Being a mom in a social-media-driven society is no joke. While so many of us try to be cute and funny with our posts, the whole process can actually be a little anxiety-provoking, and dare I say, fake? So, in an effort to keep it real(ish), I am going to let you in on a few secrets that I have kept hidden behind my strategic angles and filter settings. Here are 10 things that my Instagram followers don’t know about me:
1. My black and white IKEA rug that I think is cool and trendy and therefore serves as the backdrop for a lot of my pictures, especially when my kids are really little and can’t really move yet, is full of stains. Throw-up, yogurt smoothies, orange juice, stepped on M&M’s, poop—you name it, you can find traces of it on that rug. Nothing a little tactical child placement and brightening filter can’t take care of, but if you think I’m one of those moms with clean rugs, I just wanna say, I’m not.
2. You’re always seeing my fifth try—at least. I mean, that candid pic of my kids doing that really funny thing? It was staged. Just kidding, I’m not that bad. But I did likely take 217 photos at every angle possible to get the shot I wanted. And even then I took that shit to my Camera+ app to add some extra oomph.
3. If you count the number of pictures I am in, that is the same number of times I have blow-dried my hair and put on grown-up, going-out clothes in the past two years. My days are filled with kid things, and I am always wearing mostly black activewear, or as my husband calls them my “weird sweatpants.” So don’t for one second think I’m wearing jeans to the library or a cute sweater to a playdate. It ain’t happenin’. And you better believe when I take the time to freshen up, I will be posting a pic to prove that I’ve still got it.
4. I live in a duplex. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, I know. But I’m just sayin’. I’m not over here in a 10,000-square-foot home living the high life. I share a wall with my neighbors, and I have vinyl siding. I also have some cute purses and shoes. So I can see how you may feel a little duped.
5. I am fully aware that not everyone gives a shit about seeing pictures of my kids all the time. But guess what, I’ve got family on this thing! And they love to see my little whackos. And no, I would not remember to send out individual texts to all of them with the photos as an alternative. Plus, clever and sarcastic hashtags don’t translate as well over text.
6. My oldest son’s eyes aren’t actually that blue. I mean, they are really blue—I promise. You can drive over and see for yourself (not really, you can’t). But I can’t resist a little lo-fi action on those bad boys to really make ‘em shine. “OMG! Look at those eyes! (eyeball emoji)” I know! Can you believe it?! But whatever, c’est la vie! Or something.
7. Hashtaggin’ aint easy. ‘Nuff said.
8. The likes game is real. And I hate it. It brings me back to eighth grade. “Wait, why didn’t she like this?” “Shit, I have to like this, and I don’t want to because I don’t actually like this at all.” It’s a rarely talked about, viciously juvenile little sport we play with ourselves. I mean, I’m old with two kids and my own vinyl siding. Surely, I must be above this kind of drama. Pfffffff, yeah right. “Is she public? Wait, why is she public, now? She obviously wanted me to see this. I need to sarcastically like it. No. I can’t. I have to pretend I don’t care. I’m going to act like I didn’t even see it.” #middleschoolisfunwhenyouare30
9. Most days, I am left feeling I did a crappy, low-budget job as a mom. You will see my trips to the orchard, the cute playdates, us making snowmen, and all the other cute shit. What I don’t post nearly enough of is my almost 3-year-old son glued to his iPad Mini, screaming at me for another pack of fruit snacks, refusing to eat the fourth thing I’ve cooked him for breakfast, or playing quietly and uneventfully on our stained rug with some old trucks. You also don’t see enough of me telling my 1-year-old, “Don’t climb on that, don’t eat that, and don’t open that,” which is the majority of my day with him. You see one millisecond of my day. Usually one funny, carefree, lovable little tiny snapshot, which is actually just a grain of sand on my crazy, hectic normal, exhausting, often times boring beach of a day.
10. I wish I could rage against the Instagram machine, but she’s got me by the balls. At least once a month I say to myself, No! Screw this iPhone and this Instagram app and this new social norm of oversharing which leads to feelings of angst and leaves people feeling empty and competitive and less-than. But then I take a freakin’ money shot and remember that I haven’t used that Ludwig filter setting in a while, and BAM, I’m back in the game before I ever stepped onto the sidelines. Whatever, I can’t help it.