I know, the title sounds a bit dramatic, but I had to draw you in somehow! However, I do wonder if our obsession with ‘Pinterest perfection’ and wanting to look like we live in an ‘Insta-worthy’ world is getting in the way of living and enjoying motherhood? Don’t get me wrong – I love a beautiful photo of family life as much as the next mum, but our obsession with making everything just so before pressing the button is hindering us from just living in the moment.
I recently planned to go live on Facebook with the kids to carve our pumpkins for Halloween. I had it all worked out; I found a programme so I could share a reminder so people would come and watch, I bought fancy tools, I tidied the kitchen so people wouldn’t think we were skanks. I didn’t even sleep well the night before, worrying if it would go ok or be a huge flop.
And, on the day, I got us all ready to go, set up the laptop and realised that the camera on it is pants and the picture wasn’t going to be very clear. Arse. I couldn’t do it on my phone as I’d already set up the programme. And that was when I knew it wasn’t going to go as planned. But, I ploughed on…
We went live, we began carving, we felt self-conscious. The first design went wrong, so was quickly abandoned and I began another. It was going well until part of it broke, ruining that one too. Now we had two part-done pumpkins and nothing to show the people. Big managed to salvage one with his own, freehand design (bless him!), but all I could think about was how I now had nothing to show, no fancy pumpkins to photograph for Instagram, now how-to video for Pinterest and how I’d made us look silly.
What I failed to realise at the time, was that the kids were having a great time! Big was loving the whole ‘being live on Facebook’ thing, reading out the comments, generally showing off, and Small was just enjoying life, because that’s what she does. Despite the disasters, people watched. 571 of them to date. Plenty left comments and questions. A few even shared it! As my mum pointed out, it was real.
That cake pin you just saved? Probably made by a semi-professional cake decorator who has practised it several times, refining their technique over months, if not years, and taking the photos from the best possible angles in the best possible light. No wonder your attempt looks nothing like the picture, after you quickly knocked it up in a panic the night before you needed it!
Picture courtesy of Twinderelmo
That beautiful Instagram shot from your favourite mummy blogger (other than me, of course!) of their little one playing quietly with hand-crafted wooden toys on the spotlessly clean floor of their stunningly decorated living room? Doesn’t show you the chocolate handprints the little darling just planted on the wall behind them, or the piles of plastic crap shoved out of the frame, along with the toast crumbs and the dirty nappy she just changed, or the fact that two minutes later there was the tantrum to end all tantrums and she hadn’t even managed to get out of her pyjamas before lunch.
Picture courtesy of Life With Boys
We are putting too much pressure on ourselves as we watch more YouTube vloggers with their perfect makeup, or as we pin craft activities we know will never resemble the pictures, because kids are kids. We all want to live an Insta-life, but it’s not real life and we should stop looking at everyone else’s fake, contrived lives as seen through their Instagram feed, and concentrate on making our own as enjoyable as we can – not perfect.
Picture courtesy of My Crazy Family Story
Take a look at these fab posts on the subject from some other bloggers…
Did you catch my post about this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad?