We took that all-smiles-last-day-of -school-chalkboard photo that I had re-written three times because I didn’t like my handwriting on the first two attempts. The post was paired with a perfectly worded hashtag and… not pictured (or captioned) was the meltdown over the shoes we were refusing to wear, the fact that I wasn’t even sure if my kids had brushed their teeth that morning, or admitting to myself and the internet that I was wearing the same shirt I slept in.
The truth is, behind every perfectly well-lit Instagram feed… is likely a mom trying to “do it all” on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. With social media showing only the highlights of the best moments of our lives, we are constantly inundated with images of perfectly decorated homes, Mom’s that had time to do their eyeliner AND buy a designer diaper bag WHILE coordinating their outfits with their children, Facebook posts from parents boasting about their kids meeting major developmental milestones ahead of time, Pinterest worthy playrooms with color coordinated crayons on display, and home-cooked healthy dinners that require 34 different ingredients and three hours of prep-time.
Is that what motherhood is supposed to look like? Mason jars full of Crayola and raw kale as a snack my kid is actually going to eat? Because if that’s the case, I fail. I have a pile of laundry I meant to fold but haven’t gotten to balled up on a chair in my living room, I didn’t even attempt to monitor screen time today, I lied about what time it was last Monday and put my kids to bed an hour early so I could watch The Bachelorette, for all I know there could be a stray animal hidden under my husbands side of the sink, and, gasp, sometimes we eat McDonald’s for dinner.
I’m a working mom. And between the guilt of trying to balance a marriage, a career, parenthood… and also attempting to live up to these unrealistic expectations set by Pinterest about what our lives should LOOK like, what workouts I should be doing in my LOL “free time,” or learning on Facebook that I need to immediately throw away all of the boxes of Cheerios in our home. I’m going a tiny bit nuts.
Being a mom (working, staying at home, or working at home) comes with it’s own set of pressure, because I know I didn’t HAVE to take the end-of-year chalkboard photo, but would I LOOK like a bad mom if I didn’t post it?
My kids are happy! Why aren’t these the status updates we see? “Sally didn’t make straight A’s but she is very friendly and a pure joy to be around!” Instead, we post a laundry list of accomplishments for acquaintances or people we knew a lifetime ago to “like”. It’s easy to get caught up in the falsity of it all. There’s no “reality” on the internet anymore. And we want to make a conscious effort to highlight the fact that “good enough,” most of the time, IS enough.