Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Deal with Blog Surfing Hangovers

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Sometimes reading other women's blogs puts me in a bad mood. You know the type of blogs I'm thinking of, that boast photographs of clean, stylishly dressed children with rosy cheeks, homes that are perfectly decorated, n'er a dirty dish to be seen, and always, always the latest and greatest in shoes, purses, home decor, and every other precious thing that could possibly be admired by the thousands of viewers who, like me, are camped in front of their computer in their pajamas eating stale brownies directly out of the pan for breakfast.

It is difficult to appreciate the creativity and accomplishments of other people when you feel lacking.

But to be clear, I don't think it is the images of picture perfect lives that put me in a bad mood. It is my own pettiness. Or insecurities. I would love for my oldest daughter to give me a pretty wave goodbye before heading out the door to school dressed in the most darling, boutique outfit that off-sets her brown eyes. But first of all, I don't shop much at boutiques. Second I don't believe in spending a lot of money on clothes that will be worn at recess, and third, which is the biggest argument of all, she dresses herself. Even though she has some lovely clothes hanging in her closet, half the time she waves goodbye looking like she got dressed in the dark. And there you have it, the Gap Ad fantasy blurs and vanishes. She is herself, and I like that version of her best, even if it means mis-matched outfits and bumpy ponytails.

So what to do about all the images of perfect wives, mothers, families, outfits and houses that are all over the place?

Acknowledge what is truly important to you and then work on it. A good starting point is to recognize which blogs make you feel that uncomfortable flutter of envy. Maybe you feel wistful about pretty clothes. Maybe you wish you were in better shape. Do you like crafty knick knacks, uniquely designed houses, or family activities and tips that might make your home life more organized and fun? Maybe you never had the chance to finish school and feel a self-deprecating tug when reading online book reviews or other educationally driven posts.

To feel discouraged by other people's art is to feel discouraged about yourself. So don't be. I think the starting line for getting rid of blog surfing hangovers is to read with the purpose of improving your own life. And if that's not working, if you're spending time on fashion blogs that you truly can't afford or that you have no intention of learning from, then stop reading them. Drink from the wells that will make a positive difference in your day!

6 comments:

  1. Love this, Lauren. So true. Life is too short to get caught up in the small things that are inconsequential.

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  2. I've decided people only show you what they want you to see on their blogs. So their kids might look amazing when they go to school/parties/church but their houses are probably (hopefully hahah)a mess. In the online world you can be whatever you want. And that is exactly what happens.

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  3. Then I hope my online universe has you convinced I am organized, beautiful, charming, and practically perfect...because I am TOTALLY all of those things!

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  4. This is perfect. It should be required reading for any blog surfer!

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  5. This is a great post. I would never have guessed ten years ago as I graduated High School, that as a young mother I would have to deal with some of the same comparison insecurities. Thanks again.

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