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last week (a week and a half ago? who knows. navigate to the last post for me so i don’t have to), i posted a really wonderful shot of my desk and another cute one on instagram. i made sure it was staged, and styled, the lighting was perfect, that dylan’s little fingers were correctly placed in the shot. i snapped off a quick half dozen or more jpgs, scrutinized them in larger size after i downloaded them, then cropped, resized, added a filter, and, when i had achieved what i thought looked like a perfectly effortless photo, i uploaded it.

isn’t that nuts? all that time and effort to make people think our life is together when my life is not together. it isn’t as difficult to admit that as you might think. just how far away from having it all together, i’ll never tell. my kid wears pants and eats food on a regular basis, that’s all you need to know.

but that’s me slowly wandering off topic.

i think women in general, mothers in particular, have a lot of shit to live up to without beating themselves up over how their children and clothes and kitchens don’t compare to those put-together moms on instagram and pinterest and all over the blogs. i know there are articles out there that preach we don’t have to hold ourselves to those kinds of standards. we’re all wired differently and just because you don’t leave the house with a full face of make-up for a run to the coffee shop, or spend hours with other like-minded (like-featured) women crafting pretty little bows and outfits, or bake fresh bread and strain your own precious grass-fed anti-biotic free cheese and yogurt doesn’t mean you aren’t doing a perfectly cromulant job of being a mother.

that came across as bitter and, frankly, it was. i wish i was the kind of mom who could comb her rat’s nest of a pile of hair into something pretty, toss on a cute coat (what, this old thing?) and head out the door for coffee dates with other cute moms and their kids. i wish i baked more, and my house was cleaner with less toys to trip over. i wish i didn’t spend all my money on useless things so i could support small businesses and dress dylan in instagram’s finest every day and take cute pictures of her where she’s smiling at the camera and not trying to snatch it out of my hand.

but i’m not. my desk isn’t clean, my kitchen is a fucking mess constantly. my boy and i don’t take cute selfies. our cats are horrible. and i’m a mediocre crafter, at best (though, oh my god i love pinterest, i could spend the rest of my life there but first, these dishes and a diaper).

so basically, i’ve decided why am i continuing to let myself get caught up in this exaggerated game of ‘keeping up with the jonses’? since i started reading magazines i’ve been a victim of magazine culture, comparing myself to women i had / have no business comparing myself to. i think it’s time i start embracing my neuroses, my “flaws”, my habit of making piles and moving them from one room to another. there really isn’t anything wrong with our life. perhaps it could use a handful more green smoothies and a few less burger dinners (forget i said that).

i’m still going to post those styled and staged photos but more often i’m going to post a shot that shows what our life is really like and i’m going to be happy about it – #beyondtheframe. and i’m going to encourage everyone else, moms and non-moms alike, to do the same. because why the hell not? feel good about yourself, your life, your kids.

that above shot? that’s what my actual desk looks like. and about five minutes after i took this photo it looked a whole hell of a lot worse because a surface, any surface, that is high is better than the floor. what about yours?


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