What a “Real” Woman Looks Like

Lately I’ve noticed a trend that I’m really not into and it’s all this talk about “realness”.

What a "Real" Woman Looks Like // @ The Little Things We Do

I’ve been seeing a ton of articles about “real life” and “real women” and “real moms” and while these articles are meant to be uplifting and encouraging to women and to remind us that none of us have it all together, I think what it’s really doing is trapping us in a merry-go-round of comparisons and that’s not where I want to be.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, so when I see posts stating that this is what “real life” looks like it doesn’t always ring true for me. I see women encouraging each other to air their dirty laundry and share the not-so-pretty parts of their lives from time to time on social media and I get it. We all just want to know that we’re not alone and that other women and moms out there don’t have it all together either, but the thing is, there is always going to be someone out there who does something better than we do.

Some people’s houses really do always look as clean and tidy as they do when you see them on Instagram. And some people really are that crafty. Some people really do make those amazing Pinterest meals from scratch. Some people are naturally thinner and have better hair than others and some people enjoy getting themselves and their kids dressed up in cute outfits and doing their hair and makeup on the daily. Does that mean that any of them are any less “real” than anyone else? No!

We all have our things. For example…my house (and especially my kitchen) is pretty much always clean. The reason? I’m kind of OCD about it. A cluttered house stresses me out (especially since my home is also my office) and in order for me to maintain some level of sanity I keep it clean. I’ve had people comment on my Instagram photos about how they couldn’t believe how sparkling clean my kitchen is, but it’s just how I like to keep it, so I make it a priority. I also really like to get my daughter dressed in real clothes every day and at least attempt to do her hair. I would never take her out in public in pajamas. Do I think there’s anything wrong with parents who take their kids out in PJs and who have kitchens that are a bit more lived-in? No way! These are just things I appreciate an prioritize for myself. There are plenty of other things I suck at. I don’t like cooking and I’m not particularly crafty. I’m also not always super great at dropping everything and going with the flow. Sometimes I suck at relationship stuff because I’m so busy being organized and keeping things “just so”. Also…I do my hair maybe once a month…if that.

I have friends who have strengths that are totally different than mine though. My friend Echo pretty much always looks put together. Her hair and makeup are always done and she always has some type of semi-thought out outfit on…even though she manages to make it look effortless. She’s also really good about eating healthy meals and going to the gym. My friend Becca is awesome at planning delicious homemade meals and is amazingly thoughtful. She’s one of those people who will drop what she’s doing to come help you out or brighten your day. And my friend Alison is pretty much the craftiest crafty pants on the planet. She throws a party like nobody’s business and they’re always on another level. Alison’s parties make those typical Pinterest parties look like amateur hour.

I could easily compare myself to these women, but I realize that we all have our giftings and mine aren’t going to be the same as someone else’s no matter how hard I try. My house might be cleaner, while someone else throws better parties, but it’s all relative. We’re all “real” women living “real” lives and excelling (and sucking) at different things.

So, don’t be discouraged when you see my clean kitchen, or your friend with the amazing closet and beautiful hair. Don’t be discouraged by the mom who gets her kids to eat well-balanced paleo meals or the friend who is always hosting all these fun play dates and parties. We’re all struggling with something else you’re not seeing and we’re all “real”…I promise.

 

Love and real-ness,

Lauren

Comments

  1. Umm can I just say EFF YEAH to this? I’m not sure if people do it on purpose but the “a clean house isn’t my priority, my kids are and here’s a picture of my kitchen to prove that a perfect looking house isn’t worth it” posts kind of bother me and I always feel like a jerk and a bad mom after seeing them…even though I’m NOT! I also like a tidy house, and if there’s stuff piling up everywhere then my brain is scattered and I’m a worse mom because of it. Ha now I’m justifying my tidy house which is NOT what I meant to do. Comparison does suck and can’t we all agree that we just aren’t going to put it out there in the first place? Let’s be supportive and celebrate good and REALLY REAL things. I definitely suck at other things, I just choose not to show those things on my IG feed…so obviously my life is perfect, my kids are always well behaved and my house is always clean. ;)

  2. Great post, Lauren! I think we often confuse being “real” with being self-deprecating. Showing your dirty pile of laundry doesn’t necessarily make someone more authentic than someone else.

  3. I LOVE this post! Thank you for articulating so well the things I’ve been feeling for a while.

  4. And again, you’ve hit the nail on the head. So true. Real means so many different things. Preach!

  5. Good stuff Lauren and so true. We all have different strengths as women and it’s way too easy to get caught up in the comparison game (especially with social media.)

  6. Love it. So true. I’m with you on the house thing, it stresses me out too! Just one of things I need to do to survive my day, so I go with it.

  7. NEEDED THIS TODAY!! Always appreciate and value your perspective. xoxo

  8. I have to remind myself of this a lot. It’s hard to remember that everyone has their own skeletons when they’re only showing their best parts.

  9. It sounds like you are trying to excuse your tidiness..I’ve seen some of those posts and is just some woman showing they don’t have everything together just like your post about your dressed up toddler.. I personally dont mind them because most homes especially with multiple children look like that from time to time.. I can’t wait to see your posts with a toddler and an infant… Like you said there are different views of real so it shouldn’t bother anyone (:

    • @Rocio – The point of this post isn’t to excuse my tidiness at all. The point is that I shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t feel badly that I like to keep my house clean anymore than I shouldn’t have to feel bad for not cooking amazing meals. The point is that we all have our things that we prioritize and that we’re better at and things that we’re not so great at. I’m sure life will change when I have two children – I’m not naive to that fact, but I still know myself and I know that I will try to keep my house relatively clean. It’s just something I care about and I’m not going to apologize for it. That doesn’t make me any better or worse than any other mom. Just a different version of “real”. The mom with the messier house is probably putting me to shame with her amazing meal-planning skills anyway!

  10. Well said! I think we need more blogs/sites where women can say – hey this is my “real” world and this is what I am good at – not this is my “real” world and this is how I don’t compare to those other “fake” moms. I am fortunate that my husband is a complete neat freak. I am eternally grateful because cleaning just is not my thing. But, I can organize an array of schedules like nobody’s business and plan a kids party the school yard will talk about all year. It is all give and take. No one has enough hours in a day to be perfect at everything. It reminds me of the Mommy War battles that make no sense to me.So I applaud your neatness and your friends cooking skills and have to admit I am a bit jealous of your friend that can put an outfit together (that would be a really helpful skill to have). :)

  11. I loved this! I find your tidiness inspiring! I have a really hard time being/staying clean and organized, and always have. But I’ve recently learned messiness is the main cause of stress for me and makes me lose my mind! I am a clean freak trapped in a slobs body or something! Ha ha. Umm I really had no point other than to say I liked reading this post!

  12. Can I see more pictures of your kitchen please? ;)

  13. Great post, girl! I feel you on keeping a tidy house. I can’t say it’s absolutely perfect looking but I try…especially if we will have company. There’s just no way I could leave my house a mess all the time. And I always wear real clothes and shower every single day. I have never missed a day lol. I just can’t. My hair is always a mess though, I don’t even brush it everyday…and I’m horrible at cooking… We all have strengths and weaknesses.

  14. Lauren,

    I so appreciate this post too. I have very similar thoughts on the subject. It’s now almost like you have to be ashamed of the things that you are good at so you don’t make other women feel badly. Absolutely agree on the clean house thing. We have recently purged a TON of our stuff and we live in a small (1100 sq ft) house so there just isn’t a lot of space to collect. I make an effort to keep our home clean because it brings me peace, and I think that’s a good thing to strive for! :)

    Love!

  15. Patricia says:

    One of my favorite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy”. Soooo true! Loved your post. It’s so hard these days because social media and the internet can rob you of your self esteem if you start comparing your life to what is out there! Here is to embracing all that you have!

    Patricia

  16. I’d probably trade my paleo eating kid for your clean kitchen a lot of the time ;) Haha. I never do my hair either. I need to get some of those cute turbans you wear!

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