Mirror Mirror on the Wall... who is the most perfect homemaker of them all?
Are you a Christian mama who browses blogs for encouragement? I am. I can't tell you how many times I have been blessed by another mama sharing some sort of recipe or story about their life. I can also say that God used my last blog to touch others. I've literally had women contact me so I know the power of the blog world personally.
Even with the encouragement I have found, I have also shut my computer down many a night only to feel depleted after browsing Christian mama blogs.
After I found out the truth about salvation back in August 2009 I was what could be referred to as a baby in the faith. I had known Jesus all my life but not His Word. I knew religion well but I didn't know the God of the Bible intimately. I had no knowledge of the words the Bible held in it.
As I began to read I learned what God had to say about wives, mothers and the role of women in general. I have to tell you. It bothered me some. I didn't feel good enough or even capable to be the kind of woman, wife, or mom that God said He wanted me to be. So when we found our first church after this I was looking at the women around me to see how they were handling it all. What I witnessed wasn't pretty.
There was a lot of competition.
There was women burnout.
It's hard to try to keep up with other people.
Now that that's covered, it's back to my story. If you stick around, this post will either comfort you so you know that you are not alone or it might convict you. It may even just get a "I totally agree" from you. Either way, I hope it blesses you. The below picture is just for fun. It cracks me up. :)
During the time that I watched women try to outdo, or to be as far in their spiritual walk and homemaking wonderfulness as others I also entered the blogging world, and wow, there are a lot of mama's out there wanting to share their lives with the world. I'm one of them. I just don't have the time to invest in making my blog a priority like some of those other women do. No judgment here. I'm just not them.
I have found so many encouraging and helpful blogs over the years and I am so unbelievably grateful to those women for taking the time to give this fellow mama a window into their kitchens and homes.
On the other side, which is why I'm writing this blog, I have also noticed some other things in the homemaking blog world.
What I found was a world of blogs with a whole lot of, "This is how to love your husband," and "How to be the best homemaker you can." I've also seen blogs in the realm of healthy living that talk about everything they use to make their family healthy.
You might be asking yourself what's wrong with that?
My answer to you is, "Nothing."
What's wrong in my opinion is the lack of both sides of these women's lives. So much good is talked about, but what about the bad? Things can't always be perfect. What about the nitty gritty of life? Why aren't more women talking about the problems in their marriage and what they're doing to work through them? What about parents stepping up and admitting they didn't do the best parenting job that day, year or years for that matter. Why am I not seeing more women talking about their financial issues? If their blog states that it is meant to be an encouragement to others than why is this not happening?
Some blogging mama's live behind an imaginary internet door. It is a common mindset in Blog land to get on and type what is encouraging to other mom's. No one wants to hear what went wrong with your day, right. No one wants to hear how a healthy mama blogger who writes about health and wellness, cheated and gave her family processed food? I say they do. I say we need that!
How can we reach out to other women and let them know we're all on the same team? They're not alone. They don't have to be perfect to be the perfect wife and mother to their family? Why must women be so secretive about the trials they are facing.
My heart hurts because of this problem. In a time when I needed to know I wasn't a failure and there were other mom's like me out there, what I mostly found was a lot of women who appeared to have it all together and that, my friends, made me feel even worse. What was wrong with me?
I was tired.
I was worn out.
I had been divorced and struggled with my daughter from that relationship.
I struggled with intense hatred and bitterness towards her biological father.
I have a tattoo.
I struggled with feeding my family non-processed foods all the time.
I wasn't always the submissive wife.
I wasn't patient during my husband's stay at basic training, tech school, or the many times of unemployment. I was mad.
I failed at diets.
I had high needs, fussy babies that took up a lot of my time leaving me none for private prayer time.
I was a failure at breastfeeding.
I didn't have the money to make crafts for my home.
I had no clue how to sew.
I didn't always wear skirts.
My girls didn't (and still don't) wear modest swimwear. (have you priced that? I can't afford them)
I didn't know how to play a musical instrument and couldn't afford lessons for my kids.
We didn't have family worship.
I was the complete opposite of what the women appeared to be. Lovely, skirt wearing, submissive, humble, breastfeeding wives whose sweet little babies cooed up at them and weren't on a mission to rip their hair out like mine were. (Mine love hair! lol)
As you can see, I wasn't winning the award for most perfect homemaker. (and still wouldn't)
I felt like a total failure. That is until God opened my eyes and allowed me to see past everyone's words. I began noticing women around me who might have said one thing but their actions and esp. facial expressions said another. I even watched a pastors wife have a semi-meltdown during a service where her kids were climbing all over her. Her husband was preaching and she was done. Quickly I saw this put together, always smiling (sometimes very fakely) woman raise her eyebrows in a scary fashion and say her husbands name in a pitch and tone that hurt my ears. She had cracked. All the pressure had gotten to her and I was there to see it. My gift from God. She wasn't perfect even though she wanted to appear that way. Her inability to save face was beautiful in my eyes. She was human.
I also had a very smart man whom I am blessed to call my husband tell me that those women couldn't be as happy as they seemed every day and neither could their children. When I asked him how he knew that about their kids since all I had seen was pretty pictures and sweet antidotes their loving children had said, his response was this, "Tell me this honey. Where are there kids while they're spending all this time blogging? Where is their husband?" That stopped me in my tracks. He was right! There was no way I could blog as much as those women and be the kind of mom I want to be for my kids, or the kind of wife I want to be for my husband.
After that it began to look exhausting to be those women and soon I wasn't so envious. Neither did I feel like such a failure anymore. My husband had pointed something out to me that opened my eyes to the possibility that behind their internet door it wasn't always as pretty as I thought.
Why is it so hard for some women to open up? I don't find anyone who seems to have a perfect life impressive. Why? Because I don't believe them, that's why. I pray for these women.
I believe the time has come for peace and serenity.
I believe as women we are called to strive to be our best and admit our failures to each other. Why is it so important to admit to others where we've failed. I'll tell you why. It's because God can use our story to give someone the encouragement or strength they might need. If we never open up, they, like I did, will feel alone and they aren't. So I plan on changing that. I don't know who God will lead to my Blog. It won't be by the amount of fans I have. But I can tell you this, the women who come here will get a dose of a real Christian mama not afraid to show she's not perfect. They will leave not feeling judged and hopefully feeling encouraged to keep on moving on. Tomorrow is another day. None of us are perfect and God knows that and loves us anyway. Isn't that beautiful!
It is my prayer that more women think like this. There are some women out there like this already. It is my hope that more and more emerge.
I want no "perfect" women in my close circle of friends. I want honest, humble women who stand up and say they've failed a time or two, or three or four hundred. Then I can encourage them to get back up and they can do the same for me.