Today at church it was brought up how differently being a mom is today compared to past generations, with all the ‘in your face’ expectations that we have now. It used to be that you’d only hear advice/criticism from those closest to you (other than the silent judging from the strangers you might encounter on the street or at the store), but nowadays we’ve got all the Internet to tell us how badly we’re doing and how we could be (and should be) doing things/parenting/ life in general better. Strangers on the other side of the world can suddenly become Cyber SuperParents, boldly exclaiming from the comfort of their computer chair (or table at Starbucks) how you can-nay, SHOULD- do all. the. things.
Its gotten to the point that, even those you know IRL (that’s “In Real Life” in computer speak- don’t you feel more knowledgeable?) will post carefully crafted pictures and posts to depict “The Perfect Life”- when you know full well that their life looks NOTHING like that.
I know. Don’t try to lie. I’ve been there. I even have all the photos I DIDN’T post (because they weren’t “perfect” enough) sitting on my phone/computer because I can’t bare to delete them…because they’re pics of my boys, and my boys aren’t perfect and I love those silly, imperfect photos… just not enough to share with all of my Facebook world because, come on- my boys look dirty/silly/not posed/are picking their nose/my mom-skills could possibly be judged based on how they look or what they’re doing.
Which brings up why in the WORLD we have people on our social media sites that we even try to call “friends” if we question whether or not posting something will get us judged, but that’s another topic for another day.
Someone told me once that they only post the good stuff to social media because they don’t want anything negative to pop up in their memories, and I get that, but -for me- sometimes I LIKE to see the struggles I’ve gone through because it reminds me in that moment of all it took to get to where I am NOW.
I should also point out that, even when we don’t talk to our kids constantly about how they should look or act or anything (you know- healthy self image and self esteem and all), what kind of a message are we sending when we take for-freaking-ever to take that perfect shot JUST so that everyone we don’t know personally will ooo and ahh over it. Honestly.
If we’re constantly told as moms (and dads) to “enjoy it while it lasts because it goes by so fast”, then shouldn’t we be posting about more than just the perfectly posed Instagrammable moments? I’ve never heard anyone ever say,”Enjoy it while it lasts- it goes by so fast- except for the bad times. Don’t worry about enjoying the bad times- like when the kids are throwing a fit or whatever- you’ll never miss that.” Actually, I said that to my Grammie once and she wisely brought up that there’ll even be a day when you’ll miss the tantrums, because at least you knew where your kids were. Now that my boys are getting past the baby stage, I actually have times where I miss those late nights, holding them when they couldn’t sleep, watching HGTV and the Food Network, knowing that I was the only person that could calm them down.
I should also point out that I’m pretty positive that not waiting on the ideal shot until a picture is taken is something that even my boys will get behind, because it means that they won’t have to spend 30 minutes of each and every major holiday morning waiting for all their brothers to just get it together, stop messing around, and for the love of all that is sacred and holy can we just smile already so we can take the dang picture to show everyone how happy we are, dang it?!?!
Here’s to all you fabulous, perfectly imperfect mamas out there. You guys are amazing- make up or not, posed or not, perfect kids (BWAHAHAHA- man, that was a good one) or NOT. You’re in good company. I hope you all get the best scribbled cards, special rocks, and fistful of weeds- and maybe even a rollie pollie or 2.