Nine months of pregnancy feels like just the right amount of time to successfully grow a human. During that process, it gave me, a first-time mom-to-be, time to figure out important things.
I had to figure out things like how to swaddle a baby, what to expect while breastfeeding, and very importantly, which patterned crib sheets would best complement the nursery wall decor, as though that detail would matter to anyone on my 45th consecutive sleepless night.
I also took this very valuable time to ponder just exactly what kind of mom I wanted to be when the baby got here.
A Pinterest Mom sounded like fun. I liked Pinterest. I used Pinterest. Pinterest was inspiration for my beloved black bamboo flooring and for the greatest take on Thanksgiving stuffing my family had ever known.
Surely, my baby and I could exist in a perfectly Pinterested world. He would sleep in a perfectly Pinterested nursery and I would live my life as a new mom all glitter-lined and in a pleasing aesthetic — planning perfect parties like I had been paid for it.
That’s the kind of mom I wanted to be.
It was not long after the baby was born, and I was planning the first event as a new mom for my family and friends, that reality set in. I was immersed in baby life, and I was overwhelmed by the event planning.
I was not interested in flowers or crafting, and the idea of getting on Pinterest to work through it was stressful. This event would be whatever I could manage, basic “Google,” if it had to be labeled by a search engine. It was clear.
I was not cut out to be a Pinterest Mom.
I came across a Mom Blogger who shared healthy recipes and home workouts and I was inspired. Being a Fit Mom could be a great kind to be. I was after all, a former college athlete.
Maybe I could spend my days in the gym and focused on health, wellness, and nutrition. This would be a healthy use of time and great way to lose the pregnancy weight. Yes, being a Fit Mom was fitting!
What I didn’t realize is that with a newborn, it’s tough to make fitness a priority. I did the best I could, but between nursing, figuring out the baby’s sleeping schedule, and accomplishing all the other things that were important, I did not have the mental capacity or physical energy to be fit.
Sadly, being a Fit Mom was not going to fit my life.
I had a friend who was pregnant while I was. She told me her plan for her baby was to clothe him in only organic cotton, feed him only organic food, and let him breathe only organic air.
This seems reasonable, I thought, not knowing any better. Her crunchy plan seemed like it had the child’s best interest at heart. I thought to myself, maybe that’s the kind of mom I want to be.
Newborn life threw a wrench in that plan. It took about five blow-outs and nine outfit changes in a span of three hours for me to realize this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable for me.
I wasn’t so much crunchy as I was just straight putty.
Pliable, adaptable, not totally hating a polyester cotton blend.
Trendy Moms had their lives together. Or they at least looked like it, clothed in chic neutrals, equipped with a designer diaper bag, and sporting a perfect pony. Why wouldn’t I want to be that mom? I had decent style. I could pull that off!
It took me approximately three days of living stay-at-home mom life to realize my priority was comfort over style, function over style, and convenience over style. I found out that my look was more three-day-old greasy pony than perky pony. And that I would rather die than try and parent in high-waisted denim.
Nope, Trendy Mom wouldn’t be my title.
Parenthood, especially at the beginning, has a way of being all consuming. This made it nearly impossible to perfect my parenting persona early on.
As I let go of the ideal, I found the moment I turned into the mom I wanted to be.
I realized it couldn’t be identified solely externally, or in any one way. The mom that I became didn’t hinge on how I looked to others. Instead it was how I looked to my child, and most importantly to myself.
I was a loving, dedicated mother who did my best to take care of my child each and every day. While doing so, I was sometimes able to be trendy, squeeze in a workout, or puree organic baby food, but my identity wasn’t shaped by that.
As far as the Pinterest parties, well, that was, and probably would forever be, a work in progress.