Now is the time of the year that all the ladies and gentlemen of the Elf on a Shelf family come out and visit. There are so many cute ideas. So many pins on Pinterest that are so creative. People are posting their creations all over social media. Well, I know the truth. The truth is there are mixed feelings about these little elves.
I’m not talking about religious views, I’m talking about when this times comes do you say ‘I’m so excited for Penny, Nutcracker and Sparkles to come out and create amazing mischief in the Jones house’ or you’re saying ‘Holy smokes, I sure hope I can come up with 30 different places to stick this little guy.’
I’ll admit I think it’s fun! I enjoy the kids waking up trying to find our elf, Marker. But when I see these mommas making homemade gingerbread houses so their elf can have a home. And making little outfits for the elf. And some household even have an elf for each kid! I just think ‘more power to ya!’ Does it make me a bad mom that I don’t get super ingenious with Marker? Nope. Does it make someone a bad mom if there isn’t even an elf in the family? Nope.
I read a post once from a mom of three that said the Lord has blessed us with such a great life and so many things that we should take pride. We should keep our house clean all the time and stop posting how the house is messy because life is busy with the kids, instead clean the house AND spend time with the kids. After all if the Lord was gracious enough to bless us with it, we should appreciate it enough to take care of it. The mom rhetorically asked ‘how hard is it to take a little time out of the day and clean what the Lord has blessed you with?’
My house is usually a mess, actually I feel like my life is usually a mess, and I don’t spend as much quality time with the kids as I would like. I can sometimes feel like a failure in both areas so what’s that make me?
Honestly, I don’t care what others think that makes me.
I know who I am and the Lord knows who I am.
What I am trying to get at, most of the time we look at other people’s highlight reels. We see what looks beautiful and shinny in their life. People usually don’t share the down moments in life (well, I should retract that statement, some share way too much negative thoughts of social media but we will forget about that for the moment). Others usually don’t share that they are fighting with their spouse. Or that they are in too much debt. Or that they have all these beautiful things but still feel empty. We don’t actually know what’s happening. We don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors. We don’t know what demons others are dealing with. Actually some might not have any battles their fighting. If that’s you then you rock and keep it up! But that’s not the majority of people.
It has taken me a long time but I’m starting to get more comfortable with where I am at in life, worrying less about others.
We have 3 little kids. I’m usually a nut case. I might have snot on my shirt, a kid without shoes and two kids in time out. Oh and a messy house and car with that. But this is the phase I am in right now. I’m doing my best and I can’t be down on myself because life doesn’t look perfect.
We live a debt free lifestyle except for our mortgage. It’s hard to do that. It’s hard not to want what others have. We are saving like mad so we can pay as much as we can out of pocket, maybe even not getting a load at all. Do I long for a larger house? Sure I do.
Our society is about making every Pinterest project social media post successful. We get embarrassed if our house isn’t big enough or we feel like we are letting our kids down if they don’t have piles of gifts under the tree or a perfect themed birthday party. I think most look at what their parents have and want that. They want a house with a yard and 2 shiny new cars in the drive. But most of our parents took years to get there. Most of our parents worked super hard for years before they got to where they are. But now people graduate college, get a house, get married, get 2 shinny new cars.
You know what, my kids get 3 gifts under the tree and a stocking of candy and a toothbrush. I don’t do anything fancy with Marker the elf; he just shows up in different locations, no fancy tricks or outfits. We live in an 800 sq/ft pole barn. *I’m going to have to do a whole other post on our housing through our marriage.* We both drive vehicles that have rebuilt titles. My house is a mess WAY, WAY more than it’s cleaned up. I still wear clothes from 10 years ago because I’m too cheap to buy clothes very often (thank heavens I still fit into them). My kids pretty much only wear hand-me-down clothes. We go on one vacation a year and we camp the whole time, no condos or hotels. My kids have yet to celebrate their birthday with a birthday party with friends or a theme.
I am not telling you all of this to brag at how simple we are or to get sympathy because how simple we live. But most of this stuff someone probably wouldn’t know about me through social media. And that’s my point.
Ladies, especially moms, stop comparing yourself to others. You’re looking at their highlight reel. Stop worrying about how someone else’s elf knitted a scarf. Start making sure you’re doing the best you can do. Are you being the best version of yourself? Are you happy with your efforts at the end of the day…not are you happy with what things look like. But did you check a few things off your list? Did you laugh with someone? Did you take a deep breath? Did you do something that is positive for your life and your family?
I’d love for you to share your story with me. Have you ever thought about these things?