Most days my playroom looks like a toy store blew up. I even once had someone ask me if I ran a daycare because there were so many toys. Was I offended. Yes, yes I was. Then I thought – what does it matter? Does it matter there is Lego from one end of my playroom to the other? In the end, what matters is my boys are safe, happy and healthy. Nothing could have prepared me for mess my boys can create when left on their own in the playroom for 10 minutes. I swear they can get out every toy they owned and spread it everywhere. I rarely celebrate the reality of parenting, instead I share pictures like this one of the boys assembling Lego neatly on cookie sheets.
The boys prefer their playroom to look like this. A mass collection of toys and creations in a big giant pile of messy!
I’m sure my mom is shuddering that I showed this picture because it’s not what we are used to seeing. Often the media and social media portray parenting as neat, tidy, and perfect. From pinterest worthy craft moments to organized and decorated bedrooms that appear to be from the pages of a design magazine. Admittedly I am guilty of this too. I love to show pictures of my boys all cleaned up and ready for the camera but I also take time to capture the reality of parenting.
Quaker invites you to #stopCOMPAREnting and get real. It’s time to celebrate the real side of parenting so we can all stop comparing ourselves to others. If you love the mess and chaos, embrace it. If you love order and structure – well I’m afraid to say it’s not always present when kids are involved. Take craft time for instance. My boys love to make crafts and I love the skills it teaches them while also fostering their creativity. But it’s messy. Paint, glitter, markers and glue have all been part of the experience and extensive cleaning usually follows any craft. Is it worth it? Yes, one hundred times, yes!
And don’t forget that time the boys drew big murals of turtles and I had to walk around it in the middle of my kitchen for three days until I convinced them to move it. While a pain to manoeuvre around the sheer pride in their creation was so worth it.
Let’s share these photos! It’s time to #stopCOMPAREnting and be real.
Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Lynda Cook says
I wish I had a playroom, right now everything is in my livingroom, and the sad part is I don’t even have kids living at home anymore, it’s all about the grandkids now, and when you come over to visit watch out for the missing lego that might be in the couch..lol
Elizabeth Matthiesen says
I believe that you can only do your very best and no more. I am glad that my 7 are now responsible adults and can take care of themselves. Being a parent is not an easy job it is wrought with frustration, sometimes anger even but when your child does something good your heart bursts with pride, you love them with every bit of your being. Just do the best you can. A saying that I passed on to my daughter is “a good mother may have a dirty floor but she’ll have happy children”. Which really means spend time with your kids when you get the chance rather than the household.
Victoria Ess says
This post makes so much sense! It’s like how we shouldn’t compare ourselves to images of women’s bodies that we see in the media.
kathy downey says
When my kids were young it was a mess in my home,toys,crafts everywhere because i encouraged my kids to be creative,i said it’s a house well lived in.Don’t compare yourself it’s a losing battle
Cheryl MacPhail says
So many people trying to keep up with the neighbors and friends that they go beyond their mental and financial limits :( Things need to change!
heidi c. says
I can’t say that I try much to keep up with the Joneses. I am more concerned with the happiness, safety and growth of my own family.
I need to stop comparing my parenting skills to others.
Rosanne Robinson says
We’re all individuals with our own likes, dislikes, and ways of being creative and having fun. We have to do what works for our children/family and not worry about comparing what we do, or how we do things to others.
Judy Cowan says
I agree. I think social media has turned us into being “fake” about what we share. We try to make it look like we have the perfect life/family. Time to stop doing that and post what is real!
If you are constantly comparing yourself to others you will never feel good enough. It is an unnecessary and stressful burden to put on yourself and others. Never compare yourself to anything you see in the media it is all staged and not real and its bad for you.
Edith Rennes says
We all need to be just ourselves and do the best we can…comparing makes it such a chore.
I think people don’t care about it as much as we think they do.
Kyle Riaz says
We especially should not compare ourselves to celebrities and their parenting. They often have resources that we don’t have. Everyone should just do the best they can, get help from professionals and family, and recognize that everyone’s kids, resources, and situations are different. Be supportive, not judgmental (Caveat: be judgemental of parents who abuse their kids; but that’s a different topic).
Wanda Tracey says
This is a great feature.I think we should just do the best we can as parents and
really try hard not to compare ourselves with other parents.I can honestly say
they were the best days of my life.
Silvia D says
I always let the kids be kids, didn’t worry about the mess..messes can be cleaned up ..but the kids grow up way too fast! Great post!
I think we are happier when we don’t compare ourselves to others. We are who we are and that is good. We have been given the gift of our kids and we are their gifts as well.
Elaine Buonsante says
I get that principle now as a grandparent but how I wished I had learned it when my 5 were kids. I remember vividly changing my daughter’s diaper while visiting my neighbour and thinking that I was doing it all wrong. I felt awful!
I agree 100%..when your too busy comparing you will miss whats right in front of you!
Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says
Yes! Absolutely! So important to focus on your own family.
Angela Mitchell says
I totally agree with the idea behind this campaign. I’ve never related to the overly perfect images presented on social media, etc. But I kind of understood that reality is different than what we see so I’ve never really compared myself much. However I’m not entirely immune to it, but I try to keep it in check. I’m happy in my own life so I don’t want to waste time comparing myself to others!
Cheryl Grandy says
Everyone is in a different situation with different talents and skills, and different children. It’s comparing “apples and oranges” – even if situations seem the same at first glance, when examined closely, they’re not the same. And more importantly, the “perfect” child, parent, house, spouse etc. is never perfect when you really get to know them. Everyone does the best they can with their situation. We need to stop judging and stop comparing.
Joanne Saunders says
I allow my son to be whom and whatever he wants to be (within reason)
Jodi Mitrovic says
After becoming a parent all of my priorities shifted. What was once important like neat and tidy is a distant memory. I do my best but my boys happiness and spending time with them is what matters most. After becoming a parent I will never compare or judge again #stopCOMPAREnting