her! It’s a catch22 isn’t it? I have worked harder being at home than I ever did working a office job.
Fab post lovely!!! Always good to have a reminder that perfection does not exist!! Xx
Thanks hunny I think we should all make this perfect mythical person disappear than may we all wouldnt feel so overwhelmed to be better and better at things we probably are great at already. lol
Beth Twinderelmo says
How very true and very refreshing! I’m forever feeling so down because the house always looks so messy but in reality – it’s really well lived in with 3 happy children (and untidy children haha!) but my Dad very poignantly said he would trade it all in a second not to have a big empty house. It really touched a part of me and whilst I still have a mini breakdown every now and then after tidying the kitcheb for the sixth time in a day – I need to remember that this IS day to day life xxx
Exactly!! I house that’s not messy is not lived in my momma always says! She is the same would do anything for all eight of us kids to come home and make a mess instead of its silence. Easier when we look from the outside in isn’t it?
Loved reading this! needed to read it too after feeling the exact same way. Finding the right balance of it all on an honest, real level can be hard. but realistic expectations are the ones that are needed, not the perfectionist ones! i’m slowly learning this or at least trying to. I put something on my instagram early this morning about similar feelings.
I think its really refreshing to feel inspired, I think we all need to feel it now and again, especially us creative types. I am in love with Pinterest but the comparison can kick you where it hurts sometimes, if you let it I guess. which is what i do a lot. same with instagram, I love and do posed shots for purpose too for myinterest and blog, but also like to keep it real & share little snippets of the normal – imperfect but happy truthful life!
thanks for this Jenny, we are all in it together! xx
I am the same. It’s a give and take with pinterest and instagram. Two which I am in awe and obsessed with myself. I love styling photos and making them beautiful and perfect. But it’s very easy to get sucked in and think mine aren’t perfect or good enough like these other perfects that don’t really exist. I think it all boils down to we are our own worse critics aren’t we?
Californian Mum in London says
Thank you for sharing this Jenny. It is tough when some people see pretty pictures and assume everything is perfect. I think many of us forget that while there are some lovely moments, everyone has their share of messes. #pocolo
Exactly! Hunny you said it perfectly right there. We forgot we are all humans and life goes on pretty similar for us all. Photos are taken out of context and are mere little moments of a huge bigger picture.
Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork says
Uff I can really relate to that drive for perfection. It’s me all over and it is truly, maddeningly EXHAUSTING. I could just about keep it up before I became a mum, but now I’ve a toddler wrecking (totally healthy and normal) havoc with everything I have to give myself a serious talking to every now and again: sit the f down woman and take a break The only one who cares about the laundry not being neatly folded is you.
Thanks for this post lovely, it’s nice to know there are other frazzled perfectionists out there 😉
I do the shouting at myself routine too beacuse I get to exhausted wrapped into it all and trying to do it all myself and perfectly. Funny how hard we all are on ourselves? But why? It’s really been puzzling me lately. Yes one frazzled perfectionist to another!
Life at the Little Wood says
Oh Jenny, I think you and I are very similar in a lot of ways. I do struggle a lot with putting too much pressure on myself. I’ve always been a perfectionist and as my situations have changed, my focus has moved from one aspect of my life to another! I don’t think I particularly obsess over blogging as such, but know where my house and my personal appearance are concerned I spend way too much time worrying about things that other people really don’t see! You are totally correct – that perfect person does not exist, and all of us have insecurities that are perhaps just not so visible to others. I know I definitely do! Brilliant post poppet xx
Thank you so much Emma. I agree we do seem similar that’s why I love you and your blog so much hahaha Thanks for your lovely words here. So true. I think if we all shared a little more of ourselves in reality we might be less hard on ourselves in the future.
We are all way to hard on ourselves. As long as we are doing our best, it’s the best we can do. I had an incident yesterday where someone made a comment about me not breastfeeding my 10 month old son. I can’t work out whether I was upset because she sounded like she was judging me, or whether I was upset at myself because I couldn’t breastfeed for longer?! I’ve stopped thinking about it now as it was giving me a headache! Beautifully written. #PoCoLo
Thank you so much lovely. I agree one hundred percent. It was probably both as I am sure I would have felt the same way. It’s society that judges us in their tone of voice or even a notion that we should breastfeed for a certain period in our own heads. I was devastated when I couldn’t feed MM for longer like I did Buba and for what. She was still happy and fed so why did I get myself all worked up. Because that perfect person that doesn’t exist in our head would have done it longer. Or so we think. Funny now that I am pass that but in that moment you couldn’t have told me otherwise.
Fab post – it’s so true that many of us strive for perfection and then feel like we’ve failed when we don’t achieve it. Comparing ourselves with everyone’s lives on social media is rarely a good thing though as it is all too often comparing our reality with everyone else’s highlights which isn’t really comparing like with like. We all have bad days, moments when we’re nowhere near as good a parent as we’d like to be because we are all human and make mistakes. Thank you for standing up and reminding us of this 🙂
Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) says
Aww what an honest post! I actually think that i will be kinder to myself if I wont see my classmates and friends in FB. I always compare myself to them. how their lives are better than mine. How they have these bags that I drool over at magazines and their kids are so .. disciplined. I would probably do that to keep myself sane.
Ann Winters says
Excellent post! While back I wrote about the pressure that social media can create on mothers in excelling too. Sometimes we tend to forgot that what we post and blog about is just a small portion of our lives! I went a bit far as I showed that my life is not at all perfect, far from it. But it does not make it a less happy one!
If you like and have time to read it…: http://magnoliasoulangeana.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/fridays-thoughtsi-am-perfect-mum.html
Gina Caro says
I believe that all mothers feel like this at some point in their lives. There is so much pressure (particularly) on women these days to do too much. We are expected to work, be a mother, be a partner and run a household. Sometimes it can all get too much. The media doesn’t help with any of it either, with the whole ‘modern women’ concept. #PoCoLo
Brilliant post – I think we forget to relax and just enjoy don’t we because we’re always thinking about that next lot of juggling we need to do and what if those people pop round and my house is a mess and it needs to be clean and what will they think etc. I do all of those! Today I am proud to say Little Z and I just sat and lazily watched movies. Its partly because I couldn’t lift the heavy car seat to put in the car but……still 🙂
Hahah Those are the best days for sure. Lazy time is quality time and sometimes stepping back from all the technology is a great thing. I need to do more of it and stop comparing so much to a false perfect person. lol
Such a great post Jenny! I have a similar one scheduled myself as I have been struggling a LOT with this feeling lately…it’s really made me re-evaluate myself and my thought process, and what I want to project into the world/for what reasons…if that makes any sense?!
I loved your video today too! x
Yes it all makes perfect sense babes and I couldn’t agree more. I look forward to reading it. Make sure to tweet me when it’s up. I love honesty post that show us all we are actually doing a great job at it all! lol Juggling is hard work.
Louise Perry Fairweather says
Fab post. Need to remind myself of this at the moment. xx
Thank you so much. I thought if I feel this way others will too so I thought I would share it! 🙂
Verily Victoria Vocalises says
A great post Jenny. I have to admit that I have noticed that you are so hard on yourself and there is absolutely no need to be. I think that you are totally lovely as you are. We all have issues and our crosses to bear – and anyone who says that they don’t is a complete liar! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x
Laura Evelyn Bee says
Love this Jenny. It is oh so easy to just take things for face value, when life is much more complex than any picture or blog post you read. Humans are so much more complex. It’s always refreshing to hear others share life’s ups and downs too (and in my fashion photos…I usually have my pjs on my bottom half and a nice top on my top half!!!) 🙂 x.
Mummy Says says
Amazing post lovely, and I couldn’t agree more. Normal is beautiful xx
Thank you Kiran so sweet of you. Normal should definitely be classed as beautiful more often. It’s life.