the flip side.

I have had a few compliments lately about all the cool stuff we are up too. I love to feel like I could be inspiring someone, and as much as it feels good to hear things like this, I want to make sure nobody reading my blog ever feels bad about how or what they are doing in comparison.

Because I promise you it is really easy to look like you are juggling it all so perfectly... and with nice pictures of it too...on a blog. I know I have read blogs of artists or moms who seem like they are doing it all, and doing it all waaaaay better than me. They sew, they paint, they do cool projects with their kids, they have the perfect sunlight in their kitchen, and they have time to capture these beautiful moments so eloquently too.
I don't know these bloggers, so I don't know if they have many dark moments, or moments of laziness, or self-doubt. But I imagine they must.
well at least, I do.

I hope it doesn't seem self-righteous to point this out~ It just is hard to see what other people see you as sometimes. And when I hear my friends or blog readers being amazed by what I am up too I worry that things could seem overly idyllic. Every story and every moment has a depth to it that can be hard for me to capture. And in the bad moments of a day I never think to whip out the camera. Not when I am having a regrettable parenting moment. And I don't think to take snapshots or video when Lili is being rude or is extra disheveled looking. and I don't feel like blogging when I am at the end of my emotional rope, and so days go by when I say nothing here at all.

An example that comes to mind is our goats.
The beautiful part of having goats is how much the children love them, and the delicious, fresh, raw milk we get, and how stinkin' cute they are, and how we farm them in a co-op with our neighbors.
The complex side of the goats is exhausted Alex waking up at 6 am to milk, and the $50 + dollars we pay for them each month, and the long goat meetings we have trying to figure out how to even raise goats, and that we keep them on a kind neighbors land because we don't have the room on our land, and the fact that I don't make it up to visit the goats more than once or twice a week (and they are literally in our backyard), and even our ambivalence about whether it is "worth" it to keep goats right now in our lives. I don't think all that shows through in a pretty picture of the farm.

I can tell this is one of those posts I am going to sorely regret hitting the publish button. I am too far into it to turn back now though, and I do want my message to come through...
I feel like I am living an incredibly blessed life. And I am proud of myself for the choices I have made and for carving out time and leaping into my art. And I am proud of my family and how often we do fun and thoughtful things. But I am often frustrated, and unreasonably sad, and unmotivated so often too. And I don't want those things glossed over.

And I often find myself sucked into the computer instead of parenting. And then something happens like when I turn around, and a little 2 1/2 year old has stolen my purse, found my stamps, and stuck them all over her shopping cart like stickers.

Today's evidence of being a totally distracted mom:
On the other hand, look what we ate for lunch. I made homemade bread (and for the record, it was the ONLY thing I did that day besides parent) with egg salad made from our own eggs, and sugar peas from our garden.
Today's evidence of me being a wholesome mom:
So please don't let yourself feel small in comparison to anyone else's blog (I need to heed this advice). Instead, I wish these spaces and stories will inspire us to be the best parents, artists, and humans we can be.


Mountain Mama (Wesley Jeanne) said...

Wow, thank you. This is exactly what I needed to hear/see. I've been feeling uneasy lately, dis-satisfied, and wondering if I need to stop reading so many blogs because I was starting to feel bad about all I don't do in comparison. But you're right--everyone has moments, messes, things that aren't quite right even in a pretty happy life. Even my blog, in which I try to be honest about my life, may seem to someone to be glossy and too nice.
Thank you for the reminder that we are all human and all imperfect and we shouldn't even make those comparisons, but should just enjoy our own lives.
Thank you for hitting publish.

Jane said...

perfectly written. Thank you for putting this into words. I know I feel that was ALL the time.

Anonymous said...

i totally resonate beautiful mama...
thank you for your reflection...i have been taking a bit of an on-line sabbatical, as i recognize that this is a tension and i too find that i both look at others presentation as being the greener grass at times and only hope that my presence would be one that inspires, not one that alienates...
and thus these are notions that i hope to live into..."i am learning that the grass is not always greener on the other side...and even if it may be...the energy it takes to notice is much better spent fertilizing my own yard..." and hoping that i might cultivate a space that invites others to fertilize their own yards...and recognizing that we cannot control others perceptions, just welcome them to consider that that is what they are...
oh my that was quite a processing comment...
i think it might be time for me to get back on the blog train:)
thanks mama for the inspiration you are...with so much gratitude.

liz said...

i'm so glad you decided to hit 'publish'... you said what i've been feeling for some time...

i often find myself sucked too far into the seemingly-perfect blog world, instead of being present in my own imperfectly beautiful world.
and i flip-flop between feeling inadequate, frustrated, and wanty; and feeling inspired and excited. it's a fine line for me sometimes.

as much as i adore the beautifully styled homes and seeming-to-do-it-ALL peaceful, homeschooling good-mama blogs, i much prefer the blogs and people that seem more REAL.
those are the folks i feel connected to, through their words and photos. those are the ones who help me feel valid and proud of my life and my choices.

and you are right -- everyone has parts of their lives that are imperfect and not so shiny. it's nice to have reminders and proof that we are ALL perfectly imperfect.

*on another note: how am i just now finding your blog? i recognize your shop from the 'shop local' link on etsy! it's so nice to 'meet' another local crafty blogger mama! hello!

liz :)

Anonymous said...

love you kkl. thanks for hitting "publish." your words, your art, your beautiful life all bring me so much hope, encouragement, and joy.

Jill said...

thank you for your honesty...I have been there and will go there again:) I'm there right now!


Erin said...

So true Kelc. I think about that often as I am writing a post, or not writing a post...as it may be. Even yesterday as I was reading your part about parenting and the computer...what was I doing? Reading your post while Corbin was trying to get my attention and I was just so exhausted I just wanted to check the computer and sit down. Your post was a good reminder that it's not just me. After I shut it and went to play with Corbin. Yummy looking lunch by the way :-)

wildviolets said...

It is so good to read your thoughts. I feel like this so much these days. Sometimes I wonder how I make it through! Some bloggers out there definitely make me feel like I am not doing enough, but I have to remember I am doing all I can. There will be time for more one day. I am very inspired by reading yours and other blogs which encourage me to try new things and be a better mom. I certainly do not blog our tough days or melt downs, so it can look like everything is all roses. I have to remember that every family (at least I think) has tough and challenging moments with their kids and try to celebrate the good and happy times. Thank you for your post! Oh, adorable pics of Seo!

jblack designs said...

This is a lovely post. Well said.

As the mother of a now-grown daughter, I can tell you that you're going to love the stolen stamps story one day. Who knows--it might even appear in her wedding toast. ;-)

Yummy food!


Lucy said...

Thanks Kelc. I think it's so easy these days for any of us to compare our own utterly complex, deep lives to the more one-dimensional lives we see on the internet and end up feeling lacking. Posts like the one you wrote are a good reminder that nothing's ever entirely what it seems from the outside and EVERYTHING that's worth ANYTHING is complex. thanks for being your beautiful, honest self, always.