Can We Please Take It Up a Notch?!!

I have read several blog posts/articles lately asking fellow moms to take it down a notch. Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook give us constant access to amazing pictures of boundless creativity. And there is a pressure to “keep up” with these perceived expectations.

Many moms are left feeling “less than”.

May I offer a different perspective?

Rather than taking it down a notch, I believe we need to take it UP a notch.

Here’s why.

We are all different. Our passions, our priorities, our perspectives- they are all unique to us. The things that we get excited about MUST look different from others, if we are being true to who we are.

I used to feel like I was a little bit “off”, because I loved being creative, but there didn’t seem to be an outlet for my creativity. In order to fit in, I felt like I needed to take it down a notch. I didn’t want to make anyone feel inferior for placing store bought cookies next to my super fun cupcakes.

But then, I started meeting other moms who were just like me! They thrived on being able to express their creativity. They loved planning parties and decorating to crazy degrees and knitting the goody bags!!

And I realized something. There was space for me to be myself.

I had been planning parties for my kids for years, but now I felt free to share my ideas. It was exciting to see the ideas that others had, to be inspired by them and to share my own!

So, when I read the “take it down a notch” posts, I feel compelled to share my own journey.

Rather than trying to get other moms to share our passions, we need to celebrate the passions of others!

If a mom wants to run a marathon, we need to encourage her to reach her daily goals. We need to celebrate the victories, the successes, the personal “bests”.

If a mom is a musician, we don’t tell her not to practice! No, we encourage her to take the time to perfect a song. We listen to her play. We “like” her recording on Sound Cloud.

If a mom is a writer, we celebrate her opportunity to write uninterrupted. We rejoice with the pages completed, the publisher who believes in her work, the opportunities that open up to her.

Why in the world do we celebrate what some moms do and achieve, but we feel threatened by others?

There are two things that I see that I think would help with this issue on both sides.

1. We need to stop comparing ourselves with others. We are unique for a reason. We are not supposed to look like everyone else. We do not need to live up to anyone else’s expectations or priorities! It is possible to celebrate the passions of others without diminishing our own. In fact, not only is it possible, it is freeing! So let’s stop comparing and just be who God has made US to be!

2. We need to live out our passions not because we want attention, but because we love what we do. For a long time, I felt like I needed to keep my creativity to myself, because I didn’t want others to think that I was just doing things to get attention. I am pretty sure that there are many people who still think that about me. But I have learned to be okay with that. I love being creative! It is part of who I am, part of what brings joy to my life. And so, I am living out my passion.

What I have found as I have stopped comparing myself to others and started living out my passion is that the perceived pressure to be something I’m not is gone.

I am not a runner, but I can celebrate those who are!

I am not great at keeping my house clean, but I can appreciate those who truly enjoy it!

I am not the most organized person around, but I am able to learn from those who are!

So, can we please take it up a notch? Can we start celebrating others without feeling threatened by them?

I hope so! Because when we live out of our passions, God gets the glory!