I'm Not an Insta-Perfect Mom and That's Okay
#momgoals. What does that really look like? Can’t we all just be our ordinary selves? Wouldn’t that then make us extraordinary in our own right because no two are the same?
I look up to a few women in my life. It’s a short list. The list is: my mom, my grandma, and my sister. My mom has overcome so much in her life and lives in this beautiful perpetual state of vulnerability that I have grown to admire so much. My grandma is the epitome of all grandmothers. She is caring, loving and good-natured. Everything she has ever done for me has been done out of so much love – which is probably why her baking is so delish. Lastly, my sister, who by the way is six years younger than me, is a woman I look up to. I have never met another soul that contains as much resiliency as hers does. She is a fighter and the kindest of people. Her heart is so big (yesterday she gave me her winnings from the “roll up the rim” and it felt like the best gift of my entire life).
I suppose I should also mention a couple of girlfriends that I have a great deal of respect for. I admire them and the lives they have created. Some of these friends have children and others do not yet. But that is about it. The list is short and oh so sweet. All of the above women have impacted my life in one way or another – some for more time and some for less. They all have specific traits that I wish to emulate in my own life. I desire to live my life inspired by these women, but not to compare my successes and failures to theirs. And by no means are any of the above women my #momgoals.
Is life not best lived inspired, excited, and motivated by others? I would much rather be lifted up and refreshed by someone’s differences then left feeling inadequate because I wasn’t the same.
So I ask again, what should #momgoals even look like?
I will admit I am a total mom of Instagram. For the past year I have baby spammed the crap out of my Instagram. I am so proud of my son and all his little baby milestones. I have found small comfort in the few mothers I have come to know via Instagram. I have found the encouragement I needed. I have experienced that peace of mind that I am not alone from reading some of my fellow mothers’ posts. I have also experienced jealousy, anger, sadness and a great deal of inadequacy towards my own life from Instagram. Upon expressing my emotions, my husband has told me more than once that I should delete Instagram. But I’m too stubborn for that, duh.
Let me break it down for you. There are a plethora of mothers on Instagram who have achieved that “famous” status (literally as you read this, at least five names will pop into your head). They typically have great bodies that are a product of veganism, most likely. They have an insane monochromatic wardrobe that is just to die for. Their home décor is full of earthy tones and geometric shapes. Their actual house is most likely trendy and looks expensive. Their children only ever wear neutrals OR a color palate resembling the 70’s (burnt orange, mustard yellow, etc.). I should also mention that a lot of their clothing comes from lust worthy companies that are possibly local and definitely cost an arm and a leg. The most envy worthy part of these mothers is their fantastic “insta flow”, which has created the illusion that they have the perfect life. This flow is achieved with a never blurry, posed to perfection against a brick wall (or other neutral backdrop) quality lighting photo. I should also mention that the camera they use is probably high quality and on a tripod so they never need to take a selfie (cause that’s just tacky). These women write fantastic blogs about their lives where they share fashion tips, recipes they love, décor ideas, hardships and their methods for parenting.
So I sound like a bitch, but many of you have thought exactly the same thing, I just said it. I know that a lot of you have also felt jealous, angry, sad, and inadequate because of these Insta famous moms.
Here are the facts that I feel we often push to the side or try to avoid. No mother, not even a mother with 20K followers, is better than the rest. I should also mention, none of the mothers with an immense amount of followers set out to seem like they were better, we just liked what they posted and the rest is history. EVERY mother feels inadequate. Feels she could do better. Struggles to get out of bed and put herself together (or forgets to because her children take priority). Every mother thinks her body isn’t quite right anymore – whether viewed by society as skinny or fat (of all the things, I feel the weight issue is the hardest to understand. Every woman used her body as a vessel for her child. No one comes out of that unscathed). As mothers, we all love to capture our children in photos; it’s just unfortunate we don’t all have a knack for it – or the fancy camera and tripod, which would help a great deal. What we are forgetting is these mothers are just regular people. Who feel ALL the same feels that you and I do. What we see on Instagram is a teeny- tiny little glimpse of their reality. From that teeny-tiny little glimpse we assume they have the “perfect life”. We also assume that in order to be successful as a mother and achieve this thing called #momgoals, we need to replicate their life.
I say enough is enough. Life is too short and too beautiful to be wasted trying to be like #momgoals. We need to stop taking a fraction of the mothers and putting them on a pedestal based on their social media following. Here’s to the mothers that only take blurry photos and selfies with their children. Here is to the mother that has a child who dresses him/herself everyday and looks like a happy little mismatched mess. Here is to the mother with funky colored walls and noise making toys all over the house. Here is to the mother with a half finished nursery 12 months into the job. Here is to the mother that may not be as good with words as others, but still loves to brag about their child on social media in an annoyingly long post (let’s face it, we all do it). Here is to my fellow mothers with a so-called horrible “insta flow” (I just do not have the head space to care anymore). Here is to the mothers with a wicked fashion sense and fabulous photography skills. Here is to the vegan mothers. Here is to the KD mothers.
I plead with you, my fellow mothers, to be kind to yourself and to others. Instagram and social media in general show only a glimpse of what life really is - even if we are sharing something vulnerable and raw it is still not someone’s daily life.
Here is to every mother doing her f*cking best every d*nm day – that’s all of us. Be your own #momgoals.
How has social media impacted your life? Does the comparison game get you down and what do you do to combat it? Please share in the comments below.