Social media portrays such unrealistic expectations that are sometimes so far out of reach. And when we fall short, we feel like we’re not worthy. Like we’re not good enough. Like everyone else has a cooler, more lavish, more exciting life.
Let me tell you this right now: that could not be further from the truth. You are more than your Instagram profile, you are more than your Pinterest boards, and you are more than society says you are. And you’re doing a pretty dang good job, Mama.
All that to say, I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. It is a fun tool for party-planning and recipes. I love scrolling to get ideas for crafts and outfit ideas. So, when I became pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I had so many ideas. Cute announcement ideas, fun outfits, perfect photos, etc. I had placed so many expectations on myself of what I wanted, and to be honest, it was exhausting.
I was six weeks along when I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I were in Alaska on a cruise and it was our 2nd wedding anniversary. I remember thinking, “Well how perfect is this?” I took a test in a small boutique in Skagway, Alaska. It was positive and I ran out and told my husband. His response was “Are you sure the plus sign means positive?” Umm yes, pretty sure. His family was with us, so we told them right away. Then I Facetimed my mom and grandma. Was this how I had planned to tell my family? According to my pregnancy board on Pinterest: NO. But I was way too excited to wait.
The next day of our cruise we were in Canada, and this is when everything changed. I was so sick. So nauseous. So tired. My in-laws were with us and had rented motorized scooters. My MIL told me to use hers because I could hardly walk. The rest of the trip and the flight home were rough. I had never been that sick in my entire life and nothing helped. Y’all, I tried everything.
I wanted to tell the rest of my family right away, so we met my dad and brother for lunch. I was extremely sick so I told them quickly before heading home to go back to sleep. I told the rest of my family over Facetime. No cute banners, no t-shirts, no announcement game, no cute coffee mugs, nothing. I told most everyone via Facetime. Again, this is not what I had planned. I was so frustrated because I had seen so many cute announcements on social media and I didn’t do any of them.
I had rows and rows of cute maternity outfits pinned. I thought for sure I would look like one of those fashion influencers. I had so many ideas. Did it happen? NO. For the majority of my pregnancy, I wore maternity leggings and my husband’s oversized t-shirts. (I wore a messy bun for so long that my hair got so tangled, I had to cut it.) I think the only time I dressed up was for my baby shower. But that’s okay! It’s exhausting trying to keep up with “what’s in” while also growing a human.
I finally had enough energy to do a gender reveal “party”. It was the simplest party one could throw. No decor, no food, just friends and family over with everyone else watching via live-stream on Facebook. I had seen an Instagram influencer that had the cutest gender reveal photo of a balloon popping and confetti going everywhere. Cute, right? That’s exactly what my photo would look like, right? My family gathered outside in the backyard and we waited for my husband to come out. He pops his head out and tells me he needs me. Y’all, the balloon popped. Thankfully, no one was inside to see which color confetti was inside. But it popped. We did not have a backup. So we walked outside and told everyone what happened and our only option was to just count down and yell…IT’S A GIRL! Not the photo that I had in mind.
I had so many pregnancy photos planned, since my husband is a photographer. Guess what? We never did a maternity shoot. I was too sick and too tired. Then my daughter decided to come 6 weeks early.
So, no, I did not have a “Pinterest-perfect pregnancy”. Honestly, at first, I was so hard on myself. Why could other women travel with their cute baby bumps when I could barely get off the couch? Why didn’t I look like those cute pregnancy fashion influencers? Why didn’t I have adorable photos to remember my pregnancy by? Why didn’t I have an elaborate montage telling my family I was pregnant in the most over-the-top way that gets hundreds of likes on Facebook?
I learned quickly that it doesn’t matter. My pregnancy may not have been Pinterest-worthy, but it was perfect in its own way. My daughter arrived safe and healthy, and I’m grateful.
We, as moms, put so much pressure on ourselves that the last thing we need to worry about is pretending like we have it all together.
All that matters is: We are brave. We are strong. We are beautiful. We are enough. And we are amazing mamas.