You know that phrase on your car’s rear view mirrors? “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” That’s how I feel about parenting on Facebook and Instagram. Status updates and pictures posted on Instagram are not always what they appear… News feeds on Facebook profiles everywhere are cluttered with status updates by parents proclaiming,
“Annabelle ate an entire plate of kale for dinner! And asked for more for dessert!!”
and, my all time favorite-
“Lucas slept 12 hours straight last night!! At only 3 weeks!! Love HIM!”
You know the culprits. You have just spent a sleepless night with your kid waking up every two hours demanding to be fed, held, or rocked and that second cup of coffee has about the same effect as throwing a match into a bonfire. Or, you spent the better part of the dinner hour begging, pleading, and bribing your kid with toys JUST to eat a plate of dinosaur chicken nuggets. Guess what? THAT is real life. And it’s real life to your other over-sharing mom and dad friends on facebook and instagram who are constantly praising their perfect children. They just choose to gloss over the temper tantrums, thrown food, and 2:00 in the morning parties going on in their kid’s crib.
I remember being home on maternity leave with Jake, and there were good days, and there were challenging days. There were days that for no particular reason at all, Jake would sleep for 8 straight hours. Those days would also follow with a night of him waking up every two hours for a full bottle! What did NOT help was scrolling Facebook on my phone seeing statuses that other people’s children were just angels, and OMG are eating tofu chunks and sleeping late every day this week!! I started to feel bad about myself, and worse yet, I started to think, “Is my kid normal? Where are these 12 hour sleeping marathons followed by crazy adventurous eating?” Mine would sleep about 8 hours a night and eventually plow down an entire avocado, but that wasn’t until a lot later!
What I learned was this- do not take anything that you see posted on Facebook, or a picturesque dreamy shot on Instagram as gospel. Those parents have had their fair share of challenging days, too, but they only choose to show off their idyllic lives. How do I know this? Well, I happen to be very good friends with a bunch of REAL and HONEST MOMMAS out there, and well, there’s always personal experience 😉
See? I can play the game too… Can you tell which had some play on Instagram?