I started writing this blog almost seven years ago.
Can you believe it?
This is what Number 3 looked like:
This is what Number 4 looked like:
This is what Number 5 looked like:
This is what Number 6 looked like:
And this is what Number 7 looked like:
Here they all are now:
A LOT has changed in the last seven years.
But you know what has changed even more?
Back in the early days when the kids were really little and I was totally overwhelmed —
back when I was really in the thick of it,
I was so defensive and so judgmental.
I spent so much time comparing myself to other moms.
I was insecure and I felt threatened by any other mother who did something better than I did.
Looking back, I wish so badly I had some perspective.
Because I was a pretty good mom.
But I never really felt like one.
I was shoulding on myself non-stop seven years ago.
I shoulda been thinner.
I shoulda been craftier.
I shoulda been more organized.
I shoulda run a tighter ship at home.
I shoulda done a better job at pretty much everything I was doing.
And this twisted perspective enabled me to jump all over people who were doing things that I wasn’t.
If you were here in the very beginning, then you might remember how the bento box lunches that looked like the Lion King or Bert and Ernie or whatever really pushed me over the edge.
Oooooh, I had a field day with those bento box-making lunch moms.
I have said a lot of pretty snarky things about not only bento box lunch making moms, but also Elf on the Shelf moms. And the leprechaun trap moms.
There are more moms I rolled my eyes at and dropped sarcastic comments about.
I don’t know what it was exactly that changed me in the last couple years.
Maybe it’s just experience.
Maybe going through some major things like a bankruptcy and almost having the house foreclosed on kind of put things in perspective.
I mean, if a mom wants to make a fucking bento box lunch that looks like the cast of The Wizard Of Oz — if she has the time and it brings her joy — then why not?
I mean, honestly, I don’t know if my kids would eat most of the stuff in one of those lunches, but I am fairly certain they would be really psyched to open up their lunch box and see that.
I bet they’d wait for lunch all day to see what surprise Mom put in there this time.
I bet they woulda loved that.
And then I came across this quote:
And I had a major A-HA moment.
That was when I really got it.
We can all be blooming.
I mean, isn’t that why we love springtime so much?
Because all the flowers are blooming?
And when they are it’s so pretty?
I was reminded of this again on Valentine’s Day.
So also back when the blog first started, I didn’t realize there was an app to manage your blog Facebook page.
And I would check the Not Your Average Mom Facebook page through my own Facebook account. And when I did that, every person who liked or commented on a post would show up in this big list on my phone.
And I accidentally sent friend requests to probably at least 50 people because I’d check to see how certain posts were doing and I’d be distracted or whatever and I’d like butt-friend request people.
One of them was a young mom who lived down in Florida.
I totally sent her a friend request without realizing it.
So we’ve been Facebook friends for probably five years.
She is hilarious and also I think young enough to actually be my daughter.
She lives in Florida and she posts pictures of her kids at the beach and I will leave a comment every once in a while about how much I hate her when it’s in the middle of January in CT and it’s snowing and her kids are frolicking in the water.
She has a great sense of humor so she gets it.
Anyway, this mom is like the most EXTRA friend I have who I’ve never met.
She’s maybe the most EXTRA of any person I have met.
And she totally owns her extra-ness.
So last week on Valentine’s Day, she posts this picture of the Valentine’s Day boxes she made for her girls to bring to school (posted with her permission):
OH MY GOD I would have had a field day with those seven years ago.
I would have shredded my Floridian extra young mom friend.
And I was about to leave a sarcastic comment.
It wouldn’t have bothered her. She would have found the humor in it.
But I paused.
And I thought about it.
Number 5 would have been over the flipping moon if I had made one of those boxes for her.
And I bet EFM’s (Extra Florida Mom) daughters were so psyched.
So I didn’t say anything snotty.
Instead, I asked her if I could write this post.
I think those boxes are awesome.
They totally put the plastic ShopRite bags that my kids took to school to collect their valentines to shame.
But that’s okay.
EFM is blooming.
And I’m blooming, too.
And you know what?
It feels way better to write a post building another mom up than it does to tear another mom down.
The next time you feel yourself speeding a hundred miles an hour into Comparisonville, take a deep breath and remember this:
Life is full of hope and promise and joy when EVERYTHING is in full bloom.