Mom’s #nojudgementclub Facebook post sums up the realities of parenting in the age of Facebook
Being a parent is amazing, and yet sometimes it really fucking sucks. But with so many parents posting pictures and status updates about how #blessed and #grateful they are for their kids, it’s not easy to admit when you’re struggling.
Australian blogger Storm-Manea Ellyatt of Storm’s Sanctuary put into words what so many of us are thinking but don’t necessarily say in a recent Facebook post about the realities of being a parent in a world where everyone shares their lives online.
Before you have kids you see ads and Instagram posts that make having a baby seem magical and blissful only to realize life with kids is a constant juggling act. “Not once did I see an ad with a mum locked in her cupboard crying in her leaked stained pjs from 3 days ago,” she writes,” covered in sweat and vomit, praying to every god imaginable for the strength and patience to go back to the shitshow that is now their life.” She’s absolutely right, new parents get punked. I thought my life as a stay at home mom would be filled with fun playdates and yoga classes but I skipped washing my hair this morning for the fourth day in a row because the kids were clamoring for breakfast. Wearing yoga pants is the closest I come to getting my Om on.
We’ve all had those days (or even weeks or months) when you spend every minute of the day counting down the seconds until your child goes to sleep because you just can’t even with them anymore. But as Ellyatt points out, as moms and dads we’re sometimes hesitant to get real online with our parenting struggles because of the fear that we’ll be labeled ungrateful by those with fertility issues. “You have to remember that hating it out loud is a kick in the face to everyone that would give everything for a moment of ‘hating it,'” she writes.
I understand both sides of the argument because I struggled with infertility before getting pregnant with twins. Before I got pregnant I was definitely resentful towards parents who would complain about their kids. I thought I would give anything to trade places with them, but once I had kids I realized just how hard it is. There are times when it feels like every single second of every day is dedicated to someone else’s needs and you don’t know how to find your way back to who you are outside of being a mom. I felt horribly guilty for not experiencing pure parenting joy 24/7. That guilt made it impossible for me to be honest online about how life as a new mom was going, especially since most of the status updates or pictures I saw from my mom friends featured smiling, happy kids and perfect Pinterest crafts. Social media can be deceiving.
Ellyatt says she fell into the habit of faking happiness as a parent for the sake of her online reputation. “So you post the photo, you cliché the fuck out of your status because you’re #loving it, #mumlife. #soblessed and when people ask you, you say with all the vigor of 2 hrs sleep ‘its honestly the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me,’ and when there’s no cameras, no people and no judgement you let out the loudest FUUUCKKK YOOOOUUUU known to man, although it’s under your breath, or screamed into a pillow, or yelled from the fetal position of your cupboard because your little ones finally asleep.” She’s saying what so many of us are thinking, right down to making sure you’re quiet while you sob over the state of your life, because waking up the kids is the only thing that could make matters worse.
Sometimes your kids really are gems and you have a day when you don’t have to ask them 27 times to put their shoes on or threaten to throw their stuffed dog in the garbage if they don’t stop smacking their brother in the head with it. And when we have a good parenting day and want to brag about it online, we shouldn’t feel bad for celebrating those victories. But we should also feel free to post about the #unblessed days, not just to warn expectant parents about what’s to come but also to remind each other that we’re not alone in the parenting trenches and that we’re not the only ones who feeds their kids box mac and cheese for dinner four nights in a row.
“Cheers all you amazing parents that dust yourselves off and do it again, with the smile of a thousand curse words, shattered souls and hopefully a strong coffee or wine in hand.” Ellyatt writes. “Your [sic] my people x o x.”
I’ll drink to that.
H/T Huffington Post
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