I’m a fantastic mom on Facebook. I repost articles with parenting tips I’m trying, share hilarious quotes from my kids, and post pictures of the hands-on projects we complete. I’m always smiling, patient, energetic, and very Martha Stewart.
Then, after reading this Scary Mommy post that went viral last month, I realized that I’m not painting a very fair picture of myself. Yes, I do fun things with my kids, and they are relatively happy, usually hilarious little people. But there is another side to our life entirely that I never post to Facebook or Rocky Parenting or Instagram. You’ll never see photos of my piles of laundry in my Instagram feed, never read quotes of the many times I’ve lost my patience and yelled at my kids. I don’t update my Facebook status with thoughts from the nap I took on the couch last week while my children zoned out in front of the tv. You don’t hear me bragging that my younger son has eaten, slept, and played in the same tshirt and undies for three days straight.
I know I’m not the only one who posts the rosiest view of her mothering style on the web. But what we do when we only post the good is lie by omission about the bad. We don’t let one another in on the heaps of clean (or dirty) laundry, kids we haven’t remembered to bathe in five days, non-organic hot dogs eaten in the living room. We hide our clutter and chaos behind the pictures of smiling kids holding homemade decorated cookies at a pristine countertop… one we probably scooped piles of clutter off five minutes earlier so the kids could find room to throw some sprinkles around.
We don’t mean to hurt each other with these posts – we are proud of the times we’re rocking this mothering thing, and we want to show off our kids. My kids are seriously awesome, and I want to share that with everyone I can. But when we are hiding our crap, our times of less than stellar parenting and far-from-clean houses because we’re embarrassed of our real lives, what we’re doing is forgetting that no one wants to be the only one. No one wants to compare her messy house and imperfect life to everyone else’s façades of perfection.
So this week, please share with some of the stories you’re embarrassed by. Your total mom fails, messy houses, total meltdowns (yours or the kids’).
For example, this is my living room right now:
And I’d love to tell you this is completely abnormal and I’ve only let the Legos take over because I’m tired after Thanksgiving, but that would be a total lie. Unless I’m expecting visitors, this is the norm more often than I’d ever want to admit. You’re welcome. And if you’d be so kind as to pull back your shades and let us into your chaos as well, we’ll all be better for it.
*Share your #rockyreallife stories on Twitter (@rockyparenting), on our Facebook page, or in the comments below. We’ll share the list this weekend so none of us have to feel alone in this beautiful mess of life.*