Check out my Facebook page, look at my Instagram – what you will see is images of “parenting perfection”: beautiful (IMO), happy children – not a sick stain or a snot smeared face among them. Delicious looking, healthy, homecooked dishes – no trace of trans fats or e-number nasties. Wholesome play in the great outdoors – no hours of YouTube Surprise Egg clips and heavily accented renditions of Daddy Finger here.
On the basis of my personal social media account I am nailing parenting: I’m the very embodiment of the perfect parent with my angelic children hand-feeding lambs and racing through meadows, laughing joyously, hand in hand as the sun sets over the…
Ok, I’m taking the piss, no-one in my life is hand-rearing livestock or romping through the countryside like an extract from Enid Blyton, but you get the idea.
My Facebook feed gives you a heavily edited and incredibly one-sided view of how I wish my life looked all the time but looks can be deceiving.
What you don’t see is the sleepless nights, the endless fish finger dinners, McLunches munched in the back of the car and hours in front of Paw Patrol and Peppa… the baby eating fistfuls of used toilet roll out of his sister’s potty even!
Like so many parents on social media the things I choose to share may make me look a certain way to the outside world but they are MY ideal, they are not about you.
The images I choose to share make ME feel better about myself, they are NOT about you.
They are the moments (and they truly are brief and fleeting moments) where I’ve felt good about myself and that’s the me I choose to share with you because I hope you get it and I hope you’re happy for me as I would be for you.
High five sister, in that moment you were rocking this parenting shit! Go you!!
I may post a picture of that one time I made a homemade soufflé but that doesn’t mean I think I’m above anyone who’s having chicken nuggets for the fifth time this week. God knows I’ve been there! My filtered and faffed with picture of quinoa (or is this couscous?!) is not designed to make anyone feel shit, it’s there to remind me that I’m trying, just like everyone else and sometimes, just sometimes, it goes as planned – whoop! Go me!
I don’t take to Pinterest in a fit of pique and judge women who are making their own playdough and creating teepees out of old shirts.
I KNOW they aren’t posting that stuff in the hope that we’ll all think they’re “ohh they’re sooooo amazing and I’m such a shit mum because I’m still in my Pjs at 13.40 and I haven’t changed the sheets since January” [I really should change the sheets…]
They’re just sharing their passions, their ideas and their successes.
I KNOW they aren’t trying to tear down anyone who doesn’t have the time or inclination to get crafty, artsy or bakey. I know this because if I managed to get my two-children, full-time work, ass into gear to do something similar, then damn straight I’d be all over the internet celebrating that!
Why should mums who are trying hard and doing and making nice things be seen as judging? They are just like the rest of us – only slightly better at Instagram filters and artful photography angles.
I’m writing this blog in defence of the “Perfect Mothers” out there because I think they get a bad rap. If their seemingly perfect existences offend you then unfollow them, look away, go about your business and get on with being you because that’s all they’re doing. How you feel about their newly-decorated nursery or crocheted baby booties is not their fault.
These perfect posts and pictures are snap shots and they don’t tell the whole story – is your Facebook profile not the same? Just the X-Factor style ‘Best Bits’ of your life so far?
The reality is you can NEVER judge a women by her Facebook feed. 99% of the time Motherhood is not photo-worthy – it’s not pretty, in fact it’s often disgusting, disorientating, disheartening, just about every dis you can think of. It’s no wonder that we choose to share the moments that made us happy and not all the shit that makes us sad or even just slightly disappointed.
If you want the truth behind the façade you’ll find it on The Motherload®, but don’t judge the “perfect mum” based on her profile picture – she’s not judging you, she’s just doing her best.
Anna-Belle, 35, is a writer, editor and entrepreneur, part-time foodie and lover of the odd dirty burger. Likes to leave half-drunk cups of tea around the place and go surfing or snowboarding about once a year to make herself feel cool again. Oh! And she’s a mum to two gorgeous children: Jacques (2015) an Alethea (2012).
Twitter: Two Little Time (@AnnaBelleBomb)