Every once in a while, I receive feedback that I’m looking at the world through glasses that are too rose-colored. That my blog doesn’t live in reality. That we’re too happy.
But the fact is, I’m just like you. I have a two-year-old who whines, sometimes refuses to nap, and frequently makes the house look like a disaster zone. I’m human: my clothes get stinky. Our floors get sticky. Sometimes I get a cold and my nose runs. And everyday, lots and lots of forks and plates and mugs end up in the sink.
But I choose to focus on the good. I choose to focus on the beauty in this life. And that’s why I don’t blog, tweet, or Instagram about bodily fluids or the digestive process. (Except for this post, in which I confessed I quit cloth diapering.)
Why don’t I talk about snot noses? Well, for one, who wants to dwell on that? Certainly not I. And who wants to go someone else’s blog and read about more poopy diapers? I have plenty of them in my own house, thank you very much.
I view this space — as well as the collective timeline of who I choose to follow on various social media channels — as a source of inspiration, a place where I am refreshed, and, I hope, a place where you as the reader can be similarly encouraged and recharged.
So why would I want to focus on gross stuff?
I’ve heard various reasons for writing/ranting/photographing snotty-nosed kids and diaper leaks. None of them really hold up for me.
I’ve heard, “But it’s something everyone can relate to!” Yes, everybody poops. But that’s doesn’t give you carte blance to lose your self-respect and Instagram about poopy diapers ad nauseum. Poo’s not edifying. It’s not encouraging. (You know, there are entire organizations dedicated to improving sanitation in developing countries, but sometimes I think a campaign to clean up “mommy blogs” would do wonders for the morale of mothers in this country. I’m not entirely joking.)
I’ve heard, “But I want people to know I’m real! I don’t want them to think I live a fairy-tale life…I want to be relevant!” Honey, I use the toilet too. We don’t need to swap stories about it in order to solidify our friendship.
And I’ve heard, “But sometimes I’ve had a really bad day and I want others to commiserate!” Oh, I get this. I really do. In fact, bad days are sometimes why I blog. Sometimes, I sit down to write about whatever beauty I can see because it helps me put my eyes back on heaven where they belong. I am not superhuman. I have my share of down days — bummer weeks! — but here’s the thing: focusing on the gloom never did anything to help me snap out of it.
Focus on something good. Focus on something other than yourself. Rise above the diapers and the dirty dishes — see the joy beyond the chores or even in the chores! Widen your world! Too often I think, we as mothers live in a chaos zone, look at other people’s photos filled with pictures of disastrous spaces, read blogs and tweets about digestive processes, and get stuck in a very miserable rut. And then we post pictures of our own woes, with moaning captions, and it starts all over again.
Break the cycle! Stop dwelling on the exploding nappies. Resist the urge to post a whiney Facebook status about how much that diaper change stunk. Open the window, marvel at the way the sun is filtered by the curtain’s wavy movement, really LOOK at your little one’s face, and watch your entire perspective begin to be transformed.
Sometimes I change into something nice, turn on some music, and sit down in the middle of the living room rug with Aveline for some milk and cookies — not because it’s a good day, but precisely because it’s been a bad day.
It’s never too late to press the reset button.
Don’t be a martyr. Look at it this way — as mothers we have to bear the cross of dirty diapers and snot noses, I’m not denying that. But it doesn’t have to become a badge we wear with pride. You’re worth more than that! xo