I had a lot of thoughts prior to having children. Not as much philosophies… like thinking my children will never have a pacifier or my child will never hear no or my children will be multi-lingual by the time they are two. We didn’t really spend much time prepping a parenting manifesto. But instead, I had pictures in my mind on how this parenting business would look. While talking with a collegiate recently, I was reminded of my preconceived notions on the look and feel of raising a family when she said, “I can’t wait to stay home so I can do all the projects I’ve pinned on Pinterest”. Had I been drinking
wine milk when she said that, it would have poured straight out of my nose. I was in absolute hysterics on the inside with a tight-lipped smile on my face. But later, as I actually thought about it, I realized…I think I thought that’s what staying home was, too. At least a little bit. Maybe even a lotta bit. But let’s be real, parenting is not a Pinterest board.
Who has two thumbs and loves Pinterest? This girl. But I think we can all agree that we’ve taken on a project that was “the best pin ever.” or one that we’d “REGRET NOT PINNING” only to have the outcome look dramatically different than our expectations. And I would say that parenting is not vastly different from that. While I’ve had some great success with the things I’ve found Pinteresting, there are entire sites devoted to Pinterest Fails. So, I am not the first to note that the rock project I pinned so my kiddos could whimsically and artistically decorate our front step, took one naptime and one episode of MMCH to prep and only actually kept them busy for the time it takes Jonah to down a sippy of milk. And the baggies full of colored hair gel were cool until little hands squished them to oblivion and blue colored gel (because it had to look like water) ended up on my floor. And then there are the completely picture perfect pins made of backyard movie screens and monogrammed sleeping sacks for each child…which of course happen weekly at Casa de Brehm. Or not. These are things that exist when you envision children. This is not what it is to have children.
When I envisioned parts of life as a parent, I think I actually believed they would be something akin to what one might find perusing a Pottery Barn Kids magazine. And I created a picture perfect family in my mind.
And now. I laugh at that. Hard. Daily. Minutely. Secondly.
I had pictured how my children would dress, daily. Because money is endless and dirt does not exist. Or food. Or poop. Or paint. Or glue. Or markers. And bowties are completely practical for all daily activities.
What I thought my children would happily eat, every day. Because we’d create lunch together and they’d be adventurous eaters. And I’d have time to whittle tiny little bears out of some edible substance.
What my children request to eat, every day, because they are anti-meat and pro-sweet. And they like to go go go.
What I thought their playroom would be like. Because, again, money is endless. And they are so clean. And I have copious amounts of time, childcare, patience and focus to stencil or afix business to the walls. And they really only want 3 toys. Because they would hate variety.
What the playroom (er, guest quarters) actually looks like. Because I have two boys. Who love to play. And grandparents who love to visit. And an unfinished basement that I rarely have to see. Unless the boys are playing. For the entire Nebraska winter…which was, most recently, nearly 13 months long.
And of course, I never, ever would let my child have a wet shirt or a runny nose. I mean, how hard is it to wipe a child’s nose? How difficult could it possibly be to keep that dripping faucet in check? Or change their shirt every time they drool…all the time.
Or catching a glimpse of true, innocent, brotherly love. And knowing that these little people are designed for loving. And sweetness. Even when they prefer to exercise their opinions.
And the feeling of giving them a day, just for them. With the people you love. Even if it isn’t flawless.
And then there’s the way it feels when they hug you once they are old enough to choose to hug you.
So while some of it is, it’s not all Pinterest Perfect, and it’s not exactly how I envisioned it would be in my Pottery Barn brainchild. But I suppose that’s not so bad after all. Because if this is what a Parenting Fail looks like…