There seems to be an epidemic of guilt and feelings of failure rolling through blog readers these days. I am truly saddened by this because I know not one blogger who desires to make their readers feel this way.
I know I have been guilty of this myself in my “real” life and my online life. I see these women who are giants in an area and put them on a pedestal…without even realizing it. I finally realized what I was doing when I saw a woman I thought was this pillar of strength and faith break down in tears in a quiet setting…and I felt relieved. Relieved that this woman did NOT, in fact, have it all together.
And then I traded the guilt of not measuring up for the guilt of being relieved that someone else was suffering. You see, this guilt is a never ending cycle because we will never measure up. Never.
I wrote about guilt before and if you are dealing heavily with guilt, I want you to do two things. First, read this post. Second, email me through the contact page and let me know how I can pray for you.
For this post, I want to tackle the specific blogger-induced guilt running rampant. I want to tackle it and rip off the myths covering the truth like a cheap band-aid.
Myth #1: Bloggers are perfect.
People, please. Behind that blog is a person. Some of them do have their stuff together better than you in some areas, but I would be willing to bet that you have a better handle on other areas in life. For example, I am pretty good at this blogging thing (dude, that was painful to write…) and you may feel like a monkey when you try to write. That’s ok.
Wanna know where I struggle? Well, for the sake of brevity, I will share just one with you. You know that garden I wrote about earlier this year? Let me show you what it looks like right now…
It’s a beauty, eh? (This is the result of those dastardly squash bugs, the rest of the mess I was going to show you my husband weedwhacked this past weekend. I kind of blew this garden this year…again.)
Please cut yourself some slack and do not measure your whole life against the very small portion of someone’s life that they put on the internet. Or the lots of small portions you see from lots of bloggers. Please.
Myth #2: Bloggers must have it all together to have the time to blog.
No. We have simply found a rhythm and balance that works for our family. Or not. Seriously, blogging takes time and that time spent blogging is not being spent doing a variety of things. It is a simple fact. If you are doing one thing, you can’t be doing another.
Many bloggers utilize things like crock pots; late nights and/or early mornings; and messy houses to make blogging work. It is a matter of priorities and someone else’s priorities should never make you feel inferior in yours.
Something that took me a long time to grasp is that sometimes it is a matter of life seasons. When I had three under the age of 4, there was no way on earth I would have had time to blog. I barely had time to bathe. Now that my kids are a little older (10, 9, 7, and 18m), when the toddler goes down for a nap, they go outside or do something on their own. This often leaves me with time to work.
Myth #3: Bloggers are online all the time and still have it all together.
Ha! Let me let you in on a little secret. Did you know that you can schedule things to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? Yep. And we savvy bloggers do this so that we can be “online” when our readers are because the more often we are out there, the more likely you are to see our stuff. And the more people that see our stuff, the more traffic we get. The more traffic we get, well, I explained that in this post.
We interact when we are online and schedule things to share for when we aren’t. This is why it looks like we sit in front of a computer all day long. I could actually sit on Pinterest all day long, but something about naked kids being frowned upon and all.
Which brings me to the last myth I will tackle here:
Myth #4: Bloggers’ food/homeschool/houses/decor/etc. looks like a Pinterest pin.
Dude, you don’t even know how far from the truth this is. I love pinning things like lapbooks, DIY projects, and party ideas. And I DO use some of them, but…insert a big BUT here.
In real life, our homeschool has a lot of workbooks and frustrated mama moments. My sewing machine is currently buried under a pile of crap (not literal, thank heavens), and my kids are lucky if I let them break out the balloons and blow them up for parties. Because I don’t need something else to clean up. Amen?
You may not know this, but bloggers spend a good deal of time and effort into creating those “perfect” projects. Some do it simply for the fun of it and some do it because their blog is a business and traffic = money to a blogger.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to do everything you see on the internet. I see tattoos all over Pinterest, but that doesn’t make me feel guilty about not having one (needles!!). Don’t feel guilty if you don’t want the mess of glitter in your house and therefore don’t do that super spectacular glitter craft. And your kids may even turn out ok.
Be the mom God intended you to be. Be you. Lose the guilt, please.