It’s 10pm and the kids finally fell asleep after they made me rush to their crib side 5 separate times (per kid). It’s now my time to relax, so, I immediately open that blue square app and start scrolling through Facebook to see what everyone’s up to, or maybe to check out the recent baby yoda memes.
As I quickly scroll past the 7th article about another child being mistreated (I’m a softy and CAN NOT read those), I notice, yet, another perfect picture that one of my old high school classmates posted of their self and their two “perfect” kids .
That’s nice, I immediately think. They (the kids) are sitting so nicely and are probably very well-behaved in (what seems like) a very clean house. I suddenly start thinking about the awful day I just had- tantrum after tantrum because we couldn’t have candy for breakfast, we weren’t allowed to hit our brother, and we can’t speak full English yet, so Mom couldn’t understand that “booba ba bee boop” meant “put on Moana.” My kids aren’t as well-behaved as theirs.
I looked at all the toys sprawled across the living room floor, the unfolded laundry on the couch, and the endless dishes in the sink. My house isn’t as clean as theirs.
As I stare more and more at the photo, probably reaching stalker status at this point, I finally realize what’s bothering me the most:
The mother seems so self-assured and well-rounded, all while maintaining the perfect look.
Her hair, full of curls, is flowing so effortlessly past her shoulders. Her make-up, making her eyes bring out the true blue, is drawn on so naturally that it’s almost unnoticeable.
I wasn’t any of that today.
I yelled more than I wanted to and didn’t laugh as much as I should have. My hair went unbrushed, forced into a tight pony tail, and I was wearing the same clothes from two days ago. There was no make-up, there weren’t any curls, and there definitely wasn’t a clean house. My kids weren’t that well-behaved today and I wasn’t feeling so self assured.
Social media makes moms feel terrible.
And this is something I already know. So I immediately exit Facebook and put down my phone.
What was the point of that? I think to myself. To make myself feel like crap.
I start thinking about how it’s possible that that mother and her family is more than likely not perfect at all like I previously thought. I bet she had to bribe her kids to sit there perfectly, or the two were sitting there on a tablet together, which the mother probably removed quickly and said “cheese,” in order to get that perfect photo.
I bet she spent the entire day cleaning and re-cleaning her house to get it to the cleanliness she was pleased with. And I’m sure right after that photo was taken, there was even more cleaning going on.
I bet she has days where her hair is knotted-up into a bun or pony tail and she’s wearing the same clothes as the day before because we all have those days.
All parents are going through the same type of days.
Social media makes moms feel terrible.
That perfect photo of a new baby sleeping peacefully in their crib just spent two hours straight crying and fighting sleep.
That toddler you saw at the grocery store, who was sitting in the cart looking very well-behaved just had a mental breakdown in the parking lot because she wanted to walk on her own.
No matter how hard we try not to, we compare ourselves to others on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). But it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of seeing that perfect Facebook post/picture, we can look past it and see what’s really going on: a mother who tried her best today and is content with the outcome.
If you only take one thing from this, let it be this:
Everyone is going through their own type of tough time, whether big or small.
You may feel inadequate when you see insta moms looking glamorous and their kids looking even more glamorous, but just remember:
I sometimes feel that way, too, and I bet so do they.
So, don’t let social media fool you, behind every what-seems-to-be perfect photo, there is some type of chaos going on.