Mommy guilt. We've all felt it - the sense of failure when we see a perfect-looking toddler birthday party on Pinterest or a perfectly stylized Instagram shot and know that our efforts simply don't measure up. For many of us, this social media-induced feeling is very familiar.
(Psst! The kids don't care!!)
In addition to this guilt, I also feel self-conscious that my blog and social media posts are not polished enough to represent a small, but growing business. This is a big reason why I have ten or more unfinished blog posts of projects I've done that just don't look like a top DIY blog tutorial. (Because I don't have products to design, orders to ship and kids to watch after or anything, right?) Making the step by step photos look at good at a single finished product shot? Forget it! My house gets sunlight for about 45 minutes a day and simply does not allow for sustained photography while I'm working on a project. And an in use shot of some of our fun party supplies? I'm usually running fifteen or more minutes late getting everything together and never quite catch up.. and I get distracted actually talking to guests instead of photographing each cute sip. Sound familiar?
You are not alone. I get it. It sucks to feel inadequate when we're doing so much so well. I don't want to play the perfection game. And yet, to showcase my products, I need to share my projects and ideas of how to use beve's goodies. Knowing I'm likely perpetuating this mommy guilt and these feelings of inadequacy makes me feel even.. guiltier.
So, I'm taking a stand and sharing my mantra with anyone who will listen: pretty doesn't have to be perfect.
I love that tossing a cute paper straw in your sweet tea can make you smile or that using washi tape to organize your planner makes you feel like you've got this week under control. Having beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree at Christmas time? I love that feeling. Do I think that any of these are necessary? No. Do I think that everything has to be perfect for it to be enjoyable, memorable and special? No. I love helping add little touches to your events and your every day life - helping add some extra pretty a polish. I love that these can help make you feel happy and confident, but please know that they are not necessary for you to make a moment special. You bring that all on your own, momma!
While I've feared sharing these sentiments with my customers - I want everyone to purchase my goodies to make their tea pretty and their stack of presents especially gorgeous, right? - I feel strongly about this and think it may just be a breath of fresh air for folks. So, I'm going to get past my fears and post my not-perfect-but-very-pretty projects and share a bit more behind the scenes shots of what running a work-at-home-mom business with a toddler literally climbing up your back ("I'm an opossum!") really looks like. I hope you'll be compelled to feel more confident in your creations and maybe even share them and the pretty doesn't have to be perfect message. Let's help moms everywhere feel pride and joy in their projects!
It may have taken a bit more time to create with a little one in tow, but the above project did finally get done - and turned into paper doll gift wrap and gift tags - a fully usable paper doll set once they're done adorning your gift!
And full disclosure: I wrote most of this blog post over a year ago and never finished it till now - after having another kid and renting a small studio/storage area, "beve headquarters," so said baby will have somewhere to sleep :) It's mainly where inventory lives. I have been sharing more real-life photos on our Instagram account during this time (feel free to follow us!) and I'm planning on sharing a blog post a month this year - big goals!
Also!! A big thanks to my sweet friend, Elizabeth Derby Newberry for her vote of confidence in sharing this message. Elizabeth is a professional wordsmith, advocating for authenticity in copy and marketing messages. Interested? Check her out! So lucky to have met her years ago at our local business group! <3