OOTW – and Becoming a Girls’ Girl

Dress: H&M Scarf: Thrift Store Shoes: Target Clutch: Old – Similar here Silhouette Necklace: Etsy This necklace is a silhouette of Kingston as a baby,…

Dress: H&M
Scarf: Thrift Store
Shoes: Target
Clutch: Old – Similar here
Silhouette Necklace: Etsy
This necklace is a silhouette of Kingston as a baby, and every time I wear it people say they want one. But the girl Anderson ordered it from was kind of a flake and doesn’t sell them anymore. So somebody needs to start making them and send me one! I’ll pass along a ton of business! It looks really easy to make.

I had dinner with some great friends over the weekend, and before we even made it to the restaurant the subject of social media, blogs, and Facebook came up. Turns out we’ve all been thinking about/ struggling with the idea of what we should and shouldn’t be sharing online. That’s actually why I haven’t blogged much over the last couple of weeks. I just haven’t been able to get my head in the right place. There seem to be two extremes when it comes to blogs and social media. There’s the over-edited “my life is perfect” style. That’s the one where people only post about their children’s great accomplishments, their trips to the farmer’s market (because DUH-they only eat organic), and the flowers their husbands bring them all the time for absolutely no reason. Their lives are perfect! And they have “humble bragging” down to a science. Then there’s the other extreme. The complainers. They rant about everything from their lazy spouse, to the Pinterest recipe disasters they try to make (it’s always the recipe’s fault), to the horrible traffic that seems to follow them everywhere. Nothing ever goes right for them. My girlfriends and I were talking about what it looks like to be “real” online. And we decided that it’s actually harder than it sounds! There has to be a middle ground. But what is it? And how do we find it?

I have to admit that a few years ago I wanted everyone who read my blog and Facebook posts to think my life was perfect. It was probably an immaturity thing mixed with a lot of insecurities. But I just thought it was important to have an image that said, “Oh hey! I’ve got it all together.” Then I had a kid, and it got even worse. I felt sucked into this weird sub-culture of competitive moms. It was completely foreign to me. Competing about how much their kids ate and how long they slept at night? What the heck was this cult of crazy people? I didn’t like it, but I got sucked in anyway. I had to keep up with the crazies and make sure all the other moms knew that I had this thing all figured out. Sure, being a mom was a little tough some days, but I could handle it. And I could do it in a cute outfit and sky-high heels. So take that, Mrs. Yoga Pants! And I could still have a life and keep my house clean and buy fab home decor. Because, you know, the true measure of a great mom is whether my kid has the latest echo-friendly, vintage colored toys and designer clothes. Talk about exhausting! Plus I felt bad, because I knew what I was doing. I knew I was making other moms feel bad, because they couldn’t do it all. And they should be able to do it all, because here was a blog with a real-life mom who totally could! I was perpetuating a lie that is so rampant in the blogging community, especially among moms. And I knew it was wrong.

Then I started feeling convicted about it. Ugh! That always happens! And I wanted to do something but didn’t know what. Should I say something, or just try to change the tone of my posts? I couldn’t decide, so I just didn’t post much. Then I ended up with my girlfriends at dinner, and they were ALL. FEELING. THE. SAME. WAY. We talked about wanting to be real and craving authenticity from others as well. I know that God put me at that table with those girls that night for a reason. It wasn’t just to eat really good food and laugh our butts off. It was so he could speak to me through them. So he could tell me, “Enough already.” Let’s stop the madness, girls! It’s time to be a girls’ girl… a moms’ mom. Someone who chooses to live a life of authenticity and encouragement instead of portraying a highly edited, polished life that doesn’t come close to reality. These are issues our grandmas didn’t have to deal with, and this whole post might sound ridiculous to some, but if you spend time on Facebook or read a lot of blogs, or if you HAVE a blog, I know you get it. Here’s what I’ve started to realize. Social media has connected me to more people than I could ever see face-to-face, and I want to use that opportunity to glorify God. I don’t want to squander it anymore with keeping up an unreal facade. My blog started out as a business platform. It helped grow Pink Coffee Photo tremendously, but at some point it also became a way for me to show you how great my life is, and that is so screwed up. I’m not sure how to move forward from here. Maybe the subjects I talk about will be different, or maybe they will just have a more honest tone. But it feels good to write about it!

So in the spirit of being honest here’s a list of some things I don’t really want you to know about my life:

– My Mom cleans my house. MY MOM. And if she didn’t we’d all die of asthma from the dust.

– Kingston’s diet consists mostly of french fries, PB&J toast (with the crust cut off), cheese crackers, and a ton of milk. I give him Pediasure and vitamins, and he only eats/drinks them because he thinks they’re chocolate milk and candy. I’ve tried every method that’s been suggested to us. Some days it totally stresses me out, but most if the time I just don’t worry about it.

– Yes, I get dressed up just about everyday, but that’s because I enjoy it and it’s something that comes easy for me. What I don’t do or enjoy is organization of any kind. This means my house stays a wreck. I try to keep things picked up, but it’s so hard for me. Basically your yoga pants and sweatshirt = my piles of crap everywhere. Sometimes I’m almost certain there’s a whole other family living among the crap in my garage, but we will never know.

– Anderson and I get into a semi-argument almost every time I ride with him in his car. He’s one of the craziest drivers I’ve ever ridden with, and his little tin can car makes it even scarier. I’m always certain I’m going to die and can’t seem to keep that sentiment to myself.

– I work VERY part-time at my church doing graphic design, because I want to. But I sometimes wonder if I will look back on this time and see it as a selfish decision. Maybe I should be spending that time with my kid.

– When I work out I wear some of the rattiest clothes you’ve ever seen. If you pass me on the rode while I’m running just don’t even wave. You’ll save us both the embarrassment.

– Kingston WILL be potty trained before kindergarten. And I will consider that a great success.

See? Don’t you feel better than you usually do after reading my posts? πŸ™‚
Has anyone else been struggling with this whole authenticity online thing? I’d love to know what you think!
And I’m daring you to post your own list on your blog or Facebook. Let’s stop the madness already!

152 comments

  1. Lyndsay – I think I have shared my rants with you before…let’s go back to the conversation in front of Target the day I picked up the crib bedding from you. Haha. πŸ™‚ So, I LOVE THIS POST. So here is my honesty:
    1. My kid too ONLY eats a handful of things including chicken nuggets from either ChicFilA or Wendys, Peanut Butter crackers, Gogurts, Bananas and um…ANYTHING SWEET. :-/
    2. I LOVE going to work – I enjoy my time away to just BE ME. Some question why I don’t stay home when we could technically afford it…its a selfish reason REALLY…I want ME TIME.
    3. I believe pedicures are a must for my happiness….every two weeks.
    4. When I see your outfits – I think WOW wish I could pull that off…but for now I stick with my matchy-matchy sense of style.

    So there you have it…Haha – You are AWESOME! A real encouragement to me…

  2. I love this! I just recently started a blog a couple of months ago. & I agree there is a lot of pressure to be perfect in the blog world or social media! & I don’t even have a kid yet!

    Here’s my list!

    1. I am addicted to Coca Cola. I have been trying to keep it down to 1 a day. Its so hard!!

    2. I don’t wash my sheets nearly enough. Maybe once a month? I know gross.

    3. I have disgusting dry cracked heels. I need a pedi like every week. But whos got the money for that?!

    4. I am secretly jealous of your style!!! I wish I had the “umph” to dress up every day.

  3. I think women can be horrid to both ourselves and each other. You can put an outfit together like NO ONE ELSE and I can cook like no man’s business. All of us have SOMETHING. I wish instead of the constant competition, we could learn to love and appreciate the unique qualities in ourselves as well as other women. I’m not excited to join the lion’s den known as the Mom club. It seems like an unkind, know-it-all kind of place. I have super unconventional ideas as it is & I don’t knock other people…but I wish that courtesy was automatically mutual.

    (Confession: I gasp deeply like Carl is about to kill us pretty much every single time I see brake lights in front of us. I feel like he doesn’t pay enough attention and he talks with his hands while driving which practically causes me to stroke out.)

  4. YAY for authenticity! I’ve been struggling with the whole “being perfect” thing this week and the “oh my gosh what am I going to do if God ever decides I should be a mother” follows right behind. Thank you for a ray of encouragement, dearest.

  5. I LOVE THIS!! I’ve been struggling with this ever since I started a blog..like 5 years ago! haha! I usually just don’t post too many personal things and if I do, it’s like 4 sentences. Here’s my list:
    1. I sometimes hide in the bathroom w/my phone while my girls eat lunch b/c I need to ‘get away’ for a minute.
    2. I feed my kids Chickfila at least 4 times a week.
    3. I have a hard time apologizing and will pout for way too long before doing so. I hate admitting I’m wrong.
    4. If I haven’t had a break from my kids for a few days I’ll melt down and cry…I love them, but I need a break! LOL

    hahaha..thank you so much for your honest heart! love following your blog and instagram πŸ™‚ xoxo

    1. Sarah, Isn’t Chick-fil-A kind of like heaven food?!? So you’re just being a good mom. πŸ™‚ And the thing about locking the bathroom door made me laugh so hard!

  6. Thank you so much for your honesty here… love this post! being a new mom is hard and wanting to show everyone that you can do it and you have it all together and comparing sleep, etc is exhausting.. this is just what i needed today.. thank you! xo

  7. Oh my gosh, these comments are cracking me up, LOL! I LOVE this post Lyndsay and I’m so thankful you wrote it! So here’s a short version of my list….
    1. I lock my kids out of the house (thank the Lord for a backyard with a fence) so I can get stuff done.
    2. My kids heard their first curse (CUSS, dangit!) word from me.
    3. I have a piece of duct tape holding my kitchen counter together for goodness sake, lol!
    4. Yes, I taught that VBS class but my husband and children paid for it with a witch of a mom and wife that week.
    5. I love being a sahm but if I don’t get a break every now and then, I start telling (yelling at) my husband I need to go back to work.

  8. I think this is an amazing post and needs to be read everyday by everyone on a social media site. I heard from a sermon once, “Instagram is the highlight real of a person life.”

    I think everyone always see the other person as someone who has it all together. The grass is always greener.

    I’m not a mom but a nanny and let me tell you I have kids who eat the same things over and over and won’t try new things. Then the other sibling eats the grossest concoctions and LIKES them! Like tuna and ketchup in a tortilla. I used to be one of the pickiest eaters myself but I started to grow out of it in my teens/early twenties.

    I praise all of you especially when you have other people to take care of. I’m single and can barely take care if myself.
    Here is some of my list:
    1. I forget to change my sheets too
    2. My home is a cluttered mess.
    3. I dislike cooking, grocery shopping or doing my hair.
    4. Sometimes I think if I have to see “my kids” one more day I’ll go crazy and then God blesses me with a random day off.

  9. such a refreshing post. loved reading your thoughts. I think every blogger/mom heck woman struggles with this at some time or another. i know i have. life is all about balance isn’t it? I love your list and I love hearing your heart.

  10. Love it that you can express yourself so well when I read your blog I feel like you are having a conversation with me ! Personally think you should write a book or for a magazine !!!

  11. Lynds I love your honesty! And your honest, real love for Jesus and your family! And I love cleaning your house, just saying.

  12. It’s crazy, but this is exactly what I’ve been thinking about for months and months. I started a blog a long time ago but I never put much effort into it because whenever I would sit down to write something, I would be so insecure. I was scared that no one would read it and that if someone did, they would think it’s stupid, or that it wouldn’t be good enough. I freaked myself out enough about it that I just gave up on the idea all together.

    I prayed about it for a while and then tried to start another one because I had a great idea (I thought) and really wanted to start it. I follow a lot of blogs, so I wanted to join!

    But, it happened again. I was terrified to not do it well.
    So I’ve been spending most of my time when the blog comes up in my mind, just praying through it and reminding myself that it’s not about me, but about the Lord and honoring Him!

    Thanks for posting this and being so real. It really did encourage me! Your honesty is wonderful. To be honest with you (and blunt) I think I’ve learned more about you in this post than I have in a while reading your blog. Remember, it makes a difference!

  13. LOVE this post. Why? I can sooo relate. I have 3 kids, 11(girl), 9(boy) and almost 6(boy).
    After my daughter was born I went through post-partum depression. Not the crazy,” I want to kill everybody,” but the “I have no idea what I’m doing taking care of a baby”
    I am almost 40!!! AHH! next May. And I can say with a smile I still haven’t figured this parenting thing out. Each season brings blessings and challenges. I try everyday to enjoy the moment and not wish it away.
    Your words will encourage so many moms. As it did me. I am convinced pretty much everyday I am doing this wrong.
    You are completely precious. And I wish I could be more prissy so I love seeing your fashion posts. I would rather mow the yard and than shop. I do love fun clothes but I hate to shop! THe best part of this whole thing is that God made us all different and He wants us to glorify Him, however that make look.
    Keep being YOU!!!

  14. I wish JoJo had not seen the part where your mom cleans your house….just being honest! Love the blog.

  15. Your posts always make me smile. Thanks for being real and for being you! And FABULOUS outfit btw. πŸ™‚
    Side note – I think we’re going to use 2 or 3 of your pictures for my webpage so you’ll have to pick some goodies from my store. Let me know if you want me to send you the websites with the products again.

  16. Kingston will be fine having a diet staple of french fries……the Ard kids eat junk from the time they get up to the time they go to sleep. Now that the two older ones work at Chick Fil A, we all are excited when they bring home extra chocolate chip cookies, even if it is 12:30 in the morning. At least we drink milk while eating the cookies:) If only the Cookies and Cream Milkshake would last until they got home:/ Enjoy Kingston, embrace not being organized and sticky kitchen floors….it is only for a season! Love you Girlie and the Ard’s think you ROCK!!!

  17. LOVE this! I’m really glad I didn’t read just the end of this post or else I would have sworn you were talking about me!

  18. I read this a few days ago and it’s still rattling around in my head. It’s funny how even though we know it to not be true, in the moment the grass always does seem greener on the other side! My mom always says that moms like us are the lucky ones…our kids with tempers, *energy* (for lack of a better term) and specific preferences for food have personality!!! They’re only 2 years old, but they’ve already got these amazing personalities. I wouldn’t trade that for the world! Also, I’m totally jealous of you most of the time…Kingston always has and still sleeps through the night in a crib. Sometimes you don’t realize the great things you have because you’re so busy looking at what you don’t have.

  19. I totally love and appreciate your honesty. I often find myself comparing me, my life, our life…to everyone else’s on the internet. And when I compare myself to others, I always fall short.

    I love your honesty.

    And for the record, my 5 year old son just quit taking a bottle. And I consider that a success. πŸ™‚

  20. So when can your mom come clean my house? πŸ™‚ It’s all my fault, I somehow passed this on to you when I babysat you and your brother so many moons ago.

  21. I applaud you. Why do we all have to portray our lives are all so perfect. They are not. I can relate and am guilty. I am taking your lead and going to make some changes. Thanks for your honesty!

  22. i LOVE this. being a mommy is the best and hardest job. I struggle with a happy medium with social media. posting too much or not enough and trying to not get too personal but to be real also. our house, food choices, and physical appearance are a hot mess at times (MOST) but I love it in a crazy way!

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