Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Overachiever Wannabee

Yup, that's me.

An overachiever mommy wannabee.  A supermom wannabee.  I want it SO BADLY I can taste it.  And I try, I really do.

I think you truly would need eight arms.

I blame Pinterest.  And Facebook.  And bloggers.  I even blame my friends (both online and offline).

Everywhere I turn it feels like someone is doing something amazing and lifelong memory making and educational and crafty and organized and enriching.  And now that my family is also my job, I really feel like I should be doing all this too.  It's not like I feel like I should, but I don't want to, and that's what's holding me back.  I feel like I should (for my girls, not me) and I DO want to.

I WANT to be doing all this.  I want to set up "invitations" for my 2 year old to discover and learn through play.  I want to be doing creative things that my six month old can enjoy, so she's learning through play too.  I want to create a digital scrapbook for every month of each child's life so they both feel like they were cherished.  But somehow I just...don't.  I have plans and lists and ideas...but nothing more substantial than that.

I've noticed some of my other mommy friends dealing with this too.  We read blogs like Play At Home Mom and she makes it look so...effortless.  I know it's not, but sometimes I think "when does this mom sleep?  When does she clean her kitchen?  When does she do the laundry?  How the HECK does she make her house and "playroom" nicer than the nicest private preschools I've ever seen?"  I have a friend who is able to do a TON of her stuff and not only that, she documents it!  So clearly, this blogger is not an alien and people CAN do it.

People post on my message boards all the time about all that they accomplished before the end of the day, before dinner, before lunch, before breakfast!  They post pictures of ideas they found on Pinterest and tried and how much their kids loved them.

I joined Pinterest when I was still pregnant with Reagan, and then I totally ignored it for ages.  Recently, once Reagan started sleeping longer and I felt like I could stay up past 9:00 again and still function the next day, I got back into it (all my "followers" can now thank me.  For the past year I laughed every time I got an email that said "so and so is now following all your pins". ).  OK, I have never felt so inadequate, uncrafty, and uncreative.  These pinners are AMAZING (or crazy, take your pick).  Their children will have all these amazing documented magical childhood things, along with simple, homemade, easily frozen meals, a sparkling house, and Lord knows what else because I had to stop.  Naturally I didn't stop for long, and I still pin things and put them in folders and on pin boards.  But we'll see if I ever actually DO any of those things.

Yes, my house is clean "enough".  I'm type A, remember?  So I have a schedule.  The whole house is never sparkling all at once, because I have a baby and a toddler, but I do one chore every day and I manage to keep up.  I, as well as one of my internet friends, laugh at the commercial where the woman is all excited because her Swiffer duster made cleaning her ceiling fans so much easier and she can relax.  Um, maybe it's just me (and Diane), but do people actually clean their ceiling fans that often?

Yeah.  I don't do this until the dust starts to become solid.

Yes, my children are taken care of, with plenty of love and attention.  They are happy, healthy, smart girls.

See?  Happy!

Yes, we do more than sit around.  I'm a wannabee overachiever, remember?  So we have paint, playdoh, sensory boxes, activities with colors and shapes and letters and numbers and all those other learning activities.  My playdoh might come from the store, rather than being homemade, but I do like letting Madison play.  There are definitely days that are better than others.  Some days we're playing with homemade moon sand (8:1 flour to baby oil...feels like flour, molds like moist sand.  Messy, but fun.).  Some days we're watching Little Einsteins and playing with princess figurines.  Madison is happy either way.

Yes, I take pictures.  But not NEARLY as many as I should, and not NEARLY enough of Reagan.  I kind of blame the fact that I have an awesome phone now, and it's always with me.  I do take a picture of Reagan every month with a sign, just like I did with Madison.  But I don't think I've uploaded pictures from my "real" camera in....ummm....when was Reagan born?

Come on Mom.  Don't I deserve some documentation?

Yes, I make dinner every night.  When I was working I got into this routine of making 5 casseroles or slow cooker meals in about 2 hours on a Saturday, putting them (uncooked) into ziplocs, and making them during the week.  I fell out of that when Reagan came along.  I really should do that again...maybe Pinterest has something...who am I kidding, of course Pinterest has 17,000 suggestions.

No, I don't take pictures of my cooking.  I grabbed an image off google.

Yes, I help the household and finances run smoothly.  I try to find time to organize stuff so it stays clean and neat.  Also, I really enjoy saving with coupons, though I am by no means an extreme couponer.  Mostly because I have unwavering store loyalty, because gas points are the best thing ever invented, and I refuse to buy things we don't need just because I can get them for free or ten cents or whatever.
I'm not insane.  I promise. 

What's funny is that people have told ME that they wish they were doing things I am!  I want to send them over to where I get my ideas, poorly executed as they are.  I don't feel right taking credit, especially because I feel like comparatively, I'm falling short.  There is always someone who is doing more, better, with less effort, and with seeming ease.

I guess the moral is that as long as you are striving to be the best mom that you can be, you're doing MORE than enough.  This inadequacy is all in our heads.  The Pinterest people and bloggers don't post about when the toddler had a meltdown and the baby wouldn't nap and no one made it out of their pajamas until 3:00.  That doesn't mean I still don't have things to strive for, but I need to temper my expectations.  The girls want a mom who is invested in them, but not obsessed with them.  Heck, one of my favorite blogs to read makes FUN of moms like that.

But I still want to be supermom.  Judge away.

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