Your Children Want YOU!

There’s this crazy phenomenon going on right now. Good, devoted mothers get on Pinterest . . . and blogs . . . and Facebook . . . and Twitter . . . and then they flip through parenting magazines and TV channels (full of advertisements and media hype) . . . and they’re convinced they’re not enough.

They’re convinced that everyone else has magnetic, alphabetized spice containers,

Photo source: Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/274086327292186801/)

and unless their garden parties are thematically accessorized with butterfly lanterns,

and they’re wearing the latest fashions (in a size two, of course), there’s no point in even showing up for the day.

Last Saturday, this happened to me.

I came home from a lovely day out with my extended family and had serious intentions to spend the evening dyeing Easter eggs and making bunny buns.

By the time I got everyone settled and fed, however, I was so tired that I just laid on the couch and dozed while my children played and got themselves to bed.

Around 8:30, when I finally had the energy to sit up, I decided to try out Pinterest for a few minutes until my husband got home. There it was–1,000 reasons why I’m failing at all things domestic.

I don’t make grilled cheese sandwiches look like ice cream.

Photo source: Pinterest, http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com

I don’t even have seasonal throw pillows on my couches or live plants anywhere in the house.

Is it really so hard? Can’t I pull myself together and wrap some candles in green foliage and bring happiness to our decor with bright fabrics and hand-crafted photo frames?

As I was trying to calm my frenzied state of mind, my husband came home and held me tight. We talked about our day, and he told me how much he loves me and that he wants our boys to marry someone like me. I fell asleep snuggled under his arm.

The following morning, our children enthusiastically bounded into our bedroom and tucked themselves into our covers. My four-year-old gave me an arm massage, and we all sat there together–joking, laughing, planning the day ahead, and enjoying that special feeling of family. Reflecting on the discouragement I’d felt the night before, I realized that my family doesn’t care about what I see on Pinterest. They care about me.

My daughter Grace loves me to sing “Baby Mine” to her each night before bed. When I go to our Power of Moms Retreats, she misses that special ritual. We have recordings of Michael Crawford and Allison Krauss singing their versions, but Grace doesn’t want those. She wants me. So I recorded myself singing “Baby Mine” and emailed the audio file to her and to my husband so Grace can hear “her song” before she sleeps. As far as she’s concerned, my untrained voice belongs at the top of the charts.

My daughter Grace is my “snuggliest” child.  Back tickles and “Baby Mine” each night are how I show that I love her.

A few months ago, I was practicing sideways dutch braids on my two daughters. They had found these great “how-to” videos online, and we set up our comb, brush, and hair bands in front of the computer so I could become an expert.

Photo source: www.cutegirlshairstyles.com

Half-way through the braid, my fingers got all tangled up, the hair was too loose, and one of my daughters had been sitting with her head to the side for several minutes.

Feeling extremely frustrated, I said, “That little girl in the video is so lucky to have a mom who knows how to do hair.”

My daughter stopped me in my tracks when she responded, “But I have a mom who is trying.”

These are my two girls with the braids that took me FOREVER to do.  (But I’m getting faster now, and they appreciate the fact that I’m trying.)

My mom is in her 70s, and her memory is starting to go. Her sweetness and love are as strong as ever, but when we talk on the phone, she can’t remember the last time we spoke or the last time we saw each other.

At the end of one phone call a few weeks ago, I whispered, “I miss you, Mom.”

She said, “Oh, I miss you, too! But we’ll get together soon. You can come down to the park, and we’ll get an ice cream cone at McDonald’s.”

I replied, “Yes, that will be fun.” But then the tears started, and I had to use every ounce of control to keep my voice even so she wouldn’t know I was crying.

What I really meant was, “I miss being able to talk to you, Mom. I miss laying on the grass while my children make a hopscotch and savoring our long phone conversations. I miss you remembering all those secrets I used to tell you. I miss you asking me if I’m okay. I miss seeing you read books and hearing you sing while you do the dishes and having you drive out to my house without getting lost. I miss you remembering how much I need you.”

My mother didn’t specialize in home decor or gourmet cooking, and she didn’t lift weights or run marathons. But she makes me feel like I am the most important, wonderful person ever born. If I could pick any mother in the whole world, it would be my mom.

There’s something deeper going on in family life than can ever be expressed on a social network. Whatever it is we feel we are lacking, can we collectively decide–as deliberate mothers–that we are not going to sit around feeling discouraged about all the things we’re not?

Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for? It is our voices. Our smiles. Our jiggly tummies. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else.

If you ever find yourself looking in the mirror at a woman who feels badly that she hasn’t yet made flower-shaped soap,

Photo source: Pinterest, http://tinyurl.com/82k5vow

please offer her this helpful reminder: “Your children want you!”

QUESTION: How do you keep the right perspective on your importance to your family–in the midst of so many ideas and temptations to compare yourself with others?

CHALLENGE: Recognize any tendencies you might have to get wrapped up in discouragement, and set up a regular way to remind yourself that your children want you.

 

__________________________________________________________________

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Comments

  1. says

    April, What a beautiful message. Thank you. I also have an aging mother-88 next month. I have “missed her” for years now, you brought tears to my eyes because I know that feeling. Our kids just want us. Thank you, thank you.

    • pam herrington says

      I can absolutely understand. My mom went to be with Jesus in February 2011. I was her caregiver for the last 2 years. But she had already developed dementia and lost her ability to speak, but never her ability to smile and love me and the rest of us! She was so precious. thanks for sharing. it was the cancer that finally took her home. i miss her so much.
      pam herrington
      april 11,2012

      • Heidi Fox says

        Oh my goodness – I just logged in to write your exact post.. except that my mom passed away in August of 2009. I was also caregiver for her for her last 2 yrs, dealt with her dementia (due to stroke), and ultimately ovarian cancer took her Home to the Lord. Yet though she didn’t talk much, her sweet spirit remained and her face always lit up when she saw her family. She was 59 and passed away on my daughter’s 3rd birthday, 6 weeks before our 2nd daughter arrived. Odd timing for sure, yet it was proof to me that God was in control every second.. which has brought such comfort to me. Prayers for encouragement and comfort as you continue to heal.

        • Ranee says

          Amazing testimonies here, as my dear mom experienced the same symptoms as yours and Pam’s (above you), yet never lost her sweetness either! Heaven is a little sweeter to me now because she is there and I will see her again. Thank you, Jesus!

    • Pat Dranov says

      I really needed this today! Thank you! Today has been one of those days that I just don’t think that I measure up to all the expectations of what it is to be a stay at home mom. My three beautiful children are the light in my world and yet I feel like I’m failing because I don’t have enough time to do it all. And I miss my Mom! She lives so far away and it’s so rare that I get to feel one of her embraces or snuggle into her crook when I need to. I get to be that for my children but there are days like today that I just want to snuggle next to my Mom and feel her love for me. Even as an adult and a mother, I still want my Mom especially on a day like today.

  2. Kristen Rivers says

    Thank you for this very sweet reminder, and almost permission, to be ok with our imperfections as parents. My baby loves my jiggly tummy- he gives me “foofers” on it every day. It really makes sense to think of the love you have for your mother when thinking about how your children must feel about you. Great piece.

  3. Salma says

    April this article could not have come at a better time for me. I needed that reminder of how much my mother truly cares for me and I should appreciate the times that she still worries about me and not get frustrated by her many questions on my well-being. You brought tears to my eyes too and made me realize that I can be a great mother to my 2 boys without those out of the world projects, as long as I am trying and doing my best then I am alright. Thank you.

  4. Ruthann says

    I find the 2 things- the only things really that keep me consistantly on track and balanced between the me I want to be and who I am are personal daily kneeling prayer and personal daily scripture time. Even just 5 minutes are enough to soften my heart and make small miracles happen in my home. By small means are great things brought to pass.

  5. Maggie says

    Thank you for the message.. I needed to hear it. I get so tired of being compared or at least feeling like I’m being compared to that invisible woman I secretly think doesn’t really even exist. I NEVER get on Pinterest… just knowing it is there is discouraging enough for me.

  6. says

    That was awesome!!! Right on!
    I know I don’t want to end being a Grandma still comparing my life to others! Listen to my song on itunes “Sammy”…kinda goes with ur blog =)

  7. cagirl says

    Exactly what I needed to hear today as I look around at my messy house and think where I have gone wrong??? No where when I see the smiles on my kids faces, and the hugs they so freely give me.

  8. Cheryl says

    This is wonderful!! I often feel less than I am because of the blogs/pinterest/facebook. My kids don’t want that my they want ME and they want me to be present and spend time with them instead of sitting on the computer comparing myself to others!

  9. Anna Jenkins says

    April, I know exactly what you mean. With technology, we are able to share and see so much more and sometimes you think “don’t show me what I am not doing!”. I am experiencing dementia with my mom too. It is so sad that they are drifting away and I just want to shake someone and say “do something to help her. Can’t she have better quality of life? Are you just giving up?”

  10. Monique says

    I loved the message of this post but I also wanted to say my mom has Alzheimer’s and in the beginning she exhibited many of those same signs you were talking about. Not to get into personal details here but I urge you to take her to a neurologist if you haven’t yet done so. Best of luck to you in parenting and caregiving!

    • April Perry says

      Thanks so much, Monique! We are in the process of working with several different doctors. Any websites/resources, etc. that were helpful to you would be very much appreciated.

      • Laurie says

        Hi April,

        Appreciate this reminder. After my father was unable to care for himself at home, he moved in with us. The best resources for me were a book titled, “The 36 Hour Day” and a local Alzheimer’s support group. Going to the support group validated my feelings and was a tremendous relief hearing other families stories. Many thoughts and prayers for you and your family…

      • says

        For your mom: Going gluten-free and making sure her Vitamin D level is between 50-60 ng/ml may help. Alzheimer’s seems to be an inflammatory disease and both suggestions help reduce inflammation. Google will show you some articles, too.

        Thank you for a brilliant article!

      • Stacy says

        Beautiful article! Make sure you and anyone else helping to take care of your mother full-time join a support group. There are on-line chat groups, but a live group is even better. It makes a huge difference knowing you are not alone. God bless!

      • Jennifer says

        Your post was right on, April — thank you. I will forward this link to several friends.
        Over the course of a decade, my brilliant, articulate, funny grandmother slowly slid into the darkness due to Alzheimer’s. The best advice I received was from a nurse, who suggested focusing on what she still DID remember: ask her to tell stories from early in her marriage or her childhood, etc…and make recordings of her stories, or write them down. This enabled me to enjoy the time she had left, and I treasure these memories now that she’s gone.
        Thanks again for your article.

      • Handsfull says

        Check out coconut oil. There are several studies on it helping with dementia/alzheimers etc. My FIL had alzheimers, but he died before I’d heard about coconut oil, however my husband is keen to give it a try as a preventative measure.
        And can I just say that I’m a little jealous of the relationship you have had and still have with your mum? I pretty much lost my mother when I was 23, due to leaving the cult I was brought up in, so I don’t really know what it’s like to have a mum as an adult, and I miss that so much! I miss it for me, and for my kids… sigh. Just another reason to look forward to heaven!
        Thank you for this beautiful post :)

        • Rudy says

          Dear Handsfull ~ My husband and I are both taking coconut oil as a preventative. We have family members on both sides who are struggling or who have already passed away with Alzheimer’s.

          So glad to read that you were able to get away/get out of the cult you were brought up in – wow! I pray that some day you will have a restored relationship with your mother and that your kids will get to know their grandmother. Bless you, dear lady!

  11. says

    Awesome article April – and fits so well with the April Learning Circle Article “The Other Mothers”. We had a fabulous first Learning Circle last week. Loving it already!

  12. Tabitha says

    Thanks for reminding me, I was at the gold coast retreat and implemented a few things but school holidays have worn me out and reading that was just what I needed. You and Saren are truly inspired, Thank you, Tabitha.

  13. says

    Tears are rolling down my face! I think you’ve hit it on the head (though I roll my eyes at all the “perfect” blogs and pinterest pages).
    I’m logging off now to hang out with my kids.
    x

  14. Naomi Page says

    Whether we like it or not, we are our childrens role models. there is no course book or manual on “perfect” parenting. this article is a wonderful reminder that we are all in the same boat. motherhood can be challenging at times but has been the most rewarding experience and gift i have been given and on tough days when i may have had a sleepless night because ive been nursing my sick child or days when my laundry seems higher than Mt Everest, i ask myself “what else would i rather be doing?” there is nothing else id rather be doing than raising happy, confident, selfless childten to know who they are and where they come from and to believe in themselves. never give up, our children need their mothers to know that we will always love and nurture them and encourage them and cheer them on from the sidelines. we can all learn from eachother xxx

  15. Steve says

    Sure, you could fill every waking moment with busy-ness, but such behavior would be unnerving to children. They need calm. They need thoughtfulness. They need love. Not flower-shaped soap or icecream looking sandwiches. Those special little decorations or deserts or crafts or gardens are wonderful, beautiful, inspiring, etc. But they are the icing on the cake. No one want just icing; it’s too much. A little icing goes a long way and sometimes the cake needs no icing at all. Deliver cake (love, calm, thoughtfulness, example) regularly and, on occasion, add a little icing.

  16. says

    I love this post and its message. I feel the same way about Pinterest and blogs and facebook. But isn’t it ironic that this post came to us via a blog or a website? Technology has so much power to do good as well as harm. And these women we see on these sites really do exist. We like to think they don’t, so we feel better about ourselves, but they do. I know, I am related to them. They are good, talented women with lots of energy. I must not put them down or think they must be failing somewhere else to feel better about myself. But I also must not put myself down because I can’t be like them or do what they do.

    • April Perry says

      Such a great point, Tiffany! Thanks so much. I totally agree. Blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. offer so many great resources, and this afternoon my daughter actually did make that cute little ice cream cone treat with bananas and a strawberry. :) It’s just that we need balance, right?

      • Emily says

        And someday you might make flower soap and magnetize your spice cabinet, too. You may even throw a thoroughly themed garden party. Probably not on the same day, though.

        That’s the perspective we need with the wealth of great ideas available to us. They are all wonderful, and fun, and when we have the desire to do these things, we can find them at our fingertips.

        They are not, however, REQUIRED parts of the parenting handbook. I don’t even thing they are extra credit. They may just be extra-curricular activities. The required parts come more naturally and are often the result of just being there and wanting to do your best.

        • says

          Emily, I like your idea of extra curricular not extra credit. This means to me that there are things we must do as a parent that are required and then we can all spend our “extra” parenting time how we wish. Some of us craft with our kids, some of us cook, some of us go on hikes,some of sit and snuggle. And the extra curricular activities are hopefully based on our kids needs as well as our own.

    • says

      Well, said. Thank you for pointing out that just because a mommy is blogging and crafting…it doesn’t mean we are failing in other areas or with our kids. :) No one should compare themselves to anyone else. It is a natural tendency for women to do that, but our kids really do want US–just as we are–imperfections, strengths, and all!

    • Nicola says

      Exactly Tiffany!! I love Pinterest for that reason! Being able to see all the great things OTHER people do. I have no intention of doing 3/4 of it. Although, I did make the kermit/rainbow fruit which was awesome.
      I also found it pretty ironic this was on a blog, and I noticed it from Facebook…..

  17. says

    Thank you April! This is a very touching blog post & I needed this today. I am also ‘missing’ my mum. She is starting to forget the last time we visited, getting lost & a little confused. Time is precious. I am going to make better use of mine with both my kids & my mum! Thanks again!!!

  18. andreaeva says

    April, Thank you for sharing this most important message. I think as mothers we all know this is true…and I’ve heard this basic message shared in a few different ways, but your experience with your mother really puts it into perspective. I am reminded each night as I put my little 7 month old to bed that I am the WORLD to him. I don’t think I quite ‘got’ that with his older sisters. I’m starting to catch on. :) I completely agree that we need to strive for balance.

    Thank you!

  19. Jocee says

    Thank you for this. It was something I needed to hear/see and remind myself why I am a mother. My mother passed away 4 years ago, and I too miss being able to share with her.
    I have never been on your sight before, but happened to catch someone else’s comment through facebook.
    Thank you again for this beautiful article!

  20. Brenda says

    April, thank you! You are right on!! I appreciate this very thoughtful, insightful post. I plan to print and keep it. What a very meaningful loving tribut to your mother.

  21. Heather says

    That is wonderful for me to hear its so easy to get discouraged that I’m not doing enough for my kids but if I take a step back I can see they just want me and my love I have to offer. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world to have the unconditional love of a child even when you still make mistakes.

    • says

      Heather,you’re exactly right. I live on a different continent from my mom. She was an amazing homemaker, totally creative, always working on something, but that’s not what I miss. We used to watch crocodile hunter together and she’d mimic him saying “Crikey” but she mispronounced it “Cripeys.” That’s the kind of thing I miss! lol

  22. says

    I’ve never been to this site before (I don’t think), but I NEEDED to read this. As a stay-at-home mom, a family living on a meager budget- it is so easy for me to compare and worry about what my kids aren’t getting. But they have me, doing the best I can, and that is enough. Thank you.

    • Stacy says

      Amanda, I was a stay-at-home mom till all of my children were in full-time school (12 years!) and we lived on a meager budget as well. There were days that I was frustrated and angry and lonely, but as you well know, there are many more days that are fullfilling and wonderful! Just yesterday my soon-to-be graduating senior said, “Thanks for staying home with us when we were little. It sounds silly but I remember so much about that.” It made it ALL worth it…and it will for you too!

      • emiallen says

        Stacy-
        Thanks for sharing. It is nice to be reminded that my kids really will appreciate my presence in the home. My mom worked once we were all in school, but she and my dad offset their schedules so one parent was always at home when we were out of school. I do appreciate that.

        I guess it is just nice to get a glimpse of that “light at the end of the tunnel.”

      • says

        Sometimes a tight budget makes for a tight family. I remember enjoying the things we did to save money. It made us feel like we were contributing. It’s hard to remember that when you’re the parent on a shoestring budget.

  23. Megan says

    Oh April, I am so thankful for the blessing of this post. Thank you for writing it. I need this reminder daily – I never feel good enough.

    On another note, my sweet “Nanny” (grandmother) died less than a year ago (at the age of 78) after 5 year battle with Alzheimer’s. It is so hard to watch your loved ones go through this. I miss her so desperately every day. I hope you can find something that helps your Momma.

  24. says

    I think that when I was raising my kids years ago, I felt this way too…discouraged that I wasn’t “SUPER mom”! Now years later, I still see Moms out there feeling quilty about the same thing; trying to balance “work, husband, kids, school, home, etc.” I wish I could give every Mom a hug & remind them just like their own kids are unique & have different characteristics….each Mom too has their own talents & personalities that makes them SPECIAL to their own kids. You don’t need to be “perfect” … just be yourself & spend some time with them … that’s really what they want….just some downhome time…snuggle, sing, play games, bake, DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY & IT”LL RUB OFF ON YOUR KIDS!!

  25. Annie says

    I am a mommy to one sweet little boy, but I also work full time as a nurse on the night shift. I often feel that there are not enough hours in the day for me to accomplish everything I want (or need) to do to be a “good” mom.
    I think as women we have an innate tendency to compare ourselves to others, and it’s a hard habit to break. I’ve caught myself thinking many times that maybe my baby would be better off with a “real” mom…
    And then he crawls into my lap at bedtime, hands me a story, and says “Waba” (his word for Llama, llama, nighty-night). And I see him stop and stare at the tv or the stereo anytime the song “You are my sunshine” plays, because that’s what I’ve sung to him every night since birth. And then I realize that he doesn’t care if I throw him an extravagant birthday party, and he doesn’t care if I blog about every recipe I make, and he doesn’t care if I know how to weave and dye my own fabric to make curtains. He cares that I’m his mom, and he’s my baby.
    Thank you for this reminder.

  26. Lisa says

    Lovely article. I’ll do my best to keep being the mom I can be. I just wish that my oldest son still loved me.

    • Di says

      Lisa, I feel your pain with the same thoughts directed at my daughter. Hang in there, you’re great just the way you are and kids figure that out…eventually…so I have been told

    • Virginia says

      Lisa, I don’t know how old your son is, but I was horrible to my mother from about age 16 to maybe 25, 26. Slowly the breach healed. Now I’m 41 and we are super-close. It must be so painful to be on that end and I hope my kids don’t pay me back for my meanness in the past, though I probably would deserve that. Anyway don’t lose hope… time heals many things.

  27. says

    So much important information. I feel like a failure everytime I look at the things that didn’t get done today, but I forget that those things didn’t get done b/c i was taking my boys to the beach or doing other things that improve our relationship, etc. Thank you for the reminder to just be the best we can today and most importantly, be present in their lives!

  28. Janet says

    After one of “those days”, a friend of mine told me this simple little story and at the end of it she said to me, “you may not be a perfect mother, but you are the perfect mother for those children.” I sobbed! Because no matter how inadequate I may feel as a mother (and there are plenty of days that I feel this way), no one else is better qualified to raise my children other than me!

    I remind myself each day of this and try oh so hard do I try to tell my children multiple times a day that I love them and they are three of the best things that have ever happened to me!

  29. Shannon says

    Oh the joys and pressures and things that can fill up our time. I joke that I don’t want to get on “wastebook” much because it zaps my time and I feel like the beautiful things on pinterest can become so addicting and all consuming. You hit the nail on the head with your inspiring message. What a great mom you seem to be and I appreciate the other comments that were made as well. This site is so great and uplifting. Now if I can just get motivated to fold laundry so I can play with my kids when they are awake tomorrow!

  30. Chantel says

    Thank you! What a great reminder! Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I recently lost my mom to cancer. She was only 48 years old. Time flies, and bad things happen. We need to make every moment count!!

  31. Roxanne says

    Thank you so much for writing this! It is very well-written and touching to all who have read it, I’m sure.

    I do want to point out that your photo sources could be more accurate. “Pinterest” didn’t actually do/create all those lovely things. Someone put a lot of time and effort into those creating and documenting their projects. It is only fair to attempt to give credit where credit is due. Usually when you click through a post on Pinterest you can find the original link.

    Again, I think this is an incredibly important message, and I am glad that it is making the rounds on the social networking sites! I have seen other posts with this sentiment, but this is my favorite.

    • April Perry says

      Thanks so much, Roxane. And I appreciate the suggestion for the caption. I’ll do my best to find the original sources. If you click on each Pinterest photo, it will take you to the direct link where I saw it.

  32. Janis says

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us moms who are trying our best to be the very best mom we can. I really needed to read this.

  33. Jean says

    Just incredible and feel blessed to have read this. I miss my Mom too. You are so blessed to have children that feel so close to you. Thanks for the wisdom and encouragement here.

  34. JoEllen says

    I saw this on Facebook and read it, only realizing when I saw your picture it was you! What a beautiful piece, and a fun surprise that it’s by someone I actually know and admire in REAL LIFE. Thanks for sharing, April.

  35. Beverly says

    We constantly compare ourselves to others yet we forget that we are taking their best qualities and trying to roll them all into our one being. I look at my various friends- one is an amazing photographer, one has a knack for coming up with delicious recipes, another can design and sew anything- and I find myself trying to roll all of those wonderful things that they excel at into myself and get disappointed when I realize that I’m not as good of a photographer or cook or seamstress. We need to realize that we are amazing in our.own ways. One day when I was particularly downhearted about not being so great at sewing (I just started a few weeks ago and am self taught so far) one of my friends told me that she herself was down about not being crafty as me. I never thought that anyone would want to compare themself to me, much less my super talented friend! We need to learn to not compare ourselves to others- we each have our own special talents that believe it or not, others look up to.

    • Shannon says

      Isn’t this so true. My BFF and I were talking about this last week and we both had a little laugh over the ways in which we were jealous of each other. I had NO idea she would be jealous of any part of my life. It really made me stop and re-evaluate all that I do have.

  36. Adrienne says

    I have to admit, part of the reason that I have steadfastly refused to join Pinterest is because I am totally inept in all areas of crafting and home decor and don’t need to be reminded. Also, I already feel that I am spending too much time online as it is! I think I need to read this blog post and the Good Mom Dichotomy (http://www.hey-nonny.com/2012/02/17/the-good-mom-dichotomy/) weekly just to keep my priorities straight and my chin up! Thank you so much for this lovely reminder of what my children really want and need from me.

  37. Luz says

    I am just glad I dont have pinterest!…I do have ‘Clipix’ though to save amazing articles like this one! ; )

  38. japangela says

    I don’t even know how I found this site or this article, but here I am. And I just WASTED the entire day being angry and hopeless, thinking that my kids don’t need me at all. And they didn’t get much of me today, either. I drove them away from me all day long because their behavior from the previous day was less than ideal. And that behavior reflected on me as a mother, a child trainer, etc. I was a failure, and I knew it. Funny you talked about Pinterest… I WASTED all day today thinking about a couple of moms I know who really do live like a Pinterest Person. Long before Pinterest, and even Facebook, I watched these moms (size 2’s by the way) raise their perfectly behaved, groomed, matching-clothes brood of children, and saw pictures of their immaculate house. Heck, their toddlers use glass dishware! What more can I say? I don’t measure up, and neither do my children. And I just WASTED the entire day in a fragmented home, feeling like an utter failure, yelling at my husband, and wishing I was somewhere else. I can’t say that this article has helped me much, except to know that there is probably some mom out there feeling the way I do. I’ll never measure up. And when I cower into a cave of self-pitying despair, my kids will suffer even more. *sigh*

    • Heather Williams says

      Don’t feel alone! There are WAY MORE moms out there like you than your Pinterest Person friend!!! Just be who you are, and your kids love you for you.

    • Jessica says

      You are not alone! There are so many days I wonder why we even have kids. More often than not I feel like a total failure when it comes to parenting. Its hard to be a mom! Reading and rereading the same stories over and over, playing with plastic toys while dishes pile up, laundry starts to smell, and the to-do list grows is endlessly tiring. Add to that the stress of trying to measure up in a world where we are supposed to be healthy, have the smartest well dressed ultra confident kids living in a picturesque house, and it is all too much. The difference is as moms we don’t get to just throw in the towel, we have to pick ourselves up and keep on going. Its hard! From the outside the world sees my family similar to the pinterest person you referenced, but on the inside, real life is closer to your cave. Looks can be deceiving, I’m willing to bet there are many many more moms that would agree! But take heart in that we can put the kids to bed at night, take a breath and try again the next day.

  39. Mary says

    I know how we can all be better mums and spend more time with our kids….spend less time on Facebook and blogs and be more “present” in our homes. I realised that recently that if I actually just cut in half the time I spent reading blogs about mothering and homemaking and the time I spent on Facebook I would feel better about what I was giving my children. It has worked. Social networking is great but it has made the focus of mothering a bit too “outward”. A bit of refocussing back on those people that need us to be fully present will improve the quality of everyone’s experience.

  40. mary says

    Yes your children want you. They want us fully present. Not overly distracted by Facebook and blogs. Social networking is great but it does tend to focus our attentions outside of the home rather than where it is most needed. I’ve reduced the time I spend reading other people’s experiences of mothering and on Facebook to ensure I really am fully conscious of my own experience of mothering.

  41. Corinne says

    I’ve been feeling the same way lately! Especially when it comes to birthday parties. But I’ve realised my girls don’t care about how extravagant the cake is or how they have a place card for each food items with cute little glass bottles and paper straws (which is cute, don’t get me wrong). What they remember is who was there and how they felt and that is that they are so special that so many people wanted to be there to celebrate their birthday! Thank you for writing this! Its couldn’t be more true!

  42. says

    Ditto what almost every mom here said. You words ring true and so many of us spend so much time flogging ourselves for not being good enough moms…which creates the very cycle we are trying to avoid in the first place.

    From the bottom of my heart – thank you.

  43. Dan says

    I have seen my daughters and sons in action with my children! They are terrific! They are shaping the future with their love and attention! There is no better way to raise a child!

  44. Molly Pickett says

    April- I met you at the retreat in Arizona, and was so impressed with you and how calm and peaceful you are. This article portrays that same spirit beautifully. What a wonderful reminder of what’s important and how to remember that we need to find joy in the now and who we are as individuals. Thank you for the awesome reminder!

  45. HeatherWilliams says

    This made me cry! I am deleting all my Pintrest boards today except for the one with house photos for our new build. That is EXACTLY what happens when I’m on pintrest…I feel like I’m not being creative enough, spontaneous enough, fun enough for my kid. When in reality, all he wants me to do is play a video game with him or take the dog for a walk. He could care less whether his lunch is crafted into an Angry Birds art piece or his sandwich just has the crusts cut off and his apple peeled the way he likes. Sites like Pintrest are great for some people, but I find that for ME, the self-doubt sets in too easily…I want to be EVERYTHING at all times, and by feeling that way, I am helping no one.

    I am sharing this post…it is an important reminder!!!

  46. Heather Williams says

    Another thing I once read that helped was to remember that ALL those photos you see (and blog posts you read) are people sharing the best of the best that they have to offer. Don’t try to compare your every day life to their best public life! They, too, have messy floors sometimes and dirty dishes and boring meals and dead flowers and messy children and failed desserts!

    • Karon says

      Hey….wouldn’t THAT be a great website? Keeping it real with photos of all the things you just mentioned? Then moms could laugh together and roll their eyes together. :) I feel the same way you do about Pinterest.

  47. says

    What a beautiful post! I was practically in tears. We really do get caught up in what we “think” we should be doing. There is nothing in the world though like the feeling of knowing how much your children love you. I always sing a special song to my son every night (he’s almost one) and every time I start he always get the biggest grin on his face. It truly is the most wonderful feeling.

  48. Shana says

    Well said!!! You never hear a grown-up child say “I wish my parents would have bought me more stuff” but you do often hear “I wish my parents would have spent more time with me”

  49. julie says

    Wow, what a great post. Thank you. I, too, look at those posts on Pinterest, and link through to the women who blog about them, and I wonder why I can’t do it all too. Thank you for grounding me this morning. All out children want is our love, affection, and to be the moms we are!

  50. PT says

    Amazing perspective! I am a mother and a daughter. As a mother, I try so hard to be there for him and spend quality time with him. As a daughter, I miss my mom, however my mom is too busy trying to show off and “run the show” that she has no time or interest in me. The only children/grandchildren she as time for, are those that are conveniently located near her vacation home. My son is 5, she has seen him twice b/c she refuses to visit, she feels that everyone should want to visit her in her expensive vacation home. I left the area almost 7 years ago, she has called me twice and has written me once on FB. If there is one thing she has taught me and as much as it hurts, I am thankful for… Is how NOT to be. So, I am not the most fashionable, I don’t make exotic food, I don’t emphasize how my child is imperfect, I don’t insist on having everything to one up the “joneses” bc i know how empty that makes a child feel… I’m the mom that wears shorts and flip flops, I’m the mom that coaches and cheers the team, I’m the mom that will participate in every activity I can, I’m the mom that has question and answer time at the end of the school day and believes in family dinner time. Quality, not quantity…

  51. Becky says

    Beautifully written, thank you. I lost my Mother a year ago physically, but mentally about 6 years ago. I teared up when I read the part about you missing your Mom. I had a hard time with that myself, and even now, I will find myself thinking I need to call Mom and realize I no longer can. Hang in there – the cycle of life is that our parents care for us and then we end up caring for them. God Bless

    • Joe says

      I cared for my mom with my dad, we washed her and helped her sit or lay in bed. It was good that I worked third sift and dad was first, my wife would also help and she was doing the cooking having been taught by my mom.
      We lost her on Mothers Day 1995, I miss her every day and remember the good and bad times. The love of a mother is never ending, thank God for making Moms.

  52. Ginny Barnes says

    Dear April, (I have a daughter named April! :)
    This was beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing and making a difference in Mommies’ lives. PLEASE research coconut oil for the mental difficulties with your Mom. It is amazing!
    With love,

  53. Theresa says

    Powerful message. Thank you for writing it and sharing it. Keep focusing on those things that are MOST important! And your example will help someone else do the same, and exponentially we will shift the pressure we all put on one another, often without meaning to! I’m an ‘older’ mommy. (smile) But I was oh so blessed to always know what was most important. That didn’t mean I didn’t ‘beat myself up’ in my head sometimes though. Thank you.

  54. stayce says

    Beautiful! Thank you.
    This is an amazing talk about that very thing, I hope it is ok if I attach the link here. http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/general-relief-society-meeting/2011/09/forget-me-not?lang=eng

    This is a talk from a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but even if you are not a member it is well worth listening to. It brought me a lot of peace about this very subject and many more things about being a mother.
    Thanks again for sharing such a beautiful article!

  55. Jill says

    I do agree that children want their mother, and that you don’t need to be a creative, skinny, fashionable Martha Stewart, Kate Moss, Rachel Ray hybrid. It should not make you feel like you need to be a super mom, it does not for me. I am not a Martha Kate Rachel hybrid by any stretch of the imagination, but I enjoy finding ways I can improve my life in small ways that I chose. I love finding idea, doing project when I can, getting inspiration from one handy place. Others strenghts are not an inditment of my weaknesses. No one does it all, or at least can do it all and do it all well.

  56. says

    thank you for encouraging me. I feel the same way – on both ends. I’ve been watching my grandmother deteriorate over the last 12 years and my mom is starting to not hear and to forget and her ability to listen actively is diminished (the stress with her mother has left a great mark) and I love being a mom but am overwhelmed and I see everybody’s house that’s so nice and clean and remember my mom’s house that was always tidy and I swear at my house, the tidy fairies have lost their way… and the map that will show them how to find me! Thank you for reminding me of the truth! :)

  57. says

    Not sure if it’s hormonal but this brought me to tears this morning :) God’s already been speaking to me about this and to read what your children have told you reminds me of those sweet comments my kids say that make me melt. Thank you for sharing your heart :)

  58. bamd says

    You know, I needed his today, yesterday…..from someone who lost their mom at the young age of 55, this really hit home for me. Oh how I miss her… Sure she had many talents that could rank right up there with pinterest, but that isn’t what I miss about her. I miss those few talks we had. She passed away when I was a new mother myself and before doing so, she cross stitched this poem that hangs in my kitchen:
    “Maid to be a Mother”
    Welcome to the home that lives within the house,
    where loving kids is all that really counts.
    The dishes in the sink, the crumbs upon the floor,
    and all the dirty laundry are secondary chores.
    Now don’t assume me lazy by looking at the mess,
    I’ve put forth forty hours and still don’t take a rest!
    I polish little minds as bright as they can be
    and sweep out tiny hearts and keep them pure and clean.
    Each and every soul is scrubbed until it gleams,
    I also pick up spirits, should they ever lose a dream.
    So push the clothes on over, and have yourself a seat-
    excuse the toys and cookie crumbs sticking to your feet.
    Judge me as a mother, not the maid I oughBer t to be
    I’d prefer sparkling lives to a house dirt- free.”

    • Sarah says

      Your gorgeous little poem is just what I needed to read today… and your post, April. I’ve been so frustrated with the mess and so distracted by technology, so disappointed in myself for not being all of what I am supposed to be, this was like a bolt of lightening lighting up my dark sky. I hope it sears a place in my souls and keeps me heading in the right direction. Not sure how I am going to daily remind myself that I am what my kids need, not a perfectly spotless house, or super cute handmade clothes, or the latest fun thing… just me, some play dough, or a piece of chalk to draw a hopscotch…
      Thankyou!,

  59. Karen Souders says

    As I read this, I could relate, my mom is soon to be 88. She has memory loss and it is hard to carry on a conversation. Thanks for the great post.

  60. says

    Thank you so much for writing the words that are often on my heart! I burst in to tears as I was reading your blog this morning. May I please share a link back to your blog on my blog-“Always Crazy Blessed”? Thanks again!

  61. susan"shelby" Chamberlain says

    Well sitting here all teared up. That was sweet. Dealing with the empty nest thing at this time.. But I know the still love me and the things I do for them.

  62. says

    Wow. You really nailed it here. My friend shared this on FB (lol) and I’m so glad I clicked through to read. There are so many times I feel so disconnected and it mostly stems from social media. I love your words, and to be honest I have tears in my eyes right now. My grandma has lost a lot of her memory and I feel that way every time we talk.

    Thank you for writing this.

  63. says

    I like to remind myself that Martha Stewart’s family isn’t close to her (daughter is quite angry with and hurt by her for most of her life) and she spent some time in jail. Having a “perfect” crafty pretty home and holiday season does not equal a good family.

  64. says

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I needed this. Hadn’t been on pinterest on two weeks and iy felt good. Wrnt on yesterday and felt like crap. Immediatly reminding myself of all the sewing projects I could be doing. I still love blogging, and pinterest for looking up an ideas but I needed this reminder on what my kids need moat. I am sharing it with all my sisters and friends. Thank you!

  65. carly says

    Thank you, April. I also have zero houseplants, and every time I think I should go out and buy one my 3-yr-old asks me to play hide and seek or play-doh, and I remember that he prefers me to roll on the floor with him than be a domestic goddess.

  66. says

    I think it’s great that people have talents and share them online, but we don’t see the bigger picture. In some of my photos, I brush aside crayons, dirty dishes, wipe off smudge marks before I take pictures. It looks like people have it all together online, but they don’t…and it’s easy to get discouraged…but most people would rather snuggle with their kids than make ice cream cone grilled cheeses everyday. Thanks for this reminder…it’s perfect!

  67. says

    I was just going to post about this on my blog. But now I will link it to here. I am struggling with friends feeling like they are not enough physically. Body image has made it’s way into Pinterest as well. Pictures of perfect stomach’s and bodies. Really? We are mothers and have sacrificed much to bring our children into the world. We are still great mom’s, even if we don’t have the perfect abs or bust size for that matter.

  68. says

    i got very teary reading this post! i’m not a mom yet but i think anyone can feel like they’re not enough. a wife, a friend, a daughter. this post really struck a chord with me. thank you!

    miken
    hogstain.blogspot.com

  69. Shawnie Sutorius says

    April, you captured such essential beautiful truths that every mother needs to read. I am truly inspired. Your gift of perspective is powerful. Thank you!!

  70. Tracy says

    Thanks for the article. I am one of those who has actually cried after reading about all the things other moms do that I don’t. It just gets to be too much sometimes. This was a perfect reminder for me!

  71. amber says

    This was what I needed!!!! I am always trying to bake cute cupcakes, label everything, make sure beds are perfect, make sure the yard is perfect and really no one cares but me! And honestley I don’t care about that stuff I so it because I think other people are so worried about it! So today I have laundry that needs to be folded on the big chair and I have been lounging on the couch with my two youngest with a blanket all day! And honestly this is more fun than making sure the soup cans are all facing the same way under the right label!!!! Thank you for sharing this sometimes mothers/ fathers forget what’s really important in life! I don’t want to be remembered for my labeling but for the love and fun and how I can let the laundry go to spend time with my children. Their smile and laugh with be with me forever not the labeleing and nicely folded laundry. Thank you!

  72. Tiffani says

    What I don’t quite get is how she’s so convinced that those of us that are doing these things don’t think we’re enough? Oximoron and here she is blogging about it. Personally I believe it’s about sharing our God given talents with our children. Mine is crafting and I share my talent with my child and encourage him to find his own God given talents. My talent is not in the kitchen, but his may be and we make the bunny tail bread together. It might be a failure but it’s done together and enriching our life as a family and possibly giving him the foundation of his own talents. My life is blessed with seasonally fun slip covers for our pillows. The joy and delight on my childs face is worth the extra 30 minutes of making a pillow case (God given talent – I don’t sing him to bed) when he wakes up and finds a special pillow with a bunny, heart, bird whatever it may be. That pillow is then toted around for naps, fun, snuggles & reading – good family time. Let’s not knock what other mom’s are doing but say “way to go Mom for sharing your God given talents” in a way different than my own.

    • April Perry says

      Tiffani, I love that phrase, “Way to go Mom for sharing your God given talents.” You are absolutely right. The items I selected for this post were chosen because I see beauty in them and want those kinds of things in my home–just not at the cost of what is MOST important. In no way was I trying to knock the people who made these items–I was simply pointing out that there needs to be a balance. Thank you for pointing that out. Social networking is a blessing in so many ways. It has been a privilege to get to share in this conversation with so many wonderful mothers. Have a wonderful day and thanks for visiting.

  73. Mandy says

    Thank you SO much for your wise words. They are exactly what I needed to hear today. You were inspired to write this! I love the reminder that they love me and my jiggly tummy….so true.

  74. says

    I just had to comment. This really made me cry. In a good way , I hope. It expresses how I have been feeling as I’ve been reading a few blogs (no, I don’t have one) and using Pinterest some. Even sometimes Facebook can make you feel this way. That everyone else is succeeding and you are failing. Thank you for the reminders that my children love me and that my focus really needs to be on who God has made me to be..and while I should strive to do better, there is lots of good in my life to be thankful for!

  75. Sam says

    This was not only a beautiful message, but beautifully written, funny and entertaining. A wonderful reminder that it’s not about what we do for our children, it’s what we do with our children. The sweetest moments are truly the ones that involve little to no work or prep, but rather each others company and time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this.

  76. Josie Barkocy says

    Thank you for this! I know a few people who put the “material” perfect ahead of kids and it makes me sad. This places such perspective on motherhood. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

  77. says

    “…at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else.”

    loved this line! (and the whole post!) thanks so much for putting into writing how i’ve been feeling and making me re-think my priorities. :)

  78. says

    Agreed! I had to constantly remind myself that when I realized I did not come up with one cute Easter basket or activity for my son or my nieces. I also realized, there are so many blessings in the people who surround you and do have those creative skills and interests, I will let the others who pin and do bring beauty into my life and just enjoy the things I’m good at… like hugging and kissing my baby boy. Or changing his diaper quicker than you can say POOP! I shared via linkedin – so hopefully some of the working moms who feel like this a LOT will get to see it!

  79. Andrea Dunning says

    Raising boys especially, and I have four, always think their mamas are the most beautiful mamas and their house is their castle. I see it as ‘destroyed’ from years of adventurous living, but they see holes in drywall and ruined carpet as some funny memory where they love to tell the story. What my boys want most is face-to-face time, playing games, and experiencing a mom who is free to wield a sword or aim a Nerf gun. They could care less about the frills and froo-froo. They want togetherness. Somedays it seems bottomless, but my greatest creative efforts are the imperfect, messy ones like construction paper calendars to teach the months of the year to my elementary boys. I thought of that all by myself! And what a mess we made doing it. I’m so grateful for these boys who NEED ME so much. I am blessed!

  80. says

    I so enjoyed your post. You can clearly read the legacy of love within your family. You have the real thing! I shared it today on my Facebook and will do so again as Mother’s Day approaches.

  81. Suzy says

    Love what you wrote! My mom passed away at age 62 exactly a year ago from cancer and I miss her. She didn’t have the creative pinterest things in our home. Now I’m a busy mom of two sets of twins ages 3 & 7 and often feel like I’m not doing enough. Balance is the key. Thank you for your encouraging words. :)

  82. says

    This post is SO important! I have recently been toying with the idea of going on a media “fast” and clearing my system of all the blogs, pinterest, etc. that make me feel so much less than enough.

  83. Melinda says

    Wow. As soon as I wipe the tears from my eyes, I’ll add you to my blog feed…and delete a couple that make me feel like I need to do MORE.

  84. Ku says

    Nice article! Women are 50% of the human race and for so long have been not allowed to flower as who they are by the society. Society conditioned them to be like this or that.We (both men and women)subscribed to this idea and tried to emulate it and in the process feel the frustration.

    The good news is Growth in technology is bringing this to our awareness. Soon, we will realize who we are is how we should be or as Byron Katie puts, “what is is what should be”.

  85. Crystal Garnerji says

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately. It saddens me to see Moms spend hours perfecting their homes/finding the perfect outfits/planning and preparing the perfect meals-but never once crawling on the floor to play with their children. I’ve been sick for 6 years and have experienced times when I was unable to hold/care for my children. Not a day goes by now that I don’t take every opportunity to just play with them and love them. You’re right. They just want us. As is.
    What a great post! Thank you!!!

  86. Tifani Cluffc says

    Thank you for this!!! It’ s just what I’ve been keeping in my thoughts the past few weeks!!! U r awesome!!!

  87. Megan says

    Beautifully written blog post and reminder, thank you. The funny thing is, I’ve never had those social media make me feel like not enough. Instead it has shown me what is possible, as I make big life changes I can explore (especially on Pinterest) who and what I want to become and tuck it away in neat little compartments until I need it again. I choose to look at the positive side of what is available, not feel bad about what others are doing, but collecting ideas, projects, special occasion examples for if and when I may want to so something, need ideas and have the time. folder example: rainy day project for kids with materials we can make at home and way to make my home healthier on a budget. That’s my perspective.

  88. says

    I must be the opposite of most women. If I spend time away from my son doing something “fancy”, I feel guilty. I feel the best about how I’ve spent my time when my son & I have been doing something together, whatever it is. Great feeling!! And if I do think of what others are doing, it’s only to think with sadness how they’re missing out. :)

  89. says

    Wow, this article gave me the chills. My eyes teared up during your hair braid frustration episode and your daughter’s response to you was, “I have a mom who is trying.” Children are so wise. We adults don’t give them enough credit. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

  90. Justyna says

    Wow. That was just what I needed right now. You have no idea how you just touched my life. Thanks for your honesty April!

  91. Alexandra says

    I love this article. It came at a perfect time for me – funny how that happens. ;)

    You have helped a mom today, April.

    Blessings,
    Alex

  92. says

    This is why I absolutely refuse to get a pintrest account! Great article, and it’s so the truth. I am doing my best to spend a few hours a day playing with my children, when they want me to, and taking them outside to play, or to the park in the mornings when it’s not so hot. I am pregnant with our third child, our second girl, and we have NO family here in TN. So my friends ARE my family. I wish that my parents didn’t live in CA, but they do. We moved to TN back in 2006 when we thought that if we stayed there, we’d never be able to afford buying a house or some actual land.

  93. Jessj says

    This was such an awesome post!! I think as moms we try to be superwomen and do everything for everyone that we forget what a large role we play in the lives of the ones we love. Again thank you for the great message, I absolutely needed this one!!

  94. Cyndi says

    This is so true, it doesn’t matter what you buy them or make for them, it is the time you spend with them cuddling, talking, and just sitting with them in the same room. My mother spent her last 5 years living with me and the thing I miss the most is sitting in her room and talking and just watching TV together. Just her presence! Remember to tell your children how much you love them every minute.

  95. says

    THANK YOU for posting this truth! And from an older mother’s perspective (and a grandmother’s)we want you too – we miss our kids!

  96. Julie says

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this! At the end of the day, all my kids want is a few minutes of cuddling, prayers and their special songs. My 5 year old tells me I am her “beautiful sweetie girl”, no matter how I look. No one is perfect, but we all have important gifts to share, our time and our love. I use Pinterest to discover new ideas and to be inspired by others. I know that realistically, I will only do a small percentage of things I pin. I will definately share this post!

  97. jenisaacs says

    Oh my goodness…brought me to tears! Society today tries to tell us what is expected of us if we are to be the best we can be. My husband and I have chosen for myself to be a stay home mom, and have been home now for 8 years. Although financially hard at times, it has definetly been the best decision for our children. This article broke thru the barrier I have been holding with the expectation of society and allowed me to better understand the real reason we do what we do. Thanks so much for sharing! You have definetly encouraged me and blessed my heart today. Jennifer

  98. says

    What a beautiful message. I believe it, I understand it, and I’m even pretty good at going it – not holding myself up to a digitalized standard of motherhood that isn’t true reality. I know my kids would rather make regular old boring french toast with me than wait in the other room while I shape and garnish it just right into creations of artwork so they can ooh and aah before digging in. I love the inspiration and ideas I get online, but I certainly don’t think everything I ever do needs to be a masterpiece. I just wish my husband understood that, too. He is the one holding me up against all these standards of amazement and wondering why he ended up with the dud wife that doesn’t measure up. I’m okay with my own image of myself, but I’m not impressed with his image of what I should be and every way I’m lacking. What am I supposed to do with that, I wonder?

    • Di says

      Great to hear that you are comfortable with who you are. Many women struggle with learning that one thing. Your husband is probably living in a fantasy land, maybe talking to him though you have probably already done that however repetition of how his comments affect you is always good. Whatever happens, remember that you are the mum your kids need :-)

  99. says

    This was a beautiful post. So true. All of it. Even if I sit down with my kids to eat breakfast instead of rushing around cleaning dishes, checking emails, making lunches, they say, “We should do that more often.” I think they’ll value that more than a clean house or a trip to Disneyland. THey just want me to lie on the floor and animate their stuffed animals or build something out of legos.
    I especially loved the part about your daughter loving your voice. I teach music classes for families with young children and I always tell the parents, ” your voice is your child’s favorite in the world!” It’s still true for me. It’s my Dad’s voice. I love it so much that I made him record a whole CD of songs. I wanted my kids to have what I had. Of course, they prefer to here me sing. Or their Dad. It’s kind of a beautiful chain.
    Thanks for reminding me not to compare. TO just be.

  100. says

    Thank you. Thank you for the reminder that just being “mom” is enough. This article brought tears to my eyes, I truly cannot express with words what this article did for me.
    -Audri @ Rediscovering Our Family

  101. says

    Well said. Obviously, there are so many who wholeheartedly agree. I would add that Pinterest should be a place to feel inspired and discover new and creative ways to have fun with your kids/family/meals/etc. –not a self-esteem bruiser. If it makes you feel bad to see how other people are demonstrating their creativeness, you should stop looking.

    In any event, “Mom’s Computer Time” should be done when the kids are at school, napping, etc. When the kids are with you, leave the technology aside and engage with them. When they’re little, they crave YOU and your attention. It will be too soon when they are not interested in playing with you, spending their free time with you, and hanging on your every word. Embrace the NOW and enjoy all the moments you are gifted!

  102. says

    Thank you so much for this post! It rings so true in my own life…a new mom of an almost 6 month old little girl! I find myself obsessing over what I need to “look like” as a mom and sometimes forget what she actually wants in a mom…hopefully I can be all that my mom was to me, the greatest mom ever :-)

  103. Tonya says

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this article. As a mom of seven, I feel I am not enough ( on a daily basis) and have been told (numerous times throughout the years) that there is no way I can be all (or even close) to what my seven children need in a mom. I don’t know what people expect me to do. I am their mom and I won’t give my kids away so I can have the “acceptable” number of children. I grow weary of living with “Mommy guilt” and shame that I am somehow depriving my children of a wonderful childhood because my laundry is not always done, I don’t bake everyday, I don’t sew and I don’t always refrain from yelling. I am not perfect but I love my kids with every fiber of my being. I am proud of each and every one of them. I am so blessed that God found me worthy to carry and raise such special, unique individuals. I can’t imagine my life without them in it! Thank you for reminding me that my job is the best job and it is far more important than any degree, title or income I could ever receive or earn;)

  104. Theresa says

    I was going to say, “Tiffani, it sounds like you are already one who ‘gets it’ and doesn’t beat yourself up about what others are doing. Good for you! You own your and your family’s ‘experience’ and make it be what you choose without looking at others. I didn’t take anything said in this post as ‘knocking’ another, but rather as a reminder to all of us (and as you can see, there are many!) who forget that very important fact. To truly ‘honor’ WHO we are, and our children, without letting the world, society, or those around us, ESPECIALLY the intrusive way technology has infiltrated us, to bring ‘guilt, unhappiness, or unmet expectations’ into our lives. We do have a tendency to look at media, any and all kinds, and what they tell us, as if we are SUPPOSED to be doing & living in a particular way!” Thanks for the wonderful post April!

    • April Perry says

      Thanks, Theresa. And I agree. Many moms already “get it,” and I truly admire them. I want to BE one of those women. :) I appreciate your thoughts.

  105. says

    Bless you for sharing this! So many of us struggled with not being enough, even before kids, this reminds me to STOP IT and just love on my boy!

  106. says

    This was PERFECT timing…I just posted my “not Martha Stewart” Easter weekend on my blog, and was actually sad, but then all my friends pointed out that it looked like we had fun while it wasn’t perfect…and they were so right.
    I use Pinterest for MYSELF. I don’t look at other poeple’s boards. I only pin things I find that I am interested in. When I start delving beyond that, I feel like crying!

  107. says

    Thanks you for this from the mom of two sets of twins that are only 20 months apart who is feeling very alone in this world at times. I forget that what they want is me and my time and I need to take advantage of that before they are older and don’t want me as much!

    I just want you to know too that you are very blessed to have a mom like that to miss, I struggle with the mom that is hard to miss and to get along with too! Praying for you as you seek the best care for your mom and enjoy the time you have left!

  108. says

    You said it wonderfully! God gave our children the mom He wanted them to have. Why be some other?

    The last thing I read that was this freeing was The Restorer, a novel by Sharon Hinck–a mom who struggles with the nagging voices that tell us we’re “not enough.”

  109. Wendy Lyons says

    That was a beautiful message. I think I’m just like you. I have good intentions with my own children but at the end of the day, it’s okay to just play Legos or dress dolls. They are happy to be with me even if it’s to snuggle and read a book. No fancy food dishes in our house but we love to make cupcakes together or just cook dinner together. Thank you for this message.

  110. Erin says

    Wow!As a working mom I really needed to hear that today. Brought me to tears almost. Thanks so much for sharing and reminding all of us that we are enough!

  111. says

    I was on Pinterest a while ago just thinking how many new scrapbooking material is there and I am not trying any of them … feeling like a failure. Thanks for bringing things into perspective. Can I translate this article to Spanish and put it in my blog? It is called Dulce Fragancia (sweet fragance)… it is a blog with Christian values with varied articles from home and family to arts and travel, etc. Thanks for considering …

  112. Rose says

    Loved this! I am a super crafty momma and my friends always say what an awesome mom I am. But I am completely lacking in the homemaking skills department, I can barely wash a dish …. so even though I do most all of the things you posted about, I still feel like the most inadequate mom ever because I’m no good at laundry/cleaning/cooking etc.

    But you’re right. My kids love me just the way I am. They love to cuddle with me and glue sticks onto birdhouses and plant seeds and sew with me. They couldn’t care less if the dinner is homemade or Banquet frozen dinner. They love me just the way I am – same way I love them. <3

  113. says

    Thank you for such a great reminder! Although I love, love, love Pinterest, seeing all those great ideas can make me feel lame sometimes! I have always been the type of person who always has to be doing something and sprucing up my home or making something nifty, but since I had my baby, I no longer have time to do all those things. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough, but I love spending time with my baby and she loves me and that’s all that matters right now!

  114. Sarah says

    So glad that this article could be an encouragement to so many. For me, crafts come easily and I struggle in the ways that you described with feeling insufficient Socially for my kids. I am glad I read this, but since it leaves me feeling bad and insufficient, I will move on to finding things that teach me how to become better with the social side of things, rather than focusing on how everyone is good at this skill except for me. I think we all must take this approach.

    And the great thing is, flower soap, by itself, is not even as important as the things described here. So in a way, you all have it easy.

    I think the true value of flower soap is this: expressing my love for my kids in a way that expresses who I am at the same time. It is sharing Me with them, and not just some generic mom idea. Each of you has a self to share with your kids also. For many, it will not be through crafts, because crafts are not a part of ‘who you are’ in the way that they are for me. It is wonderful to share myself with my kids, and important also to learn who they are and let them share that, even if it does not match me. This is where I must stretch and grow. If your kid loves flower soap, but you don’t, then go ahead and push yourself to learn how to make it (but probably use a more basic flower mold — that project looks tough! I don’t think I could do it either!). If not, then don’t let the accusing voice in your head condemn you. Flower soaps would not benefit YOUR family, and the time you spend thinking about it could instead be spent doing something that DOES benefit your family. Whether sharing yourself, or taking a nap now so you will be able to share yourself later. (Hugs count!)

    • April Perry says

      Sarah, I have a daughter who LOVES crafts. She was talking with me about this post, and she said, “Mom, Pinterest stresses you out, but I LOVE it! It makes me so excited to see new ideas.” What I’m discovering is that everyone has their strengths–and everyone shows love differently. It’s that balance of living according to our strengths while loving others in the way they need it most. You seem like an incredible mother and I appreciate your comment.

  115. says

    Well that was just about the best thing I’ve ever read in my entire life EVER. Hmmm…I’m afraid I might not have emphasized how much I LOVED THIS ENTIRE PIECE AND NEED TO PASTE IT TO THE INSIDE OF MY SUNGLASSES. Fabulously stated. Perfect.

  116. says

    Amazing powerful words and so true. I’m so glad I stopped by and read this as I too fall into that trap of not feeling like I’m enougha and that everyone else has it together but me. Thanks you so much for sharing. I’m about to share with all my mom friends.
    Blessings,
    Anna & Co.

  117. Rachra says

    I so needed this today! Thank you.

    I Just yesterday decided to live by the mantra ‘the Internet (pinterest, FB, etc.) is not your responsibility. It is the reward you get for taking care of your responsibilities.’ I need to stop wasting my life pinning good ideas and instead do what needs to be done around my house, be there for my kids and add in extras (like fun crafts and homemade bread) when I can.

    Thanks again, this was perfect for me!

  118. Tina says

    Thanks for sharing this! I read through some of the feedback…I’m guessing you weren’t trying to prove a point, get people to agree, be right, or have others be wrong. I felt it was an encouraging word to those of us that struggle in this area. Obviously, this isn’t a struggle for everyone. Thank you for the encouragement and the perspective…I needed to be reminded of this!

  119. Raini Raney says

    Thanks for this! I have felt this exact same way since I joined Pinterest! People cannot BELIEVE that I’m not “OBSESSED” the way they are! I don’t have the time or energy to be obsessed with anything except my family and what we have going on. I feel like Pinterest is there for me if I need something special, like a new eye makeup technique, or a special treat for a party or something. I have not allowed it to be there to make me feel bad. I know it would if I allowed myself to be “obsessed” with it. I know I’d never do any of the things I repin and at the end of the day I’d be like “well, that’s 2 (or 4 or 8….) hours I’ll never get back! I could have spent that time with my kids and husband! Love the article!

  120. Elizabeth says

    Thank you, I too find myself striving for the things of the world. I will give it more thought as we go thru our days. Also, my mom is in full time care and can’t even use the phone. It is a sad thing for all.

  121. says

    Amazing words and so true. Such a good reminder of what we need to invest our time in. Our sweet babies, aren’t they so worth it. Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad I stopped by.
    Blessings,
    Anna & Co.

  122. says

    wow. thanks for the perspective check! i compare myself to those organized and clean house moms all of the time. it’s a balance thing for me. I get out of focus and lose my balance. and my kids (and I) pay for it!

  123. Ashlee Panaia says

    I honestly thought I was the only one who felt like a complete loser because I don’t do all of those “crafty” things on Pinterest.

  124. TheVocalSokol says

    Loved this article. We need to realize that people post their BEST stuff and greatest accomplishments on Pintrest. It’s NOT what most of us are just up to on any given day.

    Pintrest isn’t the standard of living in our homes. Rather, it’s the glass cabinet in the corner of your living room displaying your smallest item you take pride in. It’s not what your life revolves around.

    Thanks so much for writing and sharing this. I am new to your site, but I plan on checking back regularly.

  125. Anali! says

    I truly enjoyed your article. It was well said and as a working mom and a full time student, who does not have the time to do all these wondeful crafts and recipes, I completely agree with your perspective. It was very refreshing to read it and keep the first thing first.

  126. Lesa says

    I really needed this today. The past few days I’ve felt like a nobody. I deactivated my facebook account prior to reading this article on someone else’s page. Thank you for helping me realize that with God’s help my children do “want” me, but I have to be there for them first.

  127. Alice says

    My best is good enough. Its OK for me to rest and play with the kind. Its about living a balanced life. It being happy now.

  128. says

    I completely agree with your overall message here: that we are enough for our children exactly the way we are. However, it saddens me to know that (you and) so many mothers are comparing yourselves to each other and coming up short. It had never occurred to me to look at the things others share on Pinterest (or their blogs, Facebook, etc.) as a sign that I’m not doing enough or being enough as a mother. I enjoy Pinterest because I find it inspirational, I like sharing ideas, resources, and wisdom among my network, and I appreciate the ways in which others express their creativity and talents. I can’t help but think that this guilt-invoking way to use social media is more than a little bit user error: if you feel guilty, discouraged, and inadequate after looking at things on Pinterest, simply stop following the boards/people/topics that make you feel that way, and instead seek out boards and people who truly inspire and uplift you.

  129. Julie S says

    Thank you for this reminder! :) I am always frustrated with myself for not doing all the things society thinks I should be doing to be ‘super mom.’ However, I do give my son quality time with ME…and *that* is what is most precious and what he’ll remember.

  130. Marianne Brown says

    My mother died last November at the age of 56. She never had a facebook account, never had a blog (thought she did read mine), she never looked at Pinterest, and had no use for Twitter. We were her priority – she spent her life making our house a safe haven, and creating experiences in our own yard that made us know home was a very nice place to be. I look back over her life and think of all the things she “missed.” But if she had focused on them, we wouldn’t have had her – nor the respect and honor that are now hers because of her sacrifice. Her early death reminds me at 35 how true this article is – my kids couldn’t care less if I’m carrying a Vera Bradley bag or cooking with Pampered chef or having their lunch look like designer quality. I am so glad you took the time to write this! Thank you!

  131. Shannon says

    I came across this on facebook. Thanks so much for your inspiring words. I lost my mom a few years ago to Alzheimer’s- she was 62, I was 30. I miss her every day. Your piece was a beautiful reminder of what my son needs from me and what I miss about my own mother.

  132. says

    April! I found this when a friend shared it on Facebook. I saw your picture and realized that I know you! Or at least, I did once upon a time. I’ll try to send you a message, but I will just say, Stover Hall, BYU, all the way.
    I really appreciate the thoughts you share here. What a great reminder. As a blogger and Pinterest addict, your words really inspire me and aid me in my goal to reset my priorities and enjoy being with my children.

  133. Andrea R says

    I lost my Mom to breast cancer 3 1/2 years ago. My MIL to lung cancer 6 months previous to that. My husband and I are deprived of our mothers, and my children are deprived of their Grandmothers. Their faults are much harder to remember now than all the good qualities they had. I try not to worry if the house is a mess, if dinner is not perfect or if I have to dig outfits out of a laundry basket as we are hurrying to get out the door to go to school. I try to be there for my kids in every way that I can. Sometimes I catch myself worrying about the little things. Thanks for reminding me of what truly is important!

  134. Paige W says

    Thanks this article is awesome, and I’m glad it wasn’t just a guilt trip! :) Prespective is vital to me right now in my life with 3 little boys. I love being a mom and need to constantly remind myself that I believe I have the most important job as a mother. I believe work is cleansing. We become better people as we work and keep trying. I try to only look up pins about things I’m wanting to do instead of viewing everything. I search for sewing techniques and DIY tutorials for kid’s clothing because that’s what I’m interested in.

  135. Melinda says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am thankful to have a mother that is still very much present for me, but I know the time will come when she isn’t. Thank you for your encouragement to be myself for my children, and to stop wishing I’m someone else. Your post really ministered to me. Thank you again.:)

  136. says

    Awesome article. Reminds me that it is okay when I don’t get to vacuum the whole house, or all the beds are not made to perfection, or God forbid, the books on the shelves – be they electronic, hardback or paperback, are not arranged in size, alphabetic and feng shui order. God bless you, woman.

  137. says

    Great post! we have to figure out the difference between what we can achieve by not loosing ourselves. ‘keeping it real’ is great! There is so much inspiration out there – but it’s called INSPIRATION!!! xoox, tracie

  138. says

    “…at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else.” I have unfortunately felt this way too often lately. All that you said is so true. We don’t have to be June Cleaver and Martha Stewart rolled into one. Thank you for the reminder ;-)

  139. Danielle says

    Loved your article. Something I have to remind myself when I feel ‘less than’ enough. I think it’s interesting in reading some of these comments that some women can’t help interject statements of ‘what we should be doing as mothers’. As well intended as some comments may be, this is something that makes relationships among mothers and women difficult at best. Why do some women feel the need to put pressures on others to do what they ‘should’ be doing? Why do women always try to hold others to their standards? It’s often done by lifting themselves up while mocking the women that aren’t doing what they ‘should’ be doing. Sometimes it’s blatant and other times it’s subtle. It’s the same dangerous behavior that divides the working mom from the stay at home mom. Just because I don’t have a perfect house doesn’t make me less of a good mother. And also just because I do have a seemingly perfect house doesn’t make me less of a mother either. I think that sometimes in our self-justification we demean the loving efforts of other mothers and women.

  140. 853contj says

    this was powerful and beautiful. thank you so much for baring your heart. your vulnerability has encouraged me to be vulnerable to…to be myself unashamedly. and hey, who knows, maybe we’ll end up with some flower soap bar somewhere one day lol. really really encouraging :-) thank you again!

  141. Jes says

    Thank you so much for that! Im 24 yrs old and have 4 children all under the age of four and one on the way….and I too get on these networks wondering why I can’t do the things I see!? I’m barely able to keep my house presentable, let alone worry about decor and special shaped foods, and do it your self craft thingys! And I get so down about my self because I’m not this “super mom”! But I will say this-my children have no doubt in their minds that I love them to no end and would do anything for them! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who feels this way! Thank you again! :)

    • Andrea says

      Jes, all I can say is WOW! I am almost 44, and have a 7 1/2 yo daughter and a 4 1/2 yo son. I feel overwhelmed a lot. I feel sometimes like I am not giving both kids equal amounts of attention. I am amazed by someone like you!. Of course, I think I remember having a lot more energy at 24! :O) You just keep doing what you are doing. Sounds like you are doing just fine.

  142. Jasmine says

    This is just the forehead slap I needed. I have been working so very hard on everything else, my house, my education, my garden, I’ve sort of put my son’s emotional needs on a back burner. I need to make time for him too.

  143. Molly says

    This was so well said. I so often tell my husband that moms/wives biggest enemy sometimes is Pinterest/blogs/magazines and access to see so much and take so much in. The filter of making sure to live real life infront of us and not always be watching so many others is difficult. Sometimes it’s inspiration and other times it just needs to be turned off. Sites likes this seem to be encouraging and uplifting vs making us feel like we need to do/want/achieve more. Thanks for this!

  144. Molly says

    Sometimes Pinterest/blogs/magazines can be our own worst enemy, right? We have to so careful choose what we put before our eyes so that it doesn’t discourage us unnecessarily. What a fine line the modern day mom is having to balance between being inspired and feeling “less than”. This was so well put and a great reminder!! Thank you for it!

  145. Lisa D. says

    A-men! You speak the truth and I am thankful to have read it. I am so sorry that you miss your mom. I understand that emotion and it is gut-wrenching. Obviously, she is and was a wonderful mom and has taught you how to be a wonderful mom as well.

  146. Holly Griffin says

    Wow! Think of how much nicer life would be if we could put less emphasis on the things that are nice and fun, but don’t truly matter. What a perfect reminder, especially for this day and age. This is a message that every woman needs to hear. Thank you thank you for sharing! Hit me right in the heart!

  147. says

    Wonderfully written! Thank you! I actually just wrote a post about how Pinterest actually gave me some ideas for fun during spring break. Great tips can be found there, but we must refrain from comparing with others.

  148. says

    Thank you. I needed this. I’ve been comparing myself (and losing) to a mommy blog of a woman whose children are all in school, and she doesn’t work outside the home. Of course she has time to do all the amazing things she does and blog about those things. But I like working. In fact, I love teaching high school. My boys are happy and healthy and don’t seem to have suffered from having a working mom one bit. In fact, if I pick up my youngest son from after school day care too early, he complains that he didn’t get time to play 4-square.

    Also, my mom has severe dementia (only 68) and can no longer communicate. Every word you wrote about that was one I could’ve written. It’s the daily cry of my heart as I’m forced to let her go a little more each day.

  149. Rebecca says

    wow . . I just always though of pinterest as a great resource that actually aids my efficiency. So many tips, trick, ideas saving me from figuring things out from scratch. I love being able to collect ideas so when I need to do something . . like a baby shower, dinner party, or birthday party I can find ideas and not waste time trying to think things up all on my own. Makes inserting magical moments into our lives so much more accessible. It helps me inject some fun into our everyday. Of course you can’t do everything you see, no one can, never thought people did or tried to. Ya, kids will love you plenty with simple basic birthday parties, and that’s fine,but they will love a fun coordinate one too. It isn’t bad if you find fulfillment in expressing your creativity that way. Pinterest just throws everyone’s strengths together, which I can see how some might look at as overwhelming. I just always thought of it as a great tool to pick and choose ideas for things you might of otherwise not tried doing, but offers creative fulfillment, and shows the beauty of and celebrates our creativity and talent.

  150. Jaimy McCune says

    Beautiful message, it reminded me of what my kids need from me, also after my mom passed last year it homes to what i wish i still could have with my mom

  151. says

    I am literally sitting here with tears in my eyes right now. I have been feeling that I am such a terrible mom for so long. I don’t do the things I feel I should, I don’t spend enough time with them or whatever. I don’t have the perfectly clean robotic house with everything in place. I’m always down on myself about that, but this post has made me feel so much better! Because when it comes down to it, my kids want ME, not someone that does all of that, they want ME!

  152. says

    What a ‘spot-on’ post! I *love* looking at blogs (I’ve avoided Pinterest so far ;) ), and I’ve learnt so much from other mums, homeschoolers etc, but you are so right – what our kids will remember are the times you ‘chilled’ with them on the sofa, read out loud to them, played Charades and made a fool of yourself. The important stuff is love and laughter. I hope, in Christ, that’s what myself and my husband give to our kids more than anything else.
    PS – I sure *hope* that’s what’s important to them, cos if it’s an immaculate house, I’m done for ;)

  153. Jennie White says

    Thank you so much! I needed to hear this for me and my kids! I also lost a grandmother to Alzheimers and I missed her long before she was gone.I cried as I read your beautiful piece!m

  154. Janelle says

    I love this!! I have even begun to feel this way when reading my friends’ posts on facebook of all the things they do with their kids. The next thing I know, all I can think about is how I’m a horrible mother because I can’t take my kids on a wonderful vacation once a year (Disney World, etc) or I don’t participate in every school event, or that I’m not on any boards, or I don’t run any fundraisers. It just goes on and on. I’m sure when my children are grown, they won’t say things like, “I had the worst mother in the world! She wasn’t on the PTO!” Instead, they’re likely to remember how I always put their towels in the dryer so they can dry off with a fresh warm towel after their baths. Or those moments when we’ve shared “inside jokes.” Or how I stepped back and let them learn something new on their own. Really great message!

  155. Joanne says

    First time on your website and you made me cry. I am not a mom, by choice, but my mom died March 31st after a stroke. Your comments about missing your mom brought tears to my eyes. We always want our moms. No matter how old we get. There is nothing in the world like losing your mom.

  156. says

    Wow, just wow. As I sit here with tears in my eyes and a napping little dude holding my hand… I;m thinking that riday can’t get here soon enough, since I’m taking my little dude to see my momma and daddy!

  157. says

    I really loved this post! I am a stay-at-home mom to 13 month old quadruplets. My living room floor is a mess, I’m always behind on the laundry, I forget to take the chicken out of the freezer just about every night…I don’t have the time (or the extra brain cells!) to make my home the perfect, organized, quiet place that I want it to be. It’s just all about survival to me! Even though we don’t have cable, I still find myself getting sucked into the idea that maybe I’m just not good enough and all of my kids are going to turn out horrible. Thanks for reminding me that they really don’t care if the table is covered in last week’s grocery sale ads, and my husband probably doesn’t mind if dinner is always late. They are just glad to have me. I needed to hear that!

    Rebecca
    http://www.theishumquads.com

  158. jessica says

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and saying what really needs to be said. I teared up a little at “Baby Mine” because that is my daughter’s favorite song and we love to snuggle and listen to it or sing it together. Being a mom is being there and present in the moment and I am so glad that you brought that back to the forefront!

  159. says

    Thank you! What a perfect day to be reading this! With so much going on and deadlines I have to meet, I have been so wrapped up in what I need to do to meet those deadlines, I feel like I have become unfit in meeting the fun and creative needs of my girls. I have so many goals I wish I could be the creative and implementing mom of all that I see on Pinterest and other social networks, but in the end I have fun with my girls and know the simple things that they love the most. As for “missing” your mom, it made my eyes swell as it is always hard to lose that person you can share everything with – I have never had that opportunity to have someone close (besides my spouse) that I can share things with and one day will miss.

  160. says

    What a powerful post. It is so true – the world wants us to feel inadequate by what we see, giving us a false measuring stick. When we chase after all these falsities, we neglect the most important things in life…our children. Growing up, I had a friend who’s mother was so anal about having a perfectly decorated home that we couldn’t even sit on her bed for fear we might mess up the bed spread. Yes, she had a beautiful room, but even though it was her room, it was not a room that could be enjoyed. I’ve never forgotten that…but your blog reminds me today how many other things I’ve let take over in a similar way. Thanks for sharing such important wisdom. There’s nothing more important in our lives than relationships – and the beauty in those can’t be captured in a Pinterest photo.

  161. Hollie Bourne says

    THANK YOU! This brought me to tears! I’m always trying to find ways to be a better mom, and THIS IS THE BEST ONE I’VE FOUND! Thanks!

  162. Cheryl says

    Well said! I am currently lying on my bed with my sick baby girl, while the other kids do homework, chores and have a snack in the rest of the house. While I long ago gave up the idea of a perfectly clean and organized home in favour of a team effort by the whole family to keep it livable, some days I feel guilty for not having cleaned the fridge lately, or for not yet having tackled the looming mountain of laundry. I had planned to have a cleanind day today when the kids got home (they each get a room with a list, and I help with the kitchen), but scuttled that plan when the youngest seemed to just need to snuggle with Mommy for awhile. I may not have a clean house, but my kids will remember that I was there for them when they needed me, and that some things are more important than taking out the recycle. Tomorrow we will clean the house, and today, I will give my little one what she needs while the other kids become a little more independant within the safety of our home and with Mom’s guidance close by. And someday, they will be able to clean their own homes…..unless their kids need some snuggle-time.

  163. Ashley says

    Great article, made me cry how much love you and your mother have. That is what I want for my daughter and I. I think I get caught up with other things than pinterest. But for me I just look as pinterest as a place that has great ideas and if I ever am in need to do something I have several ideas waiting. No way am I going to do a 1/4 of what I see, but it’s there if I have the energy to ever get around to doing it.

  164. Virginia says

    Thanks so much for sharing! It completely brought tears to my eyes. Us moms are often taken for.granted and need this extra encouragement!

  165. Michelle Arnold-Yeager says

    Just for a second I thought I was a good mom because I have the aphabetised metal spice containers on the side of my fridge! But then I remembered all the millions of things I have seen online that I don’t have the time or the talent to do, and I am discouraged. I was not the best mom to either of my sons for different reasons – they are almost 13 years apart and now both grown. However, they never speak to me but what I tell them both how much I love them and am proud of the men they have become in spite of me…they love me back! It’s amazing that you don’t need a ton of money to make your kids happy, just spend some time with them – it goes by so quickly and then they are gone. With luck, the seeds you have planted will find fertile soil in their hearts…our oldest son and his wife are the best parents I know and its not because of their parents, but in spite of them! Give them God and they will be fine – decorated soaps, or not.

  166. says

    A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, I think it’s a great message. What mothers forget (and I am not a mother yet, but a woman who wants to do all those things!) is that everything we see on Pinterest is not posted by one person- but by millions! It is possible to try one or two things, but not every single thing we see! No need to feel despair over not being the crazy mom who makes everything in the shape of something- if you do it once it will have so much more meaning than if you did it everyday!The best thing a child can have it someone who makes the smile, laugh, gives them time and makes them feel loved!

  167. says

    My husband tells me this over and over…”just be their mom – that is enough” and still I open up facebook, read a blog post, browse through pinterest and think “why can’t I be like THAT mom…or THAT mom…I must not be good enough”. It’s so foolish and so wrong – the only me I can be is ME. God created me for a unique purpose and calling – and THAT is enough. Thank you for this!

    PS – My grandma passed away a week before Christmas this year. I can only imagine how much my mom misses calling her and just being with her. I cherish my mom all that much more now. And I pray that I would love her as much as she loved her mom.

  168. Laura says

    I ran into this talk online that an LDS Church leader (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf) gave to the women of his church. It made me feel like I’m not doing so badly as a mom :). I would encourage you to take a few minutes and sit down with a bowl of fattening ice-cream and enjoy it while you watch(don’t worry…you can take your kids on a walk, tonight, and burn it off!). [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMJTrAL-XLY&w=560&h=315

  169. melanie says

    Thank you for putting things in perspective. It’s funny how sometimes you hear the things you need to hear just when you need to hear them most. Reading this changed how I put my kids to bed tonight, and made my outlook for tomorrow so much more positive, thank you

  170. says

    i don’t think this just applies to “moms”. i don’t have children (actually, we have a FUR BABY…a white boxer named homer, close enough to a kid for now) and i find myself constantly thinking i’m not a good enough “wife” “cook” “photographer” “friend”. we all need to take a moment and take a deep breath. thanks for sharing :)

  171. Tricia says

    Tears flowing as I read this. I’ve refused to join Pinterest because I feel inadequate enough without it. You have refreshed my soul today…I can’t thank you enough!

  172. Christina says

    This hit home to me so clearly that I decided to post a link to it on my facebook page this morning. In just a matter of a few hours I had so many of my friends comment on it and share it to their pages as well. Thank you for sharing your heart on this topic – God used you to touch many women’s hearts and hopefully our children will reap the benefits of it as well.

  173. says

    This was so beautiful, and when I got to the part about your mom, it made me cry. (Lost my mom some years ago.) So raising 2 disabled kids, every day there is a “someone did it better” mom challenge for me. Or, the whole “bad mother” from the judgy people sitting next to us when my autistic daughter acts up. Or, the newest biomes treatment that will make them smarter, or the note from the teacher reminding me to do sight words, or, or, or, or…

    I don’t care, because here’s what I know: my kids are happy, and our house is full of love, like a LOT of love. Hugs and kisses, and head bumps, girls being danced with or spun around. Laughter and games and dancing: THAT’s my family. And if my child can’t stand the dark light or an unpleasant taste makes her scream or my other girl doesn’t speak clear enough for the other kids to get her, who cares? We love them, they KNOW it, and they love us, and we don’t have any plans to change all that when they get older. House of love, with crayon on the walls and tangled hair and my complete inability to “plate” food :) – that’s where we live

  174. says

    There should be a final point to the article(or a twist to the title). Children want their moms to reduce screen time period (in order to spend more precious time looking into their eyes, talking, playing, etc). Convicting all the way around.

  175. says

    What a great post. It made me look back at my own childhood and realize it was totally happy despite the fact that my mother never made us ghost cupcakes out of fondant for Halloween, or homemade lanturns out of modge-podged Dixie cups over Christmas lights for the arrival of spring. She never had cute seasonable decor and certainly never wore fashionable clothes. But it was a very happy childhood full of love. So just when I was questioning myself for the dozenth time as I admitted to yet another friend that I’m not on Pinterest, I now feel full of resolve to be proud that I spend that time I would have been online reading stories to my kids, snuggling with my husband on the couch, reading a good book, and being just who I am. Thank you.

  176. cmcshari says

    When my 4 kids were growing up we looked to parents magazine and friends for ideas. Pinterest and facebook is just the modern version. Both ways offer us the opportunity to learn and grow-and I was a hands on mom too.
    Do I wish I had a green thumb-yes-but heck, I will just buy a tomato.
    Can I make a mean brownie with my bestie-Betty Crocker whose triple chunk served warm to the choir kids were the bomb…..Absolutely!
    Could I ever get those Knox Jello blocks to turn out-EPIC FAIL
    Embrace what you are great at-keep practicing and learning and don’t worry about the rest-life is too short.

    Oh-I’ve served in the pta, worked on committees and am still involved in a philanthropic sorority-WHY? because I enjoy it and like teaching my kids to be contributing members to their school and community-and I get great ideas too.(and it isn’t fair for some parents to do all the contributing either)

    • April Perry says

      Mary, I think you bring up a great point. We ALL have “time.” It’s just a matter of figuring out what’s within our capacity, what’s our priority, what we’re interested in, etc. I’m learning more and more to stop comparing–and just do what I do well in a way that feels right. Thanks for your comment!

  177. Katy says

    I passed this on to my mom, who is hard-working, darkly funny, and as supportive as they come, but often feels guilty for not acting like June Cleaver. But the fact of the matter is that her dedication to her career as a pediatric oncologist has inspired me to never be ashamed of my love for my work. After all, she has managed to do it all – she’s raised two daughters, kept a loving marriage with my father for 30 years, been wildly successful as a doctor, and still has time to perform with a semi-professional choir. Love, family, work, and hobbies – what else do you need? Love you Mom, and I’m more than happy to bake Easter treats for YOU instead of the other way around!

  178. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It is so refreshing to hear that moms do not have to do it all and be perfect!!! We are only human and we are the ones that our babies want!!! Thank you!!!

  179. says

    I am single mom… and I have spent more days frustrated and think I’m not doing a good enough job…. because as I scroll through these ever so crafty mom blogs and Pinterest, I get sucked into the very dangerous world of comparison. I start to think “I should have done this…. I should have done that”… it asn’t until my awesome Shrink said :

    NEVER SHOULD ON YOURSELF!

    When she said it I about peed my pants because it sounds like “sh**” but that’s the whole point! Stop comparing and stop doing the shoula woulda stuff. Focus on the now!

    Now, I still use Pinterest but very moderately. Usually if and when I’m in need of ideas… I don’t go on there everyday because I get stuck there for too long LOL and I get down on myself because I actually never do ANY of the pins I pin. And you know what?? THAT’S OK! I’m still a good, loving caring mom who is doing the every best she can! And so are the incredibly talented women who give the ideas. They aren’t perfect either… This is why I also limit my surfing of the crafty mom blogs. I love them, but I have to limit my use or else I get into that ‘I SHOULD be doing’ rut instead of focusing on what I am doing.

    Now, I find myself reading more and posting more about my journey as a single mom and everything that encompasses it. :)

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS! It’s a beautiful reminder that I AM indeed doing a wonderful job!

    http://www.mynameisjacy.com

    • says

      Wow! Sorry for all the typos in my comment… Apparently I was preoccupied!! Probably multi-tasking between leaving a comment and getting my son dinner… Lol ;) I can spell and make proper sentences, usually ;)

  180. says

    Thank you for that, I needed it! My heart breaks that you dont have your mom the way you used to! Made me tear up as I read that, cause my biggest fear is when that day comes! Thanks for the reminder to be present. Everyday we give our kids is a gift!

  181. Myra says

    what a great article… another thing I’d like to add is not only to stop comparing yourself to others, but also stop putting those moms who do these things down! Yes, I cut out special shapes in sandwiches and do themed parties… its MY way to show my daughter my love. Others sing and read books in funny voices. Others sew clothes or choose to home school… I can’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, I do try to sing along or read aloud, but I certainly not spectacular to blog about. We all have our unique talents and ways to show our loves to our kids. We are already our own worse critics, we don’t need to bruise a fellow mom’s confidence by criticizing her efforts. She may be struggling with other mommy-insecurities that you don’t know of.

  182. Amy Keenb says

    I am a young mom of 7, twin girls (9yrs) & 5 boys ages from 7 to 8mths. So many times
    I feel like I could never be or do enough for them
    thank you so much for this BIG reminder!

  183. Kathleen says

    My mother has a type of dementia. We started noticing some forgetfulness figuring it was her age (in her early 80’s) and then something happened that doctors could never figure out and she went downhill very suddenly. I am her only living child and I deal with everything about her life. It is hard at times, but I love doing it for her. I have found the book “The 36-Hour Day” incredibly helpful even tho’ I do not have full-time care of her. It covers everything anyone dealing in any way with a person w/a dementia including Alzheimer Disease would need to know. I strongly recommend it. I cried when I read that part of your article about your mom. The mom I always knew is gone to me. It is very hard. But as a friend whose mother had the same thing told me, “You learn to love your new mother.” I wish you all the best. Your article was great, but that one part struck a familiar note with me. I pray your mom receives a good diagnosis and that God will give you strength. When decisions, problems, etc. have come on me suddenly or all at once, I have often felt I was unable to make a move, I waited, always praying, and He always worked everything out. I lean on Him constantly. This book can be used as a reference guide—mine is all marked up with notes, information, etc.

      • Paula says

        Thank you so much for this article! May I make a book recommendation too?? Alzheimer’s runs in my family. There is a book titled Stop Alzheimer’s Now. While Alzheimer’s cannot be reversed, it can be halted. Sadly, my grandmother is in a nursing home and too far gone to fight for the chance to see if this does any good for her. And my dad is too stubborn and set in his ways to try this. He is showing signs of Alzheimer’s and is only in his 60’s. I have started following the protocol in the book so that I can be there for my kids and grandkids. You might not get all of your mother back, but it can help her stay where she is instead of getting worse. If you are on FB, you can friend the author’s wife. Leslie Fife. She is an amazing lady and soooooo supportive. She also has a FB page called Health By Coconut. I could go on and on about how coconut oil has helped our family (from my cholesterol to my daughter’s mild autism) and now it is helping me with my brain.

  184. Shylee says

    Thanks for the article April, I also saw a comment below you made about BALANCE….. I love that……

    I want to be Mum, I want to be there for my kids, but I know I have allot going on in life, but if I can find small moments to make my kids feel special, I want to do it and make everything else work!!!!

    Your are insipring (as I said to you in Sydney!!!!)

  185. Holly says

    Thank you! It’s a great reminder in this crazy day in age when there are so many comparisons available online.

  186. says

    Very true. Lost my mom to cancer in my early 20’s. I miss her so much. She was far from a perfect pinterest-mom (and so am I!), but I know we so would have had fun sharing pins together and inspiring each other to try new things if she was still around.

  187. says

    Amazing! Thank you so much, April! I TOO OFTEN find myself wishing I was more than I am. If you ask my children though, I KNOW they’ll tell you I’m the best!

  188. Miranda says

    Thank you and amen! I have to take pinterest in small doses. Like once a month or only to get something I need that I previously pinned. Sometimes when I see these blogs of these millions of amazing projects that this mom does, I wonder how she finds the time to do projects, blog about them, AND give the kids the attention they need. I have a feeling something in that mix is getting neglected. I barely get a few pictures up for the grandparents to enjoy. And I do almost zero projects (I’ve been “painting” the nursery for about 5 months, now. I’ve basically only cleared the room and put painters tape up. That took me 5 months.) My husband and I recently decided to have “Limited Media Areas” of our home. Virtually nothing upstairs, aside from music and maybe looking up a recipe online, and skype with the family on Sundays. So our laptop stays in the basement office- somewhere I rarely go while the kids are awake. Or even asleep. It has really helped curb that habit because I was starting to get that pinterest/blog/facebook complex. No more. I’m a fantastic mother. Even if my house doesn’t look like a DIY magazine.

  189. Ginger says

    Whoa! I am 52 years old and this post just said everything I’ve felt over the last years since reading blog written by young moms who seem to do it all and getting into Pinterest. I think in truth, you could ask any of my kids and they would say that they had a pretty great childhood with a mom who certainly couldn’t do it all nor did I want to. Great post! Great truth written hear.

  190. Jenn says

    lots of great messages in this article – simple things in life mean the most, enjoy life while we can, don’t feel like you need to compare yourself to others or do things “better”.

    However, I see social media much more lightly (pinterest, Facebook, etc) – it’s a fun, creative media that let’s you ‘get away’ from the everyday mundaneness or stress. Let’s your brain get creative, let’s you reconnect with friends you might not get the chance to, and gives you IDEAS and INSPIRATION on how to be a better person, mom, etc. Keeping you motivated to be healthy, exercise, keep connected with friends does help improve your life too! :)

  191. Jenn says

    lots of great messages in that article – simple things in life mean the most, enjoy life while we can, don’t feel like you need to compare yourself to others or do things “better”. However, I see social media much more lightly (pinterest, Facebook, etc) – it’s a fun, creative media that let’s you ‘get away’ from the everyday mundaneness or stress. Let’s your brain get creative, let’s you reconnect with friends you might not get the chance to, and gives you IDEAS and INSPIRATION on how to be a better person, mom, etc. Keeping you motivated to be healthy, exercise, keep connected with friends does help improve your life too! :)
    a few seconds

  192. Amber says

    As a new mom, this was such a great reminder and made me think about what I want my kids to remember – mainly that I played with them and did my best to focus on them when they are around instead of focusing on the newest internet sensation. Thanks for this honest, transparent post. It brought tears to my eyes.

  193. says

    This is beautifully written, and has a beautiful message behind it of being balanced.

    I read through most of the comments though and was a little discouraged by the number of people who were quick to criticize the social networking world of blogs, pinterest, facebook…

    The theme of this article is BALANCE! Blogs are not bad things. There is a wonderful community of blogging moms who aren’t sacrificing their children for the internet. They are taking time for their hobbies in addition to being fantastic moms. That’s part of being balanced, too. We as mothers need to dapple in things we enjoy in order to have true balance whether that be cooking, decorating, crafting, sewing, or blogging.

    I don’t blog when the kids are awake. Most blogging mommies are crafting and blogging when the kids are napping or in bed at night.

    Balance is about taking time for ourselves, too. :)

    • April Perry says

      Thank you for that comment, Jennifer. I whole-heartedly agree. The online world has been a huge blessing in my life. Some of my dearest friends were met through blogs, and this entire organization thrives in the online world. I appreciate you being able to identify the focus here. :)

  194. Dayna says

    One of the most heartfelt things I’ve read in a long time – right from the heart. I love it. Those special mommy-child moments are precious! Priceless! It’s easy to feel pulled in so many directions but you nailed it… All they want is mommy. And wow, what could be better. Thank you for sharing your openly.

  195. Dana says

    thank you for reminding me of what is most important. our strengths,not someone else’s, is what our children will remember. beautifully written. i needed it so much today.

  196. lauren says

    I love this. The part about your mom made me weep. My mother is 54 so she still has some good years ahead of her and I just dread the things you mentioned. My mom is my best friend and I’m so grateful for everything she’s ever done for me and I appreciate her so much.. Your post reminded me that I should tell her that more often. Thank you.

  197. Lee says

    April,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your honesty is humbling and inspiring. Us moms too often forget the most important part of being a parent. It doesn’t matter how clean the house is or how fancy the decorations are for the birthday party. Our kids just want us and our unconditional love. In a society where we are constantly measuring ourselves up to the “perfect” mom image, we lose site of what is most important. We need to do less FOR our kids and more WITH them. Thanks so much for your beautiful words.

  198. Sandee says

    You may not have the gift of ice-cream cone shaped snacks, but you have the gift of empathy and expression through writing!

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom; my grandma started having forgetfulness and aphasia in her early nineties! My mom gets distressed about it and I keep telling her that it’s ok, give grandma a break, and that she’s lucky her mom was so healthy for so long!

  199. Jane says

    What a wonderful reminder to us all. Enjoy the times you get to spend with you Mom even though she is losing her memory. In a couple of weeks, it’s my Mom’s birthday, but it’s also the 10th birthday she has spent in heaven. I miss her everyday and what I wouldn’t give just to have a conversation with her…about anything!

  200. Rhonda says

    just read this……I miss MY mom too…oh, she’s still here, but I miss the mom who used to drive to my house when I needed her or she’d just stop by because she was out yard sale-ing or whatever ..now my dad has to drive her everywhere………I miss talking to her……. oh, I can still talk to her, but she can’t hear real good and I get so frustrated (patience is not a virtue of mine, not even close)…that I don’t talk as much to her anymore, but I will, I have to……….this was a great article.

  201. Sam says

    Thank you so much for putting yourself out there and posting this. Wow – what a moving post – you made me cry! The link to this post is making the rounds by my Facebook friends and I’m so glad I finally ‘clicked.’ This is such a perfect reminder with perfect timing – I plan on keeping the Facebook link going because I know I must have friends who need the reminder as much as me!

  202. says

    This was so beautiful, it made me cry. I feel the same way about my own mother, and I know my daughter feels this way about me (so far – she’s only two – we have a long way to go! But on the right track!). Thanks for sharing this powerful reminder.

  203. Heather says

    Thank you so much for sharing this April. I’m not a mom yet – planning to start working on that a little later this year – but this is an idea that resonates with me as well. Sometimes it seems like it’s easier to get down on yourself for not being “perfect” than to recognize and appreciate yourself for your own special gifts.

  204. Rebecca says

    I lost my mom four years ago, and your post is so true!!! It’s all the little everyday things that matter most :-) Thanks for the reminder!

  205. Paula Cullari says

    I truly loved this. It brought me to tears. I unfortunately lost my mom to a long battle of heart disease 2 years ago and it pains me today like the day she was taken from this world. But i have to say that i for the most part do not compare myself to others…that is one lesson my mom taught me from early on. I am who I am and not what others want me to be. I try really hard to spend QUALITY time with my daughter. I work nights so weekends are all we get to have and sometimes on a saturday we lay in my bed relax and watch a movie on the tv. I miss her being so little that i could hold her and this makes me feel like I can. Thank you.

  206. Kim says

    I came to understand this after two things:
    1) Hearing from a talk therapist friend that there are women so addicted to pinning, FB, email, etc, that their children are ignored and are starving, unbathed, and undisciplined little terrors
    2) Losing my parents to a drunk driver. The silver lining of this kind of tragedy is that you truly live every day like it could be your last (or your children’s or spouse’s last) and you want to spend every waking moment with them, and you don’t want your children to question what your priorities were after you are gone!

  207. Kati says

    What a beautiful message. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I must read it again since I may have missed some of it due to the tears in my eyes. Thank you again!

  208. says

    I think your overall message is incredibly important but I think the root of the problem lies deeper than blogs and Pinterest. The fact is, is rarely healthy or productive to compare yourself to someone else, whether it’s the online world or the real world.

  209. Nikni says

    What a beautiful message. You just made me realize all of things do not matter at all! I look forward to more readings from you!

  210. Nikki says

    YES! Thank you! Sometimes I very carefully read the tagline of certain blogs I follow because, while I’m sure they mean well, so often the topic is how to be better. I easily feel guilty and some days, I’m just not up for that. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m doing the best that I can. I was trying to think of the ways I’m a good mom and all I could do was find the ways I fall short. The next day my daughter told me what a great mom I am. I asked her why and the main things were that I smile a lot and do fun stuff with her. So now I can focus on those things :o)

  211. Erica says

    This is the 4th time in 2 days I’ve come back to read this. Why? Because I’m a perfectionist. Because I overwhelm myself trying to be this Super Mom. What *I feel a Super Mom is. Not who my children see. I try so hard not to make mistakes that I miss the lessons in those mistakes….if I don’t take the lesson, nothing changes. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for putting out there was sadly has become of many many many many moms these days. I hope they see, just like I have, that our miss just want an I love you, a cuddle, a kiss, your time, 3 mins could change their world.

  212. says

    I feel exactly like you do. I have 4 kids and most of my friends are “Pinterest SuperMoms” and it makes me feel so inadequate. Thank you for reminding me that i am more then just the papermache and paint mom, i am all about love and play!

  213. Katara says

    Thank you! I write this with tears, I started reading the article out-loud to my husband and couldn’t finish about half-way through. Thank you for telling me I am enough, this is something I struggle with on a daily basis, but I will no longer struggle! I will be there for my family.

  214. Julie says

    I am not a mother, but with a very overloaded schedule, I often feel less than adequate too. Thank you so much for this insightful blog and for reminding me that our mom’s are not going to be around forever. I sent my mom a tear stained message thanking her for all she has done for me in 26 years. Thank you for reminding me how precious that is. <3

  215. Karen B says

    So beautiful! I cried my way through thinking, Yes Yes Yes!!! That is me! And by the way, I sang Baby Mine to my daughter too!! Tomorrow my baby is auditioning for her high school show choir. She is singing Baby Mine!! :) And so it goes…..!

  216. Holly says

    Perfectly articulate, powerful and true. Thank you so much for taking the time to write down those thoughts and share them around the world. I am a better mother today for having read it. xx

  217. says

    I am Mindy from CuteGirlsHairstyles.com, one of the moms April mentioned in her article. I want to thank April for a well-written article that has helped me look at my own insecurities in a different light!

    Although hairstyles are what I am known for, I am not a hairstylist by training. My goal is simple… to save moms time in the mornings and provide a little daily quality bonding time between mother/daughter.

    I have heard others say that I have the ideal life and family, a “Pinterest” mom… but there is nothing perfect about me. A 5-minute hair tutorial isn’t my life. Yes, my girls are good about the hair only because we have done it since they had the tiniest amount to work with. But behind that, you would see 6 kids squabbling from time to time, homework struggles, kids sneaking food, lack of piano practice, the infamous “Not Me” family member, sleep-deprivation bags under my eyes, and a home that goes from clean to dirty in a matter of seconds. My son also has hyposensitivity disorder, where he cannot sense pressure/pain like others, which invites a whole different set of problems that sometimes make me feel like the most horrible mother.

    I am the first to admit that I spend a little too much time on Pinterest admiring the talents of so many creative moms, desperately wishing I had their talent… all the scrap-booking moms (because I am not one), all the moms who make cute lunches for their kids (cooking is not my forte), the warmly decorated homes, creative crafts, etc… the list goes on.

    Like another poster stated above, I need to recognize that Pinterest is not 1 woman posting millions of ideas… it is millions of women posting 1 idea. What I like about Pinterest, because I am not a creative genius, is that when I need an idea for Teacher Appreciation Day for example… BAM… a quick search provides it.

    As women we put way too much pressure on ourselves to live up to some crazy ideal that doesn’t exist. Instead of using the pin/post/blog as a resource as it was intended… we often tend to judge or criticize ourselves for not having that talent. I am guilty. What this post shows me is that we each have talents others desperately desire. Thank heavens we have kids, husbands, parents, good friends… and articles like this to help awaken us to our true worth!

    Now I’m off to wrangle my kids to bed… ☺

  218. Barbara says

    Ohhhh. I soooo needed to read this right now. You have no idea. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  219. Sarah-Jane Carter says

    I loved this. Thankyou. What a gift for us mom’s enslaved to the idea of having to be that perfect “pinterest” mom. I’ve never liked Pinterest, but that is because I hate crafts, and the idea of having something else to do, but I was feeling guilty about it! Ah the crazy pressures we put on ourselves.
    Thanks for your honesty, and for reminding me to love my Mom.

  220. says

    I am Mindy from CuteGirlsHairstyles.com, one of the moms XXXX mentioned in her article. I want to thank XXXX for a well-written article that has helped me look at my own insecurities in a different light!

    Although hairstyles are what I am known for, I am not a hairstylist by training. My goal is simple… to save moms time in the mornings and provide a little daily quality bonding time between mother/daughter.

    I have heard others say that I have the ideal life and family, a “Pinterest” mom… but there is nothing perfect about me. A 5-minute hair tutorial is not my life. Yes, my girls are good with the hairstyling only because we have done it since they had the tiniest amount of hair. But behind that, you would see 6 kids squabbling from time to time, homework struggles, kids sneaking food, lack of piano practice, the infamous “Not Me” family member, sleep-deprivation bags under my eyes, and a home that goes from clean to dirty in a matter of seconds. My son also has hyposensitivity disorder, where he cannot sense pressure/pain like others, which invites a whole different set of problems that sometimes make me feel like the most horrible mother.

    I am the first to admit that I spend a little too much time on Pinterest admiring the talents of so many creative moms, desperately wishing I had their talent… all the scrap-booking moms (because I am not one), all the moms who make cute lunches for their kids (cooking is not my forte), the warmly decorated homes, creative crafts, etc. The list goes on.

    Like another poster stated above, I need to recognize that Pinterest is not 1 woman posting millions of ideas… it is millions of women posting 1 idea. What I like about Pinterest, because I am not a creative genius, is that when I need an idea for Teacher Appreciation Day for example… BAM… a quick search provides it.

    As women we put way too much pressure on ourselves to live up to some crazy ideal that doesn’t exist. Instead of using the pin/post/blog as a resource as it was intended… we often tend to judge or criticize ourselves for not having that talent. I am guilty. What this post shows me is that we each have talents others desperately desire. Thank heavens we have kids, husbands, parents, good friends… and articles like this to help awaken us to our true worth!

    Now I’m off to wrangle my kids to bed… ☺

    • April Perry says

      MINDY!!! How fun to see you here. My daughters LOVE your site, and I have finally learned to braid, because of you. Thank you for your wise words. I feel like I know you from watching all your videos. :) xoxo

      • says

        Thanks, April! I am sooooo happy you and your girls like the hairstyle tutorials! The Dutch Braids do look great on them! I hope you do not mind, but I posted this article to our FB fanpage of over 56,000 tonight… it might have contributed to the website crash! Sorry! ☺

        • April Perry says

          You make me laugh. Thanks, Mindy! Glad the site is back up . . . and my girls will be THRILLED when I show them your comments tomorrow. Seriously, you’re a superstar in our home.

  221. Sandy says

    I used to envy moms who take 1000s of photos and have so many scrapbook albums of their children and family and vacations and document every ounce of their children’s life. I resolved to the fact it would not be like that in my house because 1) I’m lazy, and 2) I’m always forgetting to take the picture because I was actually watching what was happening. I may not have a lot of vacation photos (exactly 3 from our days at Yosemite, regrettably), but I do have a lot of memories.

    The envy finally died away as I sat in the back of a “pumpkin wagon” for yet another pumpkin patch tour, but also the last one, with my youngest son and his preschool class…a preschool I’ve sent 3 boys to and have been with for 6 years. Beside him was another mom, and across from her was my son’s classmate, another little 4 year old. Her son was oohing and ahhing the fall decorations and objects on the tour. He kept pointing them out to his mom, “Look mom! Look! Look at that! MOM!” She had a camera glued to her face. A very impressive looking real camera with real film.

    The other boy finally said, “Nevermind mom, you missed it.” Yep. That’s right. She was busy documenting the fact she has a son, rather than actually enjoying the fact she has a son.

    Between my son and I, I was the one pointing things out so he wouldn’t miss it. I was also trying to shield him from the various scary things, as the tour goes Halloweenish at night, and he’s quite not fond of spiders. I think I took 2 photos that whole trip, and they’re somewhere on my computer, or a SHOPPING CART on a photo website.

  222. Crystal says

    hank you so much. s really hit home I try and try but never feel it’s enough I look at these women I call Betty Crocker moms and I try so hard to do those thing but with 4 girls it’s very hard. Reading this has helped me be content with the things I do as a mother. I know my kids just enjoy our time together and long talks about our day.

  223. says

    So true!!! I’ve thought, prayed, and written about this very issue quite a bit. Then I open my laptop (or just look around at all my amazing friends), and I have to start all over again remembering that He created me, too . . . . . regardless of how I match up to all the amazing people I’m surrounded by.

    Thanks for the re-reminder, and blessings to you.

  224. says

    I join the hundreds of other moms who say, “thank you!” I have to remind myself that my daughter would rather I sit on the floor and make her laugh by putting socks on my head than create elaborate lattice designs on the tops of homemade pies.

    Jenna
    callherhappy.com

  225. Tired young mothere says

    Wow. Made me well-up. My boys are 4 months & 20 months. I remember my mom looking back & saying repeatedly, “I wish I’d spent less time fretting about the house being clean and tidy. I wish I’d scolded you less for muddy shoes and dirty clothes…” etc. I took that to heart and remind myself that sitting down with my toddler and reading 15 books is the greatest thing in his life. He lights up when we sit at the window bird spotting or airplane spotting or school bus spotting together. There are times I am tempted to feel discourages because my house is not clean & tidy, I have 5 loads of clean laundry on the couch, wrinkled, waiting to be folded. I have a good, thick layer of dust on my shelves. My kitchen is clean (though not always super tidy) and my bathrooms are clean. And my boys are secure and happy. My kitchen is full of peekaboo around cupboard doors, and laughter at silly penguins on animal planet and singing & dancing all the time with everything. I may not have put makeup on in three days, but my children couldn’t care less. They are learning and growing. So I ask myself: what am I teaching my children? To go play by themselves because mommy has to clean or decorate or beautify? Those things are well and good, but not at the expense of missing my sons face light up because a butterfly landed on the windowsill. God forbid that my infant’s eyes not light up because I don’t make enough eye contact with him on a regular basis. I

    I chose to be a mom. When I did so, I also chose my priorities. I will curl my hair during naptime. I will exercise after the kids are in bed-if I have any energy left. I Will forego things that I want to do (like have a clean, tidy, pimpterested house. )

    Why? Because I am dedicated to raising good, Godly, respectful, secure and happy boys. Because I love them with all of my heart.

  226. April says

    This was truly a beautiful blog & very much needed, it brought tears to my eyes. I never feel like I am doing enough or that I am enough for my kids, thanks for taking some of the pressure off to be perfect & reassuring me that my kids just need me, not June Cleaver or anyone else, just me, simply loving them & creating our own special memories together. Thanks for reminding me that some of the most special times growing up were just simple, not over the top, things that have impacted my life forever. Many thanks.

  227. Cecily says

    I find it so interesting that I go around saying I do all of those things for other people’s sakes. Rather than trying to earn our place as mothers, we need to remember that we’re good mothers NOW, like April says, and that’s what our kids want. And if we weren’t lucky to have mothers who reminded us of how special we are WITHOUT HAVING TO EARN OUR SPECIALNESS, then we need to remind ourselves and make sure our kids are raised with the right message–that they’re worth more than gold all on their own. And that nothing, not even successful potty training!, is more important than them AND us feeling loved. And if we weren’t lucky to have mothers who took time away from their doings to tell us how special we are, we should probably tell them how special THEY are. They’ve been working hard trying to prove something that doesn’t need to be proven!

    Thanks for the post!! LOVED it! Cried. :)

  228. Carrie says

    I loved the message but at the same time I have found many fun things to do WITH the little ones. It is ways to save money, to give gifts from the heart.It is my time late at night, is my good book, my tv replacement at night. It is all about balance. No matter what you are doing …Pinterest,housework or talking with other grown ups… Stop and give thoses children your love!

  229. Pam says

    Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you. So well written. I love your heart. I can feel the love you are surrounded by. God bless you and your family

  230. Suzanne says

    I just couldn’t help but laugh because I have those spice containers in your first picture (but with little paper stickies on them). Those are not homemade – they are from bed bath and beyond and I got them for my wedding :) But yes I do see your point in this blog. When I see some friends “pin” crazy stuff – I say to them “you are NEVER going to actually do that!” I only “pin” stuff that I really think I would do, and only things that look fun or look like it would make life easier. Otherwise, I’d much rather sit around a messy house playing with my daughter. My philosophy is the chores will always be there, but she won’t always be little. I hope my daughter feels that way about me someday like you feel about your mom. Thanks for sharing!!

  231. Sandy says

    I used to envy moms who take 1000s of photos and have so many scrapbook albums of their children and family and vacations and document every ounce of their children’s life. I resolved to the fact it would not be like that in my house because 1) I’m lazy, and 2) I’m always forgetting to take the picture because I was actually watching what was happening. I may not have a lot of vacation photos (exactly 3 from our days at Yosemite, regrettably), but I do have a lot of memories.

    The envy finally died away as I sat in the back of a “pumpkin wagon” for yet another pumpkin patch tour, but also the last one, with my youngest son and his preschool class…a preschool I’ve sent 3 boys to and have been with for 6 years. Beside him was another mom, and across from her was my son’s classmate, another little 4 year old. Her son was oohing and ahhing the fall decorations and objects on the tour. He kept pointing them out to his mom, “Look mom! Look! Look at that! MOM!” She had a camera glued to her face. A very impressive looking real camera with real film.

    The other boy finally said, “Nevermind mom, you missed it.” Yep. That’s right. She was busy documenting the fact she has a son, rather than actually enjoying the fact she has a son.

  232. Jacquie says

    Thank you for this! I’m not even a mom yet, and probably won’t be for a long time, but I want to print this out and save it for when I am! This was wonderful and a good thing to remember even when we’re not moms yet.. That doing our best isn’t the same thing as doing THE best. :)

  233. Pam Tuma says

    Thank you for the wonderful letter. Children grow up so fast and do want their mothers around. Whatever extra you can do is fine, just do it with them.

  234. Heather says

    You brought me to tears. I think of how much I don’t accomplish in a day instead of what I have accomplished. I cherish the fun times, not keeping the house clean. I jumped on the trampoline with my daughter this evening as we jammed to our new stereo then pushed her a bunch on the tire swing. These are the times I’ll miss. Not how clean I was able to keep my house. Thank you so much for reminding me that I can’t be superwoman no matter how hard I try. Time is what matters, time and attention.

  235. Jill says

    Every word of this post had my heart leaping with joy and appreciation. There is so much beauty in your message.

    And then I got here:

    “But then the tears started, and I had to use every ounce of control to keep my voice even so she wouldn’t know I was crying.”

    And my heart wept. I’m hearing that you felt you needed to hide your tears/emotions/vulnerability from your mama, the one person who you said loves you for just being you.

    It’s not really a noticing about you so much, as it is for all of us…. we all talk about and promote authenticity and self-love and being true to ourselves and then… we choke back and conceal tears and hide our deepest pain from others…

    Just wondered if you or anyone else noticed this too?

  236. says

    THANK YOU! The last weeks -I have been working extra hard to set up everything for homeschooling my son (5), programs, which approach, paperwork, the perfect setting for our “class-play” area, materials, amazon hunts, agonizing over how to “cure” his hate for schooling (I pulled him out) I was trying to make things perfect. THaNK you por reming me that they are ALL READY perfect!

  237. says

    This is a great post. I have really been trying to see what kind of a mom I am, and what legacy I am leaving my children. My friend just wrote a book called Your Daughter Needs a Hero and it has totally changed how I see myself. (She spoke at our church and gave out free copies, so I decided to read it to support her)I am trying really hard to not talk down about myself, and convince my husband not to. It’s amazing how much we don’t see in our selves. And how much we don’t realize that we put ourselves down. Our kids see that everyday. And at the age my kids are (almost 3 and 6 months) they are seeing this and aren’t able to process what it means and why we say it. I highly recommend this book as an eye opener. And I think we need more blog posts out there like yours so thank you for putting this out there.

  238. April says

    Thank you! You are so right! My 3 year old keeps telling me “I want you to sit with me!” How lucky I am!

  239. Jennifer Stephen says

    I really needed to hear this after working all day and constantly feeling like I’m not doing enough! Thanks!

  240. Stacie Johnson says

    Every mother who is currently in the trenches should read this article. Thank you for your validation of motherhood and for the perspective your article gives each of us. Loved it!

  241. says

    I think we all struggle with this comparison problem. For me, the best thing to do when I feel myself getting into the “I’m not good enough” mindset is to cut myself off from the source of the problem, whether it be Pinterest or other blogs. Once I’ve spent some time with my darling son who really loves me for who I am and can make me laugh in a heartbeat, I find myself gaining the appropriate perspective again. Creativity is a gift. What we women seem to forget all too often is that the beauty of creativity is that it looks different for each person, so there’s no need to feel like our ideas are inferior. Such a great post! Thank you for beautifully speaking the truth.

  242. says

    I don’t know that I have ever cried and laughed so much in reading just one post. Such good sense. I too have the best mother in the world, very close to her. Never have I thought about our relationship changing so dramatically like that. My mother is in her mid-60’s and I just don’t think about her aging. My heart aches for you! and I am praying for you.

  243. says

    Wow. This was amazing! I read through the comments after the post and even though I really don’t have much of anything new to say I just thought that with a post like this it couldn’t hurt to throw you another “THANK YOU!!!” from a mom that was so touched and inspired to wake up fully charged tomorrow. I’m a single mom, and I have a special needs child too. I feel like I am failing at so many things everyday with my kids and I have felt like as much as I love and adore my kids that I would be a better mother if I gave them to someone who could do it “better” or “right.” I’ve never done that and I miss them terribly when they’re gone even overnight to grandma’s house but that feeling has tried to eat me alive. So yet again you have another mom who saw this and cried because you’re so right. As much as I may mess things up in a day my kids are still my biggest fans and all they want when they wake up, when they go to bed and every minute in between is THEIR mommy. Thanks again. You have a new devoted fan. Best wishes.

  244. Kimmy B. says

    I’m in tears because this hit so close to home. My daughter isn’t even 3 yet and sometimes I feel like I’m failing. But when you talked about your nighttime ritual, I remembered ours. She tells me, “Mommy, we have to do our fing!” and then jumps into my arms. (Our thing is me holding her while she turns off the light, closes the door, kisses her christmas tree nightlight, touches the “music” – radio, and turns the closet light out. Then I hold her for a minute, kiss her, and tuck her in.)

    Thanks for the reminder that I don’t need to compare myself to everyone else… that what I do is right for her.

  245. says

    I love you April. Just wanted to let you know:-) I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, we are just in the midst of moving and craziness. You are truly such a caring person, beautiful inside and out. Your words touched my heart tonight. Thanks for making me laugh and cry:-) Btw, I came to this article through Pinterest, lol;-) Your smiling little face popped up in a pin and I just HAD to see what you were writing about today. SO glad I did!

  246. says

    April you and Ashley Judd need to write a book together. :) Between her interview and your writing, it’s been an amazing day for women and truth. You have touched so many people – including me!! Thank you!

  247. niki says

    I am truly inspired by your words. My husband and I are expecting our first child in October and I am… excited. To be honest I have been a nanny for the past 10 years, and as much as I have loved my jobs, I am also completely aware of all the work that it takes to raise children. I also love pinterest and all the neat ideas that I see on there. But the practical side of me looks at so much of it and thinks, when in the world would I have time to do all this! Its overwhelming and makes me wonder if I am going to be the mom that I want to be, the one that I have always dreamed of being. Sometimes I wonder if my job has ruined me slightly because I am not going into motherhood naive. I know that being a mom means always placing someone before you, its always be selfless, loving at all times, a teacher and someone you can lean on. I am excited but I am also full of knowledge. Your post inspired me because I know that its not going to be easy but it will always be worth it. Thank you for your honesty.

  248. Rhea says

    what a powerful message! Thank you for that eye opener. I want and try to do so much in a day that I loose focus on the “real” opportunities standing right in front of me..my family. They love me with or without those homemade cookies, the always made beds, the “ideas’ on pinterest! It’s time we (I) should realize this and start seeing the “real” right before me. Thanks for such a great lesson.

  249. Jennifer Kirkpatrick says

    Thank you for posting this! It’s really what I need to hear and read……on a daily basis….

  250. says

    I am one of those that constantly fall victim to guilt and inferiority. Last night we played a simple game of 30 seconds and they joy on the children’s faces was amazing. We have recently disconnected our TV and have taken up other activities like puzzles, games, reading and just being together and already it has made a huge difference. Thank you for this post – keeps life in perspective!

  251. maria says

    so deeply touched by this….. i relate especially to the part where you walked through ‘missing’ your mom. thank you for sharing your heart and reminding us all that the simplicity of our children’s love for us should be catalyst for us to stop comparing, stop judging ourselves and just get on with loving these treasures that are our kids, as simply as they love us!

  252. says

    My husband and I used to drown in social “expectations” for parenting. Recently we did the best thing we ever could have and packed our life up to move to cohousing at The Yarrow Ecovillage. We now live (in Strata) on a 20 acre farm, walking distance to essentials, with neighbours who care and work together. It means a richer life for my kids without driving them all over the city. It means more time with the kids- but also more joy in community living. If you have cohousing near you I highly recommend our new lifestyle to any and all families feeling the strain of rat racing.

    Thanks for your post. I Tweeted it from the Ecovillage account because it sums up a shared value we have here perfectly!

  253. says

    I understand where you are coming from…BUT what do you do when your husband spends too much time on the internet, reading magazines, watching TV and talking to other women and then decides that YOU aren’t good enough to be the mother of his future children or special enough to be his wife? Not all of us are lucky enough to have someone who sticks around, let alone sticks around and thinks you’re special. Stop complaining that you get depressed looking at these sites.

    • April Perry says

      You are absolutely right. Thank you for helping to put things into perspective for me. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do . . . savor all the blessings I DO have–because yes, my life is full of wonderful people, and I never have to be hungry or cold, like so many others in the world. I honestly hope that you find the love and family you’re looking for. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Love, April

  254. says

    Beautiful message! Celebrate the kind of mom you are! We are so different. We need not compete nor compare. I love my Pinterest junkie friends and they’ve given me fabulous ideas. I know who I am and I am OK with that!

  255. Karen says

    When my children were in jr. and sr. high school cell phones were invented. Every time I was driving I would see moms in other cars on their cell phones while driving with their kids in the car. I always felt that the time spent with your kids in the car with you are sometimes the only time you have alone to talk about things, ideas, problems and what happened today at school, or problems with their friends. I felt sorry that these moms were missing out on something I always cherished – time alone with my kids or just one of them at a time in the car with me, time to talk with no interruptions. That was in the 90s and now it’s out of hand. Kids with their phones, moms with theirs and no one talking to each other in the car.

  256. says

    Wow….Thank You!! That’s all I can really gather up to say. My eyes are filled with tears, I can barely type! This is wonderful and exactly what I needed to hear at this time!!

  257. lahbinford says

    I have been having this recurring range of emotions since I’ve become a mother almost 10 years ago and I could never put my finger on what I was feeling. This is it. I kept saying to myself I want to be a “somebody”. I never felt that being a mommy is being a “somebody”. This makes me re-evaluate my role of mommy and the joys that come with it. thank you so much for putting words to my emotions!

  258. Allison says

    Lovely article that made me cry. I’m a crafty mom and I am always trying to tell my mom friends who say “you are so good for making things for your son or family” that they have missed the point. I craft and sew for my family because it makes me happy, calmer and fulfilled. It’s my escape. And I usually pass on doing laundry, cooking for my family or some other thing more directly benefit my family to do it. Look at pinterest and think to yourself good for those moms for doing things that make them happy … and them go make and take some time for yourself to do what makes YOU happy – running, reading, eating bonbons..

  259. RaeLynn says

    I am a young mother, and my husband and I do not have a lot of money, so I am always feeling like my children are missing out on things that other mothers (e.g. more financially stable) are able to do with their children. I sometimes feel like they are growing up under-privlidged when they deserve the world, and it has made me pretty depressed lately.

    I don’t think I could ever explain to you just how much this article means to me. It just reminds me that money is not everything, and even though we do not own a home with a massive garden, we are happy because we have love and I am here with and for them.

    Thank you so much for reminding me that domestication does not subsitute love.

  260. Eugenia says

    I’m not a mom but thank you so much for this article, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m passing it along to all the mothers I know.

  261. Laura says

    This article is a great reminder. The title of it also made me think that kids need their moms to pay attention to them more than pinterest, facebook, e-mail, cleaning, cooking, scrapbooking, etc. We can be the moms God wants us to be and focus on what really matters. God will show us what’s really important, and we can send the super mom idea out the window. Just love your kids and involve them in every day life.

  262. says

    I so easily get caught in all of those traps. I wrote a blog post for us about “Moments and Memories” and my New Years resolution to be present for my husband and children. I love my work and become very obsessed with it. Still I am sitting here at 5:30pm knowing my children are home waiting for me so that’s that, laptop is staying at the office tonight. Thanks for the reminder.

  263. says

    You made me cry. In a good way! I so hope that my children feel about me, the way that you feel about your Mum! I’ve been thinking a lot about comparisons lately too – in fact, I’ve been to 3 separate teaching events in a 2 week period that were all about not comparing ourselves to others! It’s a challenge to change that mind-set, but I’m praying that it’s do-able!

  264. says

    Wow. It’s 6:27am and this is EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning. Last night I sourly began listing all the things I SHOULD be doing when my husband asked me why I am stressed out. Did I mention: snuggle kids, show husband love, enjoy time with the family… NO! Thank you thank you!

  265. says

    This is exactly how I felt when I first became a mum (as we say over the pond here in UK!). And that was before Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Comparison steals your joy. And your identity. In fact, one of the most unexpected gifts motherhood has brought me, is that I’ve rediscovered me – and that’s who I am giving my kids.

  266. Danielle says

    So true, I am always seeing things like that and thinking I’m not being a good enough mum so it was a lovely reminder that our time and love is all that our children want. Thank you for this :)

  267. Susanfowlerjackson says

    I am a 57 year old Mom of two of the most amazing daughters , one is 33 with a beautiful 1 year daughter , and one is 31 with a awesome life. I have a 85 year old mother that drives to be and do everything I can help her get through the future by loving her,wanting to be closer to her then we were when I was a child of hers.I worked 3 jobs while raising my children, what I have learned with the my current reality of this stage of life is we all are on a journey to be better at loving, all my Woman in my life and I Don’t have to liive with what other people judge me about. but to show my family how much I love them. They just want my time, and unconditional Love fo them, Is what thand need and that is what memmories are made of!

  268. jenny says

    What a lovely message. As someone who has emigrated from Ireland and misses her mum, I found this very touching.

  269. says

    I can’t even tell you how much this resonated with me! Thank you so much for taking the time to express these things. I know them in my heart to be true, but when bombarded with examples all day every day of all the things I’m NOT doing, I sometimes lose track of the things that I am doing. Thank you thank you!

  270. Cath says

    My goodness, I have never seen so many comments on a blog – goes to show April just how much your message resonates with us. It was a truly real – yet not judgmental article. I too very much appreciate it! Thank you.

    I adore pinterest – but it also makes me feel frustrated at what I’m not doing/achieving. And – my children want me. Just me. Thank you for reminding me.

  271. says

    This was gorgeous, awesome, true, perfect in so many ways. I can’t thank my friend enough for passing this on to me and can’t thank you enough for writing it! Will now follow your blog :)

  272. says

    So touching. The entire post brought tightness to my chest from the emotion I was feeling, but after reading your daughter’s response to your frustration with the hair style, I simply lost it. I bawled through the rest of the post. It’s all very true, though, and I tend to find myself thinking the same thoughts. But my children remind me on a daily basis what they want when Kaeleigh says, “Momma, will you sit with me on the couch?” and then Ayden (who can’t talk yet) slaps the seat next to him as if he’s been saving it for me. You’re right. All they want is *me*. Thanks for the wonderful post.

  273. Colleen Gourley says

    This was totally and completely overwhelming! I loved and cried every word! Thank you so much for sharing as i am going too also! My friend posted this, and i thank her for that also!

  274. Julia says

    While many of us are not moms (such as myself) we all had or have moms. All I can say is that make as memories that you can and have left as a mom and with your mom. I lost my mother 16 years ago; she being 45 and only a few years earlier had been diagnosed with cancer. We had our ups and downs as of course me being the stubborn teenager, but I would give anything to have her back again. Thank you for this post as it a reminder of how we must cherish the memories we have with our loved ones.

  275. Christa says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you. I have been staying home for almost 2 years with my now 4 year old. There have been so many times I have felt like a complete failure as a mother and wife because of my imperfections (which are often triggered by social networks). Thank you for writing this! Its pure encouragement for so many of us mothers! It’s made me realize to simply let go of the “things” that really in the end, just don’t matter!

  276. says

    Someone posted your blog post to Facebook and had similar concerns as you. Me: I use social media much like voicemail and email. I check it about once or twice a day (which takes about 10 minutes!), then go back to “life” (spending time with friends, reading a book, whatever!). I don’t see why others ALLOW things like social media to CONTROL them! And then, there’s that power button!

  277. Melissa Rose says

    Thank you, I really needed this today! I’m bawling my eyes out, but I really needed this! Thank you for writing it!

  278. says

    April, I loved reading your post. Thank you for sharing. I often think that juggling home, work, kids, house, family, friends, some “me” time, school etc – is too much and i feel that maybe i am not paying my kids as much attention as i would have liked or could have but for the other things that get in my way. but we have to go on. my kids are also cuddly and they remind me on a daily basis that they love me as much as i love them and that i am enough. i started a blog about it 3 weeks ago (www.how2doitall.com). check it out.

  279. N. Bergevin says

    http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6991 – “The Soul’s Center”, Sis. Patricia T. Holland, Jan 1987

    “I believe that as women we are becoming so concerned about having perfect figures, or straight A’s, or professional status, or even absolute motherly success, that we are being torn from our true selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our own uniqueness, that full and relaxed acceptance of ourselves as a person of worth and individuality. Too many women watch helplessly as their lives unravel from the core that centers and sustains them. Too many are like a ship at sea without sail or rudder, tossed to and fro (as the Apostle Paul said) until more and more of us are genuinely, rail-grabbingly seasick.

    “Where is the sureness that allows us to sail our ship–whatever winds may blow–with the master seaman’s triumphant cry, “Steady as she goes”? Where is the inner stillness we so cherish and for which our sex traditionally has been known? In the shadow of the twenty-first century can we find what Charles Morgan once described as “the stilling of the soul within the activities of the mind and body [as] still as [the center] of a revolving wheel is still”? (cited by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea [New York: Pantheon, 1955], pp. 5051).

    “I believe we can find it–the steady footing and the stilling of the soul–by turning away from the fragmentation of physical preoccupations (whether it be thin or fat) of superwoman careers or endless popularity contests and returning instead to the wholeness of our soul.

    “One woman not of our faith but whose writings I love is Anne Morrow Lindbergh. In commenting on the female despair and general torment of our times she writes:

    “The Feminists did not look. . . far [enough] ahead; they laid down no rules of conduct. For them it was enough to demand the privileges. . . . And [so] woman today is still searching. We are aware of our hunger and needs, but still ignorant of what will satisfy them. With our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them. With our pitchers [in hand], we attempt. . . to water a field, [instead of] a garden. We throw ourselves indiscriminately into committees and causes. Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distractions. Instead of stilling the center, the axis of the wheel, we add more centrifugal activities to our lives–which tend to throw us [yet more] off balance.

    “Mechanically we have gained, in the last generation, but spiritually we have. . . lost. [Gift from the Sea, p. 52]

    “[For women] the problem is [still] how to feed the soul. [p. 51]

    “I have pondered long and hard about the feeding of our inner self. It is no coincidence that we speak of “feeding the spirit” just as we would speak of feeding the body. We need constant nourishment for both. The root word hale (as in hale and hearty) is the common root to words like whole, health, heal, and holy. Our health and our wholeness are unquestionably linked with our holiness. We need very much for body, mind, and spirit to come together, to unite in one healthy, stable soul.” …

  280. Charmaine Campbell says

    Interesting, funny and moving piece. What you said about your mother’s memory, have you had her checked out? I know from my experience with my Grandmother who had Alzheimers disease is that it’s not normal to have memory problems just because you are getting older, Dementia is NOT “the norm.” Whilst it is not curable either, with early intervention, Alzheimers in particular can be slowed with medication during the middle stages. Worth getting her checked out, especially if she can’t remember her last conversations with you, it shows that there is something not right there. xxxx

  281. says

    When I feel guilty about doing things for myself, I remind myself of exactly what you said – that my kids don’t want and won’t benefit from a stressed out mother. They want ME and they want a happy me. And allowing myself a little bit of time, all to myself, is what leads to a happy me. As they say, happy wife, happy life. I really appreciate being reminded of the falsehoods of what we see on social media. There is no reason to feel guilty for lying on the couch once in awhile instead of making flower-shaped soap (who does that anyways???).

  282. Susan Easterday says

    I found this beautiful blog linked on FB (which I review about once a week). Amen! I signed up on Pinterest and haven’t been back–overwhelmed is all I can say. And then I have people I don’t even know following my 4 pitiful posts. :-) Some people are good at that stuff–it’s easy and part of who they are. Obviously, you are incredible at writing and God gave you that gift. Thank you for reminding us that God has a purpose for us and it isn’t to be someone else. Many blessings to you!

  283. Aniesha Hunt says

    Thank you so so much for this! Sitting here with tears in my eyes now. This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I just had my 2nd child 3 months ago, and also have a 3 year old, and I feel so inadequate to be their Mum, as they are both just so perfect and beautiful. However, I know they love me to pieces, coz of the smiles and cuddles and kisses I get daily from them. Most of the time I don’t know why, as my self-confidence is shot to bits, and just reading this post really touched me. Thank you <3

  284. Felicity says

    This is exactly why I love you :) Since we first met you have been a constant source of inspiration in my life!! Your words have a way of sharing the messages I need to hear exactly when I need to hear them! Thank you for sharing this beautiful message with all of us!! xo

  285. Erin says

    I like the message she’s trying to get across but I disagree with the author’s premise that any of these avenues make us feel inadequate. You only let those feelings in if you want to. I feel the exact opposite, I feel empowered. On FB, if you are constantly comparing yourself to other’s houses, job announcements, etc, of course you’d feel inadequate, if and only if you are unhappy and not at peace. If you are happy in your life and appreciate what it is, you will only find happiness in seeing others be happy or succeed as well. For Pinterest, it lets me be the creative momma I want to be that doesnt have the time and brain power to think up the awesome stuff to do. My desire to be a creative momma has nothing to do with feeling inadequate, but has everything to do with my mom being a preK teacher and me being very artsy. At the end of the work week in my 8-5 finance job, I can’t think of what animals a paper plate and paint can be. The brain power I don’t have is outsourced to some awesome stay at home mom who has laid it all out. Our weekends are now spent usually picking out one thing of my sons choosing from pinterest and he loves that its not the same old toys, same old games. Mommy gets to pick one organizational project to do, not b/c I feel inadequate, but because anything to help me be more organized and keep the visual spaces of my house cleaner makes me less stressed. The construction projects he really gets into and helps. We’ve had a blast with it and its complementary to my parenting. Not once on Pinterest have I ever felt inadequate.

  286. Amanda Kammrad aka KnitNCrochetFreak says

    I feel this way often, more so since I was diagnosed with MS in 2009. I can not do a lot of things with our children, but I make the things I do count. I have been in tears many times over my disabilities caused by my MS, to which I always say that my kids deserve better. My husband gets on my case and says they love you and need you more than anyone else in the world, and my kids chime in and say the same thing. Also I don’t have a mother that I can spend time with or talk to, never had. She’s always hated me and everything that has gone wrong in her life has been my fault…I vow each morning that I will be a mom my kids would be proud of and they are, they love me unconditionally…even my 19 year old boy. Anyways, don’t beat yourself up if your parties, organization or houses aren’t picture perfect…your kids don’t care and as far as they are concerned nobody is stronger, braver or more awesome than you.

  287. Jennifer Allen says

    Thank you so much for writing this. I printed it out to read whenever I am having one of those days where I don’t feel like I am a good enough mommy.

  288. says

    I am so in love with this post. It is very relevant to me right now. I feel so overwhelmed by the need to do everything, I’m doing anything! This competition we have entered ourselves into is mind boggling and can never be won!

  289. Mindy says

    Thank you so much!! That was so wonderful to hear and think about. Glad you shared the story about your mom-it helped me. God Bless you and your family!

  290. a says

    I seriously cried a bucket when I read this. Thank you for reminding us of all the goodness that is right at our fingertips and just a smile away. What a relief for us and our children.

  291. Lou says

    I am 59 year old daughter to an 82 year old Mom, mother to two daughters and one step-daughter and grandmother to a 15 month old boy. This speaks so well to everything I learned form my own mother during the sixties as she sang while doing the dishes and took us on mystery rides to Brigham’s for ice cream. I tried to be fun for my girls, an educator and model of a working mom when they were young. my Mom always said to take time with the kids, the dust and work will wait for you, the kids will grow up with or without you. Now II watch my daughter struggle with a career and raising her son and I try to be there for her still, whenever she needs me because I know how hard it can be to be a good Mom. It also doesn’t hurt to have good husbands and fathers there to help raise the kids too. We did.

  292. Rachael Judy says

    Absolutely phenomenal blog post! I cannot tell you how encouraging that message was to me. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our “perfect culture”, but remembering that it is the small things that really matter to our precious children. Thank you!!!!!!

  293. says

    A friend posted the link to this on facebook. I’m so glad I came over and read it. Thank you for reminding me that my kids love me just the way I am. They don’t have some preconceived idea about what a mom is. They have me, and that is just right for them.

  294. maryd says

    As the tears well up in my eyes, and my ninth child,a daughter,11, lays on the couch ,3 feet from me.
    I am not a social media crafty Mom. My Mom has been gone for over 11 yrs now.
    Your article was right on and I needed to read it this morning.

    I am the best Mom for my kids. I know this because God chose me for them.
    And He chose them for me.

  295. says

    Even us “empty nesters” need to be reminded of this. Our children and now our grandchildren need us. Thanks for this great post!

  296. says

    The aesthetics of motherhood are so ludicrously high now, not due to the creation of extra hours in a day, but falling costs of high production values in magazines and online. Perfect homes, meals, costumes, parties, etc. are pretty in pictures, but have NOTHING AT ALL to do with being a good parent. Such an important message.

    (I wrote about the impossible standards of organization women are held to here: http://perfectwhole.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/the-happy-organized-home-sale-or-how-the-container-store-endangers-your-immortal-soul/)

  297. SQ says

    Thank you. Most of the time, I find other bloggers my worst enemy (Kelle Hampton) so thanks for the perspective and good humor!

  298. says

    I really needed to read this. I am guilty of getting sucked into the perfect pinterest mom phenomenon. Thanks for helping me to chill a little. P.S. I sing ‘baby mine’ to my babies as well. love that song. :)

  299. Monica says

    Ironically, this past Monday I was struggling with discouragement for much of the same reasons, in tears comparing myself and feeling miserably lacking in so many capacities. Reading this was a little shock wave as it basically said everything I was thinking/feeling. Thank you for sharing. It was very helpful and encouraging. God Bless.

  300. says

    WOW! On the day I needed it the most! I have been thinking how I have failed my two girls 15 and 11 because I put everyone before them as a non-profit director … but I have some great points to talk to them about – I think I haven’t asked because I was scared of the answer, but I bet what I think and what they feel are two totally different things! I did make the Owl birthday cake for my 11 jr old from Pinterest and did pretty darn good and I don’t even cook:)

  301. Kristen says

    Thank you so much for this article. It’s as if you’re in my head, knowing all my thoughts … I don’t even know how to articulate it. I am that mom, constantly feeling defeated and wondering why the rest of the world has it together when I can’t even manage to shower every day. Thank you for helping me realize that I am not alone. Thank you for giving me permission to not be perfect, when all I see and do is convincing me otherwise. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  302. says

    What a sweet article full of your fun family memories – both of your kids AND of your time with your senior mom. Very wise to cherish these moments with both generations! :) I love your idea of singing the song for your daughter and sending it on mp3 for her to listen to while you’re gone. One suggestion with your mom – music is sometimes an excellent way to reach the memories of aging parents with Alzheimers Disease or other conditions that have caused memory loss. The next time you talk or visit, you might try singing some old favorite songs together that you both enjoyed when you were very young. If she doesn’t remember, it will still be a special treat for you both. and who knows… :) Have a blessed and beautiful week with your sweet family.

  303. SHerrie says

    This was an excellent post…and so true…it is so easy to get caught up in what we are not based on what we see all over the internet and TV…thanks for sharing