Recently someone suggested I lower the bar around here. It was kind advice and resulted from a comment I made about feeling overwhelmed of late. This person, though, had never been inside my house, so all I could think was:
If I lowered this bar any further, we’d all be eating out of a trough. All of us. Parents, kids, and pets.
You don’t have to have it all together!
Hello, friends! And welcome to another soapbox moment. 🙂
Let me start by saying: I’m deeply grateful social media wasn’t around when I was in school or when I started my first job out of college. My every move was not documented, “liked” (or… not liked…), commented upon, shared, or judged in any way. I lived my life, made my mistakes, and never thought about my look being “on brand.” I didn’t even have a look, unless you count jeans and a T-shirt.
The world has changed.
I love social media. Well, not Facebook. I struggle with Facebook. Another topic for another day. 🙂 I love Instagram and Pinterest and YouTube. There’s so much value to those platforms and to connecting with others who share similar passions. And, there’s so much information. Right now we’re dealing with some medical stuff with Astrid, and I’ve found a wealth of info on Instagram and YouTube. And I might just come around on Facebook because of different groups and things.
It’s just, until I connected on all these platforms, I never in my life realized how women consider themselves Type A! There are Type A dog moms, kid moms, cat moms, wives, employees, entrepreneurs, side hustlers… the list goes on. Scroll social–particularly Instagram–and you’ll see such a strong aesthetic and a carefully-curated view of these incredibly put-together women.
How on earth do they do it?
What is “Type A” anyway?
Wikipedia describes this personality type as “… outgoing, ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving ‘workaholics’.”
Currently, a subset on Instagram and YouTube wears “Type A dog/kid/cat mom” as a badge of honor.
If that’s you, and it makes you happy, get it, sis!
I felt a little sad, though, when researching dog mom and kid mom hashtags for another project and all the recommendations for tags similar to #TypeADogMom were #overwhelm and #anxiety and #sotired.
I worry about the compare-a-thon created by all this content. Because, truly, you’re doing great, even if your version of great is imperfect. Actually, probably because your version is imperfect… perfection is too dang stressful.
Cut yourself some slack!
Says the lady who’s constantly self-critical… 🙂
The flip side of Type A seems to be #hotmessexpress. These are the posts with dog hair everywhere or muddy floors or hair in a bun with drool-stained yoga pants. *raises hand*
Either you have it all together and your dog is groomed and there’s no fur in your butter dish and your hair is curled and your lashes are done and you and your dog wear coordinated outfits… OR… you’re a mess?
Does it have to be either / or?
Nope, nope, nope.
I read this comment on an Instagram post this morning: “So many of us here pretend to have it all together online when in reality we are just trying to keep it together in real life.”
That comment was left on a post by a dog mama who wrote about feeling tired and lost and overwhelmed, yet she’s one who keeps her pup’s barrette collection organized by size and color. She’s also a self-professed Type A and a mom of human kids and a hard-working, successful blogger. In other words, someone who seems to have it all together!
I’m certainly not implying that everyone who seems to have it together or everyone who considers themselves Type A is secretly a mess underneath. Not at all.
I do think that everyone, no matter their personality type or tolerance for pet hair in strange places, everyone struggles with vulnerability, and we all default to our most comfy hiding spot. For some, that’s having every little detail perfectly cleaned and organized. For others, it’s chocolate. Or whatever.
What if you’re not Type A OR a hot mess?
Whoever you are, you are doing great.
If you love matching your pup’s collar to your handbag, do you!
If you’re lucky to have brushed your own hair and can’t remember your dog’s last bath (my hand is waving here), no shame!
Your dog bowls coordinate with your throw pillows? That’s so cool! Your dog stuff mish-mashes with all your second-hand furniture? Go you!
Wherever you fall on that spectrum, keep it up!
If you’re trying, you’re killing it. Do your best as a dog mom, partner, friend, employee, entrepreneur, all the different things you are… but then take time to do your best for YOU. Take breaks. Heck, give yourself a break. Avoid the compare-a-thon trap of social media and hug your pup. How lucky are we to get to share our lives with dogs?!?! Don’t lose sight of that in the quest to live a perfect life, to be a perfect dog mom, to post the perfect Instagram.
I am not perfect. I’m not a #TypeADogMom. I’m not a Type A anything!
I am the #WorldsOkayestDogMom.
I’m mostly okay at most things… and that seems to get me through just fine.
(Thanks to my friend Jodi at the amazing site Kol’s Notes for helping me come up with that hashtag!)
Where do you fall on the spectrum? Total perfectionist? Just okay? Somewhere else entirely? I’d love to know!! And please feel free to use the hashtag #WorldsOkayestDogMom on social to share your true story! Like that thread I mentioned reading, I just hope no one feels like they have to hide their reality to present perfection. Do you, and we’ll all be there for it!