It all started the night my husband and I were arguing over nursing chairs.
My husband didn’t understand why we needed to purchase a brand new plush gray glider. He couldn’t comprehend why I needed this chair to sink into while staring at my precious babies as they suckled themselves to sleep. He didn’t appreciate how, months ahead of schedule, each piece of furniture and décor had been selected with precision to match: the soft muslin blankets (white and gray); the plush bunnies and safari animal prints (white and gray); the lamp (white); the dresser (gray); the nursing chair.
I sobbed uncontrollably while he reviewed our budget with squinting eyes. As I watched him, I thought about how unfair it was he still had a stomach for ice cream sundaes. Finally, after what felt like an hour of my contorted crying faces confronted by his aloofness, he looked up at me from the laptop and said that the two wooden cribs (white) took us way over our limit.
Then he suggested the unimaginable: “What about my brown Lazy Boy recliner from college?”
I couldn’t believe it.
All at once, those amazing nurseries I saw on Instagram flashed before my eyes. Everything perfectly arranged. Everything matching. Everything centered on a theme. How could he really love me if I could not get this $500 gray rocking chair? How could he ever love our babies? What did he know anyways? He wasn’t the one who was pregnant with twins!
“I. Hate. That. Chair!” I screamed as I threw a pillow at it and waddled off.
I Wanted a Pinterest Worthy Perfect Nursery
Eventually, after I had a chance to calm down and he brought me saltine crackers (the only thing I could stomach), I realized he was right. We were way over budget, and it was going to take more money to keep our new little family afloat than we realized. Instead of spending it on what I thought would make everything perfect, we needed to focus on saving as much as we could for the unexpected that was bound to (and did) happen. Just because somewhere along the way I heard the message that this is what I needed to make me happy or make me a good mother, did not mean that it was true.
We see a lot of strategic marketing on social media that impacts what we think we need to buy.
What I found out when I was pregnant with twins is that the only thing that mattered was being able to show up for my babies as a healthy mom. Playing the comparison game with other moms on social media or in real life didn’t help. Trying to get direction from the world and well-paid marketers didn’t help. Spending money I didn’t have to get the latest social media trends didn’t satisfy either.
What did help me was realizing that I didn’t need to have the latest mom-to-be trend in order to be a good mom. I could still love my babies and watch them drift off to sleep while rocking in any old chair.
I Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be a Good Mom
Today, I still struggle with this. I still have a love-hate relationship with social media and how women are portrayed. Sometimes I still dream about the perfect kitchen (white cupboards, marble countertop, seats 20 at the bar) while I’m getting the tater tots out of the oven. I still struggle with filtering out the noise and focusing on the truth.
Like most women, I want to get the cute stuff that matches and keep up with the social media trends. And honestly, I still secretly wish I could’ve had that chair.
It’s a step-by-step process. It’s a daily choosing of what I will focus on. Will “things” really make me happy—or is it about something more? Today, I choose to show up as my imperfect self to my imperfect life in my outdated kitchen, and I thank God for the opportunity. And as for that darn chair…it’s in our living room now.
Are you aspiring to bring those gleaming social media trends into your life? It might be costing you some money and more! Listen to This Grit and Grace Life podcast episode with financial expert, Rachel Cruze, to learn how to take control of your spending: Know Yourself, Know Your Money With Rachel Cruze – 153