I signed onto Facebook the other day and had the sweetest message from a friend I went to college with telling me that I make her feel like a bad parent on a daily basis.
I was totally flattered.
That kind of makes me sound like a jerk face, but I am relatively hard on myself, so it was nice to hear that!
I have gotten lots of compliments lately on a couple of the pictures of projects and accomplishments that I have posted, and while they have all made me feel super awesome, they have also reminded me of just how deceiving this whole social media / massive race to post the best picture of your kid in your perfectly clean house really is.
I’m a victim of it…daily.
Pretty house. Great big yard. Super cute cloth diaper. Skinny mom of 3. No laundry on the floor. Beautifully painted walls. Gorgeous hair. Delicious dinner that I couldn’t have even made before I had kids. Happy baby. How does she look that good after just having a baby? Awesome wardrobe. Dinner with her kids and husband…
Here all of my friends are sending me awesome messages and compliments about how impressed they are by me and I’m sitting here complimenting them for everything I’m not!
All day long I see pictures and posts of all of the good things that people have done and I sit back and feel like I can barely keep up with just the average day, let alone get started on any sort of project and successfully finish it, and as it turns out…I’m making people feel the same way!
I’m here to clear things up a bit.
Everything I have tried to be awesome at in this whole raising a family thing, is not all that it seems.
My intentions are
always usually good.
My execution is not.
Perception is everything, my friends.
You see me post this…
Ben really did enjoy painting with me until we were about 1/10 of the way done with the primer at which point he decided that he was over our little project. Apparently he wasn’t totally over it though, because the tears and attitude that I woke up to the next morning when he realized that I had finished the table without him were not worth getting out of bed for, that’s for sure. On top of that, I had to repaint the entire top of the table and back of the chairs twice because by the time I was done painting that weekend, I had no desire to put a seal coat on top of it and even when you don’t feed them greasy food, kids’ fingers just somehow end up greasy and finger-printy. And, now that the seal coat is on it and the table looks pretty, it makes me sad when people want to eat on my pretty new table, set a drink on my pretty new table or color with markers or crayons or chalk on my pretty new table.
You see me post this…
And you “like” my picture and comment on how adorable he is all sprawled out on the gym floor just waiting for his older brother to be done with basketball.
What you missed?
Joe spending most of practice running halfway across the court to retrieve the fire truck that Blake was pulling back and letting fly and me following him trying to wipe up the puddles of muddy shoe water that he was leaving behind on the court because I couldn’t get the visual of 10 happy little basketball studs running towards their moms and dads to get a drink of water and biting it on the gym floor out of my head.
I spent 25% of the time cleaning muddy shoe water off of the floor, 25% of the time kind of watching Ben at his first basketball practice and 50% of the time being terrified of being sued for all $55 to my name over someone’s precious little mister breaking his head open on the muddy shoe water puddle I missed.
Here’s the thing…you have to remember that for all of the really awesome events, pictures, meals, accomplishments, number of green lights they made to work or free cups of coffee that you see people post, there are a whole lot of other things going on that they aren’t very excited to brag about and never ever post.
Trust me, I am all for seeing the good.
It actually annoys me beyond words to read the constant posts from the habitual Facebook whiner.
I much prefer the funny kid moments or happy smiling baby posts…you just can’t forget that for every adorably awesome picture of a happy sibling moment where the kiddos are smiling and laughing and playing together, there were probably a decent 25 to 30 of these moments…
Sure, I like to post the adorable sibling happiness pictures too, but I also like to remind people that we aren’t all smiles over here.
We hate each other sometimes too.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to tell me how amazing of a parent I am and how awesome my new table looks, I am not going to shut you up.
No no, you can keep on keepin’ on with those comments.
I just don’t want you to forget that I’m also this kind of mom…
The mom who stood there watching her kid stare into the water sprayer thing thinking to herself “I should move him because I have a feeling that water is going to spray in his face here any minute and…hmmmm I wonder what kind of workout that girl does to make her arms look so good / I wonder if it would be weird if I asked her?”
Yep, that’s my foot there.
Notice it’s not running very quickly towards the child being attacked by the water spout.
And while I’m clearing the air I might as well mention that while I was consoling my poor over hydrated child, I also was giving my hubby a huge high five for capturing that moment with the camera.
Spot on, babe.
I’m actually still impressed.
I always wanted to be a writer or a photographer, so Christmas cards and blogs are totally my thing.
Gotta put the expensive camera and ridiculously overpriced Journalism degree to use somehow, right?
So I set up a little backdrop in my house and I get so many compliments on how equally adorable and hilarious my end result is….
And while I will never turn away a compliment and I agree that this picture is hilarious and adorable, I do want to let you know that I eventually got so annoyed with trying to hang up a sheet as my back drop that I busted out the hammer and some nails and I just nailed that bad boy right to the wall…and never ever filled the holes.
What makes it worse is that none of my pictures even ended up showing the background, because the cutest ones were the ones where the boys were laying down on the comforter and the Christmas lights.
Blake almost electrocuted himself by trying to bite through the cord of the Christmas lights when I was comforting Ben who had shattered an ornament under his bare foot and as cute as this picture turned out is as horrific as the tantrum that Ben threw after he realized that Blake had gotten a decent amount of spit up and drool all over every single ornament.
Sometimes, everything is exactly as it seems.
I wasn’t telling a shortened version of any truth when my kids battled each other for an entire day on who could be the most selfish cry baby in the house. I just grabbed some wine and snapped some pictures and let that one play out.
Those pictures speak for themselves.
Not one thing left out of those.
You just have to remember that in the wonderful world of parenting, everything is a little more detailed than it seems.
Blake does look this cute when I start brushing his teeth.
But neither of us look cute when we are done.
And the only productive thing I did that night besides brushing his teeth, was making that little photo collage while watching The Bachelor and eating ice cream and feeling fat.
I will never tell you to stop complimenting any of your friends on being awesome.
Point out their moments, let them shine…but listen to the compliments you are getting too.
It feels good when someone tells you that you are awesome, because you probably have spent all day telling yourself you are not.
Just remember that for every single Facebook post worthy accomplishment you see, there was a total shit show taking place just below that pretty little surface.
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