Not for me…

I know I’m probably months late to the party here, but as well as being smart and funny and pretty, I think Amy Pohler may have just changed my life.

I’m not a huge fan of the celeb memoir but M-Daddy and I love relaxing and watching Parks & Rec. While hubby wishes he was Ron Swanson, he’s secretly a bit more like Ben (with just a touch of Chris’ hyperactivity). And Leslie Knope is totally my type A homegirl, as is Anne. Anywho, I’ve had Pohler’s memoir on my reading list for quite some time and I recently got around to reading it.

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In what seems like a tiny wee aside from the rest of her epic adventure of a life, she talks about childbirth. Specifically:

I have many friends who have had natural childbirth. I applaud them. I have friends who have used doulas and birthing balls and pushed out babies in tubs and taxicabs. I have a friend who had two babies at home! In bed! Her name is Maya Rudolph! She is a goddamn baby champion and she pushed her cuties out Little House on the Prairie style!

Good for her! Not for me.

That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.

I completely agree with her on this point. CJ’s birth was in the water with gas-and-air (laughing gas, nitrous oxide) for pain relief. Some women have elected for Caesarean sections or to have epidurals right from the start of labour. Good for them! Not for me.

The thing that really smacked me right in the face is how much I don’t retain this attitude in the rest of my life. I let myself get far too wound up about whether I am doing things right. Am I doing the right thing by not returning to full time work this year? So-and-so went back when her son was a year old… Am I jeopardizing my career? Will other people look at me and think I’m comparatively lazy and mummy-track me? In the end, do I care?

Returning to full time work was what her family wanted and needed. Good for her! Not for me.

Sometimes I attend bloggers’ events and I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of time and energy that other people spend on their blogs. They tell me that I need to commit more time to photography, to networking, to setting up my posts so that they are pinnable (pintrable? Pintrestable?). They ask why I haven’t moved to self-hosted WordPress. They tell me I’ll never make it big if I don’t do these things.

Being perfectly honest, I’d rather be playing cars with my son then worrying about the perfect light for a picture. I’d rather save money to buy our house than to pay someone to transfer my blog to self-hosting; I’m self-aware enough that I know I don’t have the skills to do it myself. And in the end, do I want to be a blogger with a capital B? I enjoy my work and if money was no issue then I still wouldn’t want to solely blog as my job. Blogging for me is my hobby, I do it for joy and because I think it adds something to our family life. I don’t think I want to turn it into something that I HAVE to do.

Does that mean I have a vendetta against career bloggers? Certainly not. I admire the sheer energy it takes to run your blog like a business. I enjoy seeing people use their blogs as vehicles for positive change, like This is Meagan Kerr for body acceptance. But the thought of running this blog as a money-making enterprise just makes me feel tired. It’s another case of good for her! Not for me.

Literally every time I have felt “less than” in the last couple of weeks, I have applied this mantra. The pictures of gourmet dinners made by friends while we’ve been having something like sausages because I’m dying with cramps. Good for her! Not for me (not today, anyway). The perfectly made up mum at the McDonalds playground. The friends out all night at bars looking gorgeous. The spotless houses. The Fiji holidays. Good for all of them! Not for me, at least not in my current life stage.

Because the reality is, there isn’t anything stopping me from having that. I could take a day off work, still take CJ to the carer and spend a day getting the house immaculate. I could  lock myself in the bedroom and spend an hour straightening my hair and putting on makeup while my husband and son wrestle in the lounge. I could go to the bars, although I’d have a wretched time dealing with a toddler the following morning. I could divert the money from our house deposit and have a glorious tropical holiday – and believe me, out of all of the above that is the one I struggle most with.

But in the end, these are the decisions we make. Not that they are globally right or wrong, but whether they are right for us. I often say that there’s no point in eating the cake and then regretting the calories. You just ruined something that was hopefully awesome by turning it to a negative. Our life is the way it is because those are the decisions we made for our family. Why ruin it with jealousy that it doesn’t look like the life and journey someone else constructed?

Good for them. Not for me. 

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4 thoughts on “Not for me…

  1. What a great mantra! I must remember it. I get very hung up on “other people can …” and “other people do …”, comparing myself unfavourably to whatever super achievements they’ve decided to broadcast. I can be happy for them, but not everything they do is right for me. Great post.

  2. Very well said! Like they say, “comparison is the thief of joy”.
    Everyone should just do what they can do with what they have wherever they are. You do you, boo 😉

  3. Brilliant post! I love that mantra. The social media world we live in can be the perfect breeding ground for jealousy and FOMO. It’s easy to lose perspective. Thanks for sharing.

  4. That’s a great mantra and more of us should take it on board. I think ultimately we all need to do what makes us happy and what’s right for our own family!

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