Previa Alliance Podcast

Be Realistic: We Don't Need to be Pinterest-Perfect Parents

January 08, 2024 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 88
Previa Alliance Podcast
Be Realistic: We Don't Need to be Pinterest-Perfect Parents
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, Sarah and Whitney explore how social media causes us to place unrealistic expectations on ourselves as parents. Instead of subscribing to the pressures of “Pinterest-perfect” parenting, we should opt for a healthier approach that focuses on embracing what you have and enjoying celebrations within your means. If you feel pressured to spend more to make unforgettable memories with your children, this is an episode you can’t afford to miss.

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Speaker 1:

Hi guys, welcome back to Preview Alliance Podcast. This is Sarah and Whitney and today's episode. We usually plan pretty good in advance, but this was one that we felt that we're not alone in this.

Speaker 2:

It literally just came on us. It just came on.

Speaker 1:

And we're like this is something we actually just need to put down and get it out to you guys.

Speaker 2:

We can't, we can't be. I hope we're not at least.

Speaker 1:

We're going to. Well, we'll find that one out real quick.

Speaker 2:

At least you and I are in the same boat.

Speaker 1:

We're together. We're together in our ways, but it is talking about expectations of ourselves and you may be going okay, I expect myself to be this kind of mom, wife, you know, friend, all great. So sometimes situations or parties, kids, parties, celebrations, you really get to see what you place on yourself and that aftermath.

Speaker 2:

Right. So, whitney, clue everybody in what are we talking about. So my youngest had her third birthday this past Sunday, so we did her birthday party on Saturday. And just so everybody knows, I'm not a Pinterest mom, I love the idea of it, we love looking at it, we love that vibe it would be great, but what I see and what my hands create, it does not work. If y'all have seen those cake pictures online of what you see versus what you get or make, I would be that it is the failed Cookie Monster cake that everybody laughs about your gifts are clearly maternal mental health therapist. You know there is so many, it is not in making balloon arches and throwing a very extravagant birthday party.

Speaker 1:

That's okay. That's not in your house at this moment.

Speaker 2:

It is not in my wheelhouse and I don't know if it ever will be, because my sisters are graphic designer. My mom can paint and sew and draw. My dad can draw because he's a construction worker. I have zero artistic capabilities.

Speaker 1:

And you know, sometimes I feel like something.

Speaker 2:

Those genes got taken by everybody else, yeah.

Speaker 1:

We'll see how that works out, but that's okay though.

Speaker 2:

I can draw a pretty poor stick figure. Well you know, we do what we can. That's you know God for AI creation style right.

Speaker 1:

Where we just type something in and it now creates these visuals which is wild. But Whitney had texted me after the party and had said essentially how tired you are.

Speaker 2:

I was exhausted because I had a little backstory that Thursday and Friday I had been in Tuscaloosa, so an hour away for CEUs, because I renew my license this year and the board of social workers requires us to get at least half of those in face to face conferences. So I was doing the normal kid routine driving an hour to the conference, driving an hour back home. But in the midst of that, cleaning the house, trying to get prepared, trying to decorate all the things that you gotta do. And so you had all of that physical and mental energy going into it. And in the morning of you know that's when you go get your balloons filled up and you go get the cupcakes and blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff. And you know what? My kid? She loved her party. She got to pick the theme. I gave her all of her options and she chose Spidey and his amazing friends.

Speaker 1:

And I'm here for it because I was a huge favorite in our house as well.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, we're big fans, and so thank the Lord for Amazon. Because I had ordered decorations a month ago because I was like you know what? We're going to spread this out. We're going to try and take that off my mental load. I can't imagine if I had not spread it out, I don't know how much more exhausted I would have been. But I say that because I'm over here kind of scrutinizing myself.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Because it doesn't look like Pinterest, it doesn't look like Instagram. I did not cater food in. I mean, we just ordered pizza and had popsicles and you know things like that. So basic food for sure. We didn't have a balloon arch. We did not have like these very aesthetically pleasing bouncy houses. It wasn't this like tan and white and pale pinks and all of it was not that at all. And I'm over here like man. Why can't I do that? Why can't I get to that level? And comparison is a thief of joy 100%. And so here I was adding to my mental load, putting more on myself in the midst of all of the party stuff. Here I am adding more or taking away from myself in the midst of all of that.

Speaker 1:

And you're not alone. There has been this huge. I mean, you remember your childhood parties, right? Right, I remember my, it was. I mean you get a cake or your mom made a cake. You maybe went out, you know you and your close family went out right, you may have been lucky and got to bring a kid, a friend right, one friend, and that was something special. Or cupcakes at church, whatever right. And now it has blown up to something. It is huge and that is insane, that it is almost like these competition wars.

Speaker 2:

I agree it is very competitive and I'm a competitive person Same.

Speaker 1:

So, even if we ain't trying to be that level, it is truly saying, like mom, guilt speaks up a little bit Well that's exactly what I'm saying, johnny's mom did ex-fiancy and look at that oh my gosh, is that meaning that I'm not enough?

Speaker 2:

Or are my kids going to get old enough and realize oh, their cousin got this elaborate play and ours wasn't quite to that caliber and things of that nature and just to put it out there, like what we did, instead of a play place, because they're very expensive now.

Speaker 1:

They're super expensive and they do that on purpose.

Speaker 2:

They do Now. We've done a, let's play before. We have, as well, all of this was three, so it was three years ago. It was cheaper but honestly it was easy it was easy.

Speaker 1:

I will say that it's very easy, totally we ordered our cake from Publix.

Speaker 2:

We got to bring it. They did all the footwork. It was fabulous. I have no complaints about it.

Speaker 1:

You get like a little party host you really do.

Speaker 2:

They do the footwork and it is wonderful, but their prices are significantly higher.

Speaker 1:

Three years down the road. They make you pay for convenience.

Speaker 2:

They do, they do.

Speaker 1:

And you know, when my oldest was three and she was the only one we could handle that- Now you have another, and then we have another, and it's just different and it's a business and that's something too that like you have to take the emotion out of it this whole. You know, if you even go back to the like Hallmark channel, you go back to the greeting card industry, right. So now this is a business that they play on our emotions. And now there were moms, where we want to give the best to our kids.

Speaker 2:

We want to give them the world, but also make sure they're not spoiled. It's a weird dynamic.

Speaker 1:

You can't even think through that. And then you're constantly, we're scrolling, we all do this the algorithms, they know. God forbid you click on one thing because you think that looks nice and now your feed is showing you only that only that, so that leads to your thoughts getting worse, right. But, what I was telling Whitney off air was saying you know, look all that mental low that you did for this party. She started planning a month ahead. You're already thinking about it. You're tracking those Amazon packages. You're ordering the cake. You're ordering the pizza.

Speaker 2:

The face painter the invitations who did we forget?

Speaker 1:

Who's coming?

Speaker 2:

And the day of the day care class.

Speaker 1:

Exactly you. There's so much on that that you are doing Right and then, at the end of day, for anything to make you feel like you didn't give your best, I'm here to say we can't have it, I do the same Uh huh.

Speaker 2:

So you have to reframe you have to reframe.

Speaker 1:

So how did you reframe, cause I know we're not the only ones and this could be going to like anything in your life that you are seeing comparison of Right and you're saying, well, I didn't do it that way. Or look at my house, it doesn't look this way Right. Or you know, if you even want to say what your kids little lunchbox situations are, you know that's like. You see that on Instagram.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely, and you're like so.

Speaker 1:

Now we go to bento boxes. Okay, cool, yeah, you know, but then it's now. Well, I did, you know, flour shaped peanut butter and jellies.

Speaker 2:

Now, you know, it's like even those little things that like the leveling up, they're coming for us. Right. Where is the nineties? I miss the nineties.

Speaker 1:

It's like you got a lunchable or you're like my kids love some lunch, or it's like here go and you know, eat at the cafeteria and that's what you got. So how do you reframe? Because it's easy to get sucked into. It is I'm not enough. I didn't do enough. I've tried my best, but I don't want my kids to think it's not the best.

Speaker 2:

Right. So with that I actually let myself hold some space.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Because I had those feelings up. You know, we didn't drop $2,000 on this birthday party and that's not reasonable or reality for so many people. Exactly what I have to remind myself of is okay, let's just say I had spent that money with that, have actually given my kids a better experience With that, genuinely have given them a better experience. She's three, so it's a coin toss, and if she remembers, this party, that's I was gonna say this is not even probably gonna be she may not remember this party right. And so I had to think about it and, okay, it's not realistic for us to spend that money. Or I mean, if I took it out of savings, I'm gonna regret that because something always comes up and you're like, oh, I shouldn't have spent that money now I need it to holiday something Illness you name it. Yeah, life happens and so I had to reframe it. Okay, I did the best that I could with the resources that I had and, honestly, the kids loved having their faces painted which, by the way, listeners, if y'all ever have the opportunity to hire face painting and it's in your budget, 10 out of 10 recommend yeah, because the way this company did it is you just paid for the two hours and it was as many paintings.

Speaker 1:

That's wonderful.

Speaker 2:

It was unlimited paintings, and so our daughter loved picking out face paintings for us. Yeah, we let her pick out what she gave her control.

Speaker 1:

Mommy gets to be ex daddy gets to be this right like Made her party right.

Speaker 2:

She had her face painted up like Spidey. We had a rainbow butterfly on one of her arms. She had Mario on the other one. Yeah, my older daughter again. She got to have a face painting and then got her arms done. All of their little friends got to have face paintings. She wanted me and my husband to be a pirate, so we got that pirate painting on our faces.

Speaker 1:

It's great as part by way.

Speaker 2:

Thank you Ahoy.

Speaker 1:

Uh-huh.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and so that was something that I realized. Okay, she enjoyed the creative side of that. She enjoyed kind of that freedom of getting to be a kid and you can have as many face paintings as you want. Yeah, until you run out of skin, you can have a painted yeah you can have it, I don't care. Yeah you do, you sister. You pick out all the things that you want. You pick something out for mommy. You get to do those things, and then the other kids enjoyed it too. Yeah and so that was a big thing, was really seeing their enjoyment out of it, and even my husband's mom, my mother-in-law she went in there and my daughter's like Nana, I want you to get this and so guess what? Nana got her face painted too. And so that's what she loved getting to include her grandmother and that's what matters.

Speaker 1:

And it's like you go back to it and we all you know you look at Christmas, you look at just in general, we all do it. That you know at Christmas you're gonna see everybody put on social media. The living room's filled with the brain, with toys or you know even the months, I always feel like the holiday months. It just puts them into pressure and expectations, like it really does the pumpkin patch check. You know, have we? You know how many times you're trick-or-treating. What is the costume look like? and then, all these things, that it goes again to expectations, when reality what are you serving? What are you right like? What are we fighting against? Are we fine what the culture and society is telling us? We should be a big one? Are we living that up? To that we're trying to say, hey, I'm equal to the Jones.

Speaker 2:

This is a different form of keeping up with the Joneses, so it may not necessarily look like a bigger house, a fancier car, the clothing, but it's keeping up with the Joneses, with what we give to our kids. And I have to tell myself this I have to reframe this a lot, everybody does. Is. We have to be very careful with that, because do we really want our kids to start picking up on that in their young age? And then they compare birthday parties and it goes one of two ways of well, my party is so much better than yours because we spent blah blah, blah blah money on these things.

Speaker 1:

We do not want to be raising entitled little-.

Speaker 2:

So they're either bragging about. I spent blah blah, blah blah on these things. My parents are better than your parents and now we're getting into characters. But then the other side of it is oh, I guess their party was better than mine. I guess I'm not that great.

Speaker 1:

I didn't deserve that, or I didn't want that.

Speaker 2:

My parents may not love me when it doesn't come down to love but a child can perceive it like that. So ultimately we do have to protect ourselves, but really we have to protect our kids from this mentality, because my oldest you know what. She's big enough to pick up on this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, totally.

Speaker 2:

She is big enough to pick up on this. She understands a little bit of that comparison game.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And she's starting to get competitive of I win this, I win that. I did this first, so we're already kind of getting into that territory. So I have to be very mindful of what I let out, what I let her observe.

Speaker 1:

And you know, I think it's like you find, like we talked before in previous podcasts, you're a huddle person, you're a bleacher person, right, and it's like finding that huddle person and be like you know what I still at the end of the day. I had this like moment where I felt was I good enough? Did I do enough? And it's that person to say yes, it was amazing to remind you, you know your value and worth is not where you get your cupcakes from.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

It's not what that three-year-old birthday is.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Your character to you are as a person that your child is loved and you do that so well. So it's just that moment, but I hope the listeners are hearing this. Like me and Whitney are not immune to what you guys are feeling either.

Speaker 2:

And just because I'm a therapist does it mean? I don't have those challenging emotions and I don't struggle with that comparison game.

Speaker 1:

Because it's so in our face.

Speaker 2:

It is.

Speaker 1:

I think it's when I'm feeling like I'm not good enough, which can happen on a given day, given moment, just what came at me Multiple times a day, and especially if you're in the postpartum period, you are super vulnerable to this. And as your kids get older and, like Whitney said, they start bringing more things to you and they're more aware. You have to just in your head, reframe and say what am I living for? What is my values and truths? Why am I comparing myself to someone on Instagram? Right, let's be real. They're probably affiliates of some kind of company and making money off of it 1,000%. And this is a whole cycle to get us to want to do that, to buy the product, to be this. There's nothing wrong with that. People. That's how, you know, a lot of people make money. That's great.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I get it yeah.

Speaker 1:

But call it for what it is Right and don't let that steal your joy. And don't ever we don't never want you to go through these moments or events because we're all gonna have this and go. Oh my gosh, I wasn't good enough. Yes, you were Absolutely. The fact that you're even questioning you're good enough tells me that you are good.

Speaker 2:

You know that parents don't worry about being good parents.

Speaker 1:

I'm here to tell you that, right. So the fact that you're even questioning it is saying that you are giving your all and with expectations, are you setting the bar so high for yourself that's never attainable that you never get an?

Speaker 2:

unrealistic expectations. Maybe come back from childhood.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm, it can it can doesn't come from the comparison game. So this is your challenge. We're challenging you guys this next event birthday.

Speaker 2:

You know what holidays.

Speaker 1:

I even feel this sometimes when you go to class party. And I'll never forget this one Valentine's Day I did the Walmart Valentine's, I walked in. I remember this one mom she monogram shirt for everybody in the class.

Speaker 2:

What's that her biz, though? No?

Speaker 1:

Oh.

Speaker 2:

She had resort. You know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, this was just her joy and I thought, wow, sarah, you're not man, that's heavy, right. And but then that was like the first preschool experience to like, it was with Will, so now with James. I'm just like okay, plod, good job. Mama. Like right, if I need something monogram, I'll haul her shoe Right let me support you but I was not there. Right with will, would that happen? I just felt like gosh, I am not up to par right.

Speaker 2:

And it's easy for us to get sucked into that.

Speaker 1:

And especially when you, friday, maybe had a hard day right.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it's important to as far as like people to people, mom to mom are. I'm going to go and say 98% Is not as trying to make somebody else feel bad.

Speaker 1:

No, and that's something you have to realize.

Speaker 2:

It ain't about you, no one's doing anything really directed to you right, like she didn't monogram those shirts to make you feel bad, 100% not.

Speaker 1:

That was something that was her talent, her joy, right, and that says more about me that I felt a certain way than it does about her. Right. And I had to do some inner work there. Right, I had to grow and I had to get more confident with who I was as a mom. Right, because, let's be honest, no one really knows what we're doing sometimes as a mom. So then it was just that extra little like Ah, you really aren't what you think you are right, but that's all those voices like you say a thought is just a thought, right, I don't have to hold it.

Speaker 2:

No, and thoughts are not character flaws right Totally and whatever you do at Christmas time, whatever you do for preschool parties, whatever you do for birthday parties, those are not character flaws. No, you know what my kids really? They don't know the difference between Little Caesars pizza and having food catered in no, and they do not understand that difference. I do, because I'm the one paying.

Speaker 1:

That's a big financial difference.

Speaker 2:

There's a huge financial difference with that and let me tell you we did little Caesars, because you know what it was at least $50 cheaper than all the other pizza places in the area you know and I'm also like it's for a kid's birthday party, like.

Speaker 1:

I'm pressing. Have the time with kids too. You will after you a clean up and you will see half like one bite of pizza.

Speaker 2:

One bite of this and you know. So then, it too.

Speaker 1:

It's just like being let's be realistic here. Right you know, can you have a private chef? Can you cater everything, please? If that's in your budget, that fits in your life, that's what you want to do, hey, go for it, right. But if that is causing extra on you, and that is, that is not worth it. It's not so.

Speaker 2:

That's your permission to that hey, so make it as easy on yourself as you can and you want to do the catering, if you Want to get vendors for bouncy house or do it whatever, that's great. You do what works for you and your family. If it's not in your budget, like us, do what works for your family and we've actually moved towards trying to get will experiences versus parties in advance. We did that for Christmas.

Speaker 1:

And a doctor I worked with in Boston. She did this and she did for so many years. Her kids was teenagers now and they loved it. It was one of those things that they did it as a family. It was a memory, and then she's like it helped take the comparison factors away, because then at certain ages they go. Well, I got this for Christmas. What did? You get at school and it's like I always go on this or we go, and we go to the lake, we go to this.

Speaker 2:

We're doing Disney on ice on October as one of our Christmas gifts for the girls because they're gonna love it.

Speaker 1:

We did that with Paw Patrol for Will and it was fab Cecil talks about it. So even thinking like things besides materialistic items no one tells you Memories over materials. Yeah, no one tells you there's no rule book, so like, just because whole society's like you, gotta have 15 balloon arches, your custom cake cookies, the da da, da, da, da da. No one tells you you have to do that.

Speaker 2:

Also, here's a little fun fact for all you listeners out there if you don't wanna save a little bit of money, if you're doing cupcakes, just get whatever color frosted cupcakes you want from Publix and then just buy the plastic rings that are themed for whatever you're buying Off Amazon. Uh-huh off Amazon, stick them in the cupcakes boom.

Speaker 1:

We all do it.

Speaker 2:

We had Spider-Man themed cupcakes and we paid significantly less. Yes, because just Than if we bought Spidey from the store.

Speaker 1:

You got that from Publix. You're adding.

Speaker 2:

Oh, it would have been so much more.

Speaker 1:

And for what? And again, they're just gonna rip those babies off.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, the first thing. My eldest one was like oh, mommy, can I have the spider ring? I was like yeah, I bet even she goes and licks the frosting off, sticks it on her pinky, goes on about her business.

Speaker 1:

So that is again. We're just here to say we're not immune to this. Mom, you got expectations Whitney and I both struggle with it and high expectations for ourselves. We have to reframe.

Speaker 2:

Might be the Enneagram one of us.

Speaker 1:

Possibly, and we love control too.

Speaker 2:

So you know. So it's the type A.

Speaker 1:

We've got a lot we're fighting against with this, but we're here to say you guys, do not fall victim to what society is telling you. Your birthday party should be your lunchbox, food should be, your Christmas should be anything should be. Just know you are doing your best and if you and your heart gave your best and your loved your kids loved, you're a great mom.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and that's all we know. They know it.

Speaker 1:

All right guys, so cheers on.

Speaker 2:

Right. And we love playing in these things Reframe when you need to reframe and then hold space when you need to hold space.

Speaker 1:

And find that person that you're like you know what. I still felt a little crappy after this. I still prepared myself and they need to check you in a polite way and say you're awesome, right, and we got to.

Speaker 2:

I texted Serena and I said I am exhausted.

Speaker 1:

Physically and mentally I was so drained.

Speaker 2:

After that, it literally took like three days to bounce back. Physically I felt like 100%. I thought I was coming down with something. No, no, I was tired, I was exhausted.

Speaker 1:

Because you tell me this right. So like your body also carries it.

Speaker 2:

It does.

Speaker 1:

Your body is carrying that stress, that expectations, that heaviness.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

So that's why you felt that way.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. It needed a chance to get released.

Speaker 1:

We got you, that's right. All right, guys, till next time, see ya, see ya. Returnal. Mental health is as portness physical health. The Previous Alliance podcast was created for and by moms dealing with post-paramed depression and all its variables, like anxiety, anger and even apathy. Hosted by CEO founder Sarah Parkhurst and licensed clinical social worker Whitney Gay, each episode focuses on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and post-partum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access, tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

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Reframing Comparison and Birthday Party Expectations
Letting Go of Unrealistic Expectations
Mental Health for Moms