I was scrolling through TikTok last night, and I came across this gorgeous kitchen. Bright white walls, a beautiful and unblemished countertop; there wasn’t a crumb in sight, and no dirty dishes lined up against the sink. The video then panned to the pantry, and it was organized- complete with those fancy containers with labels and a cohesiveness that I could only dream of.
And if I’m being honest, it made me a little sad when I thought of my own kitchen. You see, my kitchen is almost the complete opposite of that social media kitchen. I immediately fell into the comparison trap that we, as moms fall into far too often.
My kitchen is one of the sticky cabinets, crummy countertops, and trails of snacks that lead into the living room. There are half-empty cups left from my family, and my pantry is not organized but rather a haphazard collection of our favorite things. The snacks stay in their respective boxes that they are purchased in, and the canned goods live on the bottom shelf. I’m sure there is a bag of chips which is nothing but crumbs, and the peanut butter jar is on its last leg and likely has a smear of jelly in it because we are a single-knife kind of house when we make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I need a new stovetop, and I would love to put a few more windows in as well. Trust me. Our kitchen is nothing fancy at all.
But it is a real kitchen.
Our kitchen is our spot, if you will. It is where my husband makes homemade pancakes on the weekends. The pantry is full of our absolute favorite foods and those snacks bring us joy when we have movie nights. The counters are worn and sturdy to hold my son as he and I bake every Thursday; the sink is the perfect height for it to turn into a ‘carwash’ station for his construction vehicles. Our kitchen is loud when I cook dinner as my husband and son chase each other around the house, passing by me as I whip up something on our stovetop that truly has a single functioning burner. Our kitchen is full of life and laughter-something that I didn’t see when I was in the midst of the comparison trap.
It is so easy to fall into this mindset of what we have isn’t enough or that we aren’t doing enough as moms. I’ve felt this more lately, partly because life is returning to pre-pandemic practices, and families are doing all the things we couldn’t do for a few years. Home renovations are hitting social media. People are sharing hacks to make our kitchens and homes more efficient. I love that for people, but it just makes me spiral into the comparison trap.
And so I take a step back and try to find the magic that I know my kitchen has in our home. I refocus on what makes my kitchen special, and it isn’t fancy things or being featured on social media. It is the everyday realness that makes it special.
While having a picturesque kitchen could be nice, and I would appreciate it, I wouldn’t trade the magic within my kitchen for anything.