This is the view from my kitchen. It is peaceful, calm, and relaxing.
I love that view! It is one of my favorite parts of our house and living in the country. But the reality is that most of the time over the last few weeks if you stood on my deck looking inside that same window you would see this.
A messy kitchen that is full of dirty dishes.
There are way too many crumbs on the counter and the floor has gone way too long without vacuuming. Let’s not even talk about when the last time I mopped was…
Since I am keeping it real, here is a picture of my desk that I took today.
And I will fully admit that picture above is after I had worked on “cleaning” it up some. Yes, that is after I cleaned up some of the piles that have been building up over the last few weeks. There is also a reason that I did not show you more of the room. It is just as much of a mess.
Did you notice the chocolate chips on my desk? Some days just need a handful, or two, of chocolate chips. Just keeping it real.
To some of you those messes might not look all that messy. Your house probably looks a little different than mine. Your messes might be different. But to this type A, like to have everything neat, clean, and scheduled, person, those messes have been driving me crazy.
I could go on and on about the craziness of the last few weeks for me, but the reality is that my craziness probably looks a lot like yours. My problems might be slightly different, but the basic problems are everyday life problems that can at times build up and cause the overwhelmed, don’t have it altogether, feeling that we as moms often have.
I think the social media driven, Pinterest perfect world, has made this problem even worse than it was a few years ago.
We see pictures of perfectly plated food. Houses decorated beautifully. Family photos of everyone perfectly dressed and smiling. But the reality is that we are only seeing a small view. If we opened up that view a little more we would see the whole picture and most of the time that picture is far from perfect.
I recently shared this picture on Instagram. It is a picture I took of a book I was reading and enjoying while in the hammock on our back deck. It looks calm and relaxing.
And it was. Kind of.
I say kind of because the reality is that although I was enjoying the book on a beautiful day, the reason I was outside reading the book is because I was tired, overwhelmed, and did not want to deal with, or look at, my messy house and huge pile of laundry. I was escaping. Hoping the mess inside would go away.
So although that picture might be peaceful and relaxing, when you open the view a little wider you see a much different picture. A picture of a day where I felt like I was failing. A picture of a day when I did not have it altogether.
What is shared on social media is so often only a small picture of life. I am just as guilty of this as everyone else.
No one wants to look at ugly negative stuff all the time. I get that. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest would not be what they are if they were filled with ugly images. But the flip side of all the picture perfect beautiful images is that we feel the pressure to always be perfect and beautiful.
We want our house, our kids, and our lives to look like what we see in those images. We get overwhelmed and feel like failures because our lives, houses, kids, and meals, don’t fit those images.
We are surrounded with the pressure to be perfect, when perfect is not normal and it leaves us feeling like we are failures.
What I have realized though is that it is all about balance. Balance between keeping a clean house, having clean laundry, and feeding my family without feeling the need for perfection. We need to do the job and do it well, but let go of some of that pressure we feel.
None of us are perfect.
The reality is that we all have a job to do and many days doing that job is tough. That is part of life. Somewhere in there we have to find the right balance between doing what we are called to do and not being overwhelmed with the “perfection” we see around us.
It seems like that balance is a constant struggle.
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