Today is the first total solar eclipse since 1979. It's kind of a big deal and yet I am not prepared. I don’t have the protective glasses to view the eclipse. I am the mom that is always late to the show. I’ll never have the hottest toy at Christmas. I am a last minute run around the night before and do stuff kind of mom. It’s not fun. My mind runs and runs and I have trouble planning ahead. I never have what I need the moment I need it and I often fall into the shame cycle of not feeling like a good mom.
This morning started off on the wrong foot. I haven’t been able to exercise or write. I’ve been consumed by house projects that I only get to work on late at night. I started to clean and threw a load of laundry in. When I went to move it over, I noticed I washed a diaper, and the white inside stuff was all over everything. I felt angry. I made trip after trip to shake stuff out. Then the kids lost pieces to a new game I just bought them. I searched high and low and they didn’t seem to care, they couldn’t play this brand new game anymore. I screamed at them, get out of here get out of here get out of here. I feel like a broken record. I say the same stuff over and over and they don't listen, especially when I yell.
Our friend called and wanted to come over to view the eclipse. I had no interest in trying to figure out how we were going to view the eclipse with no safety glasses. Make a pinhole box yeah right. But you know what I did when she got here? I looked up how to make an eclipse viewer out of a box. It didn’t actually seem as hard as that voice in my mind wanted me to believe. The voice that makes mountains out of molehills.
We made a pinhole viewer with the kids. They helped me cut the paper, tape the aluminum foil, poke the hole, tape the box. They enjoyed every minute of working with me on a project. When we went to use the viewer, the kids struggled with it. It didn’t seem the same as viewing the sun and the kids seemed a bit confused, it didn’t look like what they saw on the TV screen. And they also mentioned 5x that this was taking a really long time.
I had my friend take pictures of us to commemorate the day. Look how happy we are viewing the eclipse together. I wanted a picture of us to document that we made a pinhole viewer because I never do much of anything with them and I feel guilty and sometimes ashamed. That “you’re a bad mom” voice rears its ugly sound in my brain way too often. When in reality, I’m just not perfect. I’m not the mom I think I’m supposed to be and that weighs on me sometimes.
I wanted to add this story to the photos. If you are following me and you think “her life is perfect and she goes on so many adventures with her kids and her pictures are so pretty”, read the captions. I am far from perfect, I spend a lot of time at home, and a lot of that time, I don’t know how to photograph and make pretty. I don’t feel like it's pretty, or worthy of sharing about. It looks nothing like all the Instagram feeds I spend so much time drooling over.
Reality is no one’s life is perfect. People are passionate about different things. Those beautiful feeds of interior décor on Instagram feeds, those people are passionate about their home. The feeds where the mom takes beautiful dreamy pictures of their kids, they are passionate about capturing moments and light, the fitness feeds it looks like someone is perfect, never misses a day always eats well, that person has found a love of health. I am an artist. When I look at things I am meticulous about the aesthetic and I have a hard time sharing something if it’s not the way I want it.
But I’ve learned to try and let all that go and remember to be who I am and do what I want and not focus so much on what people think. I want to share the memories I am never going to get back. I will never be like anyone else but me. It's easy to see other people doing something similar and to want what they have, but I want to encourage you to be grateful for what you already have. For those that already love you, for the life you are living, and for the beauty in each day.
(I used a tutorial found here to create the pinhole projector)