I was super young when I had my first two kids, so most of my friends hadn’t even thought about babies yet. I didn’t have a group of fellow moms in the trenches to unpack the woes of parenting with. Friends with older kids had already forgotten what it was like. So I thought I was doing it wrong most of the time.
When you are the only one who can’t pull it together, it’s pretty depressing.
With our second two babies, I’m older and hopefully a bit wiser. I still feel like I’m failing a lot, but thanks to social media, I know that I’m not the only one.
All the blogger moms out there, telling their traumatically funny toddler stories and epic Pinterest fails… they are a gift to us moms.
But I still see the other side of motherhood conversations too. We have plenty of moms projecting the “have it all together” image, with their success stories and perfect little birthday parties and their mommy guilt.
It’s easy for us moms to buy into that projection of “normal.” Always showered, a clean house, dinner (organic) on the table each night, and magical days filled by fingerpainting with your toddler.
Guys, nobody sane is able to pull that off. Not perfectly.
But I think, in the back of our minds, we all feel we are supposed to. So we post our few perfect moments. We only share our successes. Or we just stay quiet and suffer in silence.
Having more perspective this time around, I’m a lot better at reading between the lines.
I don’t feel intimidated by the mom who only posts her Instagram perfect moments, because I can see the edge of despair creeping around her tired eyes in the perfectly staged selfie of sandbox time with her toddler.
I know when a tired mama says, “Long day. So glad I can finally sit down,” that’s just the tip of her iceberg. The part she’s willing to share with the public.
Friends, I don’t blame us for posting our perfect, happy pictures of smiles and fun. That’s what we want to remember. And that’s what we will remember when the babies are big. Those moments are what last, when all the weariness is a distant memory.
But don’t be afraid to be real when you need to. And don’t ever think the rest of us have it all together.
We’re all drowning a little bit.