You might have noticed that my new blog is called The Not-So-Bloggable Life of Emily M. Why Not-So-Bloggable?
What is Bloggable? Blog-worthy. Worthy.
When I think of a blog, especially by a mom, I think about chevron pattern, cutesy cute crafts, organic homemade toddler snacks, clean, bright Etsy-ish photographs, Pinterest-worthy meal plans, expensive decorating, clean houses, dichromatic color-themed child birthday parties, and outfits I could never wear because they involve accessories. Dude, if I wore earrings, I'm pretty sure the baby would try to eat them, and my son would refer to me as Captain Hook for the rest of the day. And this scarf thing?! The baby would get a death grip on it, shake it until she accidentally whacked me in the face, then lurch backwards and try to hang from me like baby Tarzan, leaving me unable to see anything while trying desperately to unstrangle myself. This, of course, would lead to me sitting down for safety, her using the scarf as a climbing hold, and sitting on my face. Meanwhile, Toddler would suddenly become a knot-untying prodigy and run away with my scarf and turn it into a pirate flag. Or a baby sled.
Many years ago, I got some good advice: "Emily, people hate perfect people."
Don't you totally want to see Blogger Mom in real life pop open a mini-bag of Fritos in the car to calm her whiny toddler and watch him fling the contents everywhere? Of course you do! See? That's a terrible thought! You don't want people laughing when that happens to you. And it totally will. Just yesterday, mine wiped the table clean with her tiny angry arm so fast, her Chicken McNuggets landed in the lap of the lady on the other side of the aisle. So let's stop trying to make everyone jealous. Doing so brings out envy in others. And that's a bad thing.
That's why I dislike Pinterest. I hadn't checked it in months (much to its dismay; it sends me passive-aggressive See What You've Been Missing emails like an ex-boyfriend). But I'll check it right now, just to be fair. The first thing that pops up is instructions for making paints out of flowers. Seriously? No one is really going to do this. But 45 people have already Pinned it to a page that may as well be called Stuff I'll Never Do But Feel Inadequate for Not Doing! I used to feel guilty if a day went by (and it was most days) that I did not prepare an activity. But then when I'd prepare some things, Toddler just wanted me to play pirates or horsey, or sofa cushion fort or Let's Cover the Entire Room with Diapers. So that's what we did. And the more worn out my jeans got from scrubbing on the floor, the less I cared about what I wasn't doing.
It's human nature to want to be the best; I'm pretty sure it's tied to some kind of genetic desire to out-compete your own gender for the best mate. Or when you have kids, to ensure they have the best chance at the best mate (because hey, that's your DNA, too. And DNA is bossy). But that's the great part about being human; we're smarter than our biology. We can refuse to compete and have radical gratitude - the kind that needs no affirmation.
Radical gratitude leads to less competing, which leads to less hurt for other people. Less hurt in a group means we are all happier. People who can be non-players become leaders because humans are social, survive best as a group, and therefore, we're probably subconsciously attracted to people who will help us survive as a group. People who don't compete. These people inspire us to quit fighting among ourselves. Or within ourselves.
Many blogger moms put forward the best side of their lives, supposedly for the benefit of others, for "inspiration." But how much do we really benefit from using our spare or stolen 13 seconds scrolling through crafts we just can't do, because every time we face the kitchen counter to even make a meal, someone wants to be held, is dunking toilet paper rolls, eating crayons, or suddenly naked and pooping in the oven drawer? Why do we sometimes hide away in the bathroom or kitchen during a meal, scrolling through facebook? Why are we so addicted to the constant stream of everyone's happiness? Are we addicted to the idea that we can be better, or more? Improvement sounds healthy, but the idea that we're not already beautiful is not. And I've been trapped in that place before. It still gets me from time to time.
That's why I started Everyday Films. The counter to picture-perfect photography and matching outfits. It's the idea that your environment, your voices, your children's hands, and your interactions are independent of anything you could "improve" and are worth remembering just as they are. I want to inspire you to look within yourself and say, "I am radically grateful in this moment." And if that's hard sometimes (it's hard for me, too, when I'm on the floor mopping up vomit at 4 am!) -- invite me in. I can show you, through film, that your life is already beautiful in its chaosSometimes it just takes a second set of eyes. (OK, and a camera.)
In the months I was forming the idea for this blog and making short films for families about their lives as a business, I prayed, because I was concerned future families would not be honest with me for filming, wanting a film for an audience of others and not their future selves. I was worried that I'd be fueling the digital envy competition, and that's not my desire. I knew that the only way to have people be honest with me is to be honest with you through honest stories and photos and films.
So I promise not to preach the virtues of any brand of parenting, or brag excessively about crafty stuff I may do. Because you don't need to know that. I don't want you to visit my blog for another dose of "inspiration" (read: feelings of wanting to do anything differently). I want you to look at your own life, close this article, and notice what's beautiful, right now.