We all know THAT mom. Thanks to Facebook we don’t even have to actually cross paths with her on the regular to see her ah-mazing posts about her ah-mazing life.
She has perfectly coiffed hair and perfectly dressed kids and the perfect house that’s just a teensy bit messy for those “oh, just doing some cooking with the kids!” posts. Or maybe she’s hitting the gym at 5am. Maybe THAT mom is the one that has biceps for days, six pack abs, and a body that couldn’t possibly have pushed out all those kids. Maybe she has an amazing career while you’re barely holding it together in the car line.
Is it the chef-quality dinners? The all-star kids? The clean house or the perfect skin or the always-put-together outfits? Is she a (God-forbid!) Pinterest mom?!? Do her birthday parties make you feel like an utter failure? Does she homeschool while you are desperate to shoo those little boogers out of the house every morning so someone else can teach them? Do you think to yourself “how in the world does she do it?”
I could tell you it’s not real. That’s what I tell myself when those Instagram pics start to get under my skin. When I’m feeling particularly bitter, I roll my eyes, mutter “must be nice,” and laugh at her with my friends who are rocking pj pants at Target at 2pm (or in my case, gym clothes every day but Sunday)!
Here’s the thing: it is real. Her family, her life, her Insta-worthy snapshots are real. You’re just not seeing the whole picture.
No one is perfect, no matter how brilliant their Instagram pics. The mom with the perfectly coiffed hair and perfectly dressed kids? Her nanny is right beside her helping at every turn, and that mama is terrified of having to manage all those kids on her own while her husband works long hours.
The mom hitting the gym at 5am? She battles depression and anxiety and that hour at the gym is what gets her out of bed and keeps her from crying into her coffee. Endorphins are a great anti-depressant, don’t you know?
The mom with an amazing career feels guilty because she doesn’t spend as much time with her kids as she wants and wishes she could be sitting in that car line.
The mom who cooks doesn’t sew, the mom running her kids to practice every night longs for home-cooked meals, the mom with perfect skin is just really good at covering those dark circles under her eyes because her baby hasn’t slept through the night yet, and the mom with the epic birthday parties can’t imagine ever running a marathon.
See, here’s the thing: we all have our struggles, and we all have that thing (or things!) we’re really good at!
Sure, I’m great at the gym, but it all started because I needed something other than a pill to keep me sane. Turns out I have a knack for fitness, but I am terrible at party-planning! Oh, how I wish I could sew like my friend, Rachel. She has a gift, y’all. I have another friend who is the most amazing bargain shopper, and another I can always count on for book recommendations. There’s the mama friend I text if I need help with a recipe, and another I ask for help with my makeup (on those rare occasions I wear it!), and another I can always count on for prayers and just the right scripture when I’m having a hard day.
Social media is a funny thing. We mamas are always looking around, wondering if we’re doing enough. These little snapshots into people’s lives can be used to build us up and encourage us, or beat us down and turn us into bitter failures. I am making more of an effort this year to remember that what I see in my newsfeed isn’t the whole story. There are amazing things you do that I could never even attempt, and maybe a thing or two I’m good at that makes you wonder “how does she do that?”
Y’all, our husbands aren’t like this. My hubs is a computer guy. He’s not going to play basketball with the dudes from the neighborhood or coach little league and HE IS FINE WITH THAT. Why is it that we women think we have to cook, sew, workout, keep a perfect house, pack gourmet lunches, cook fancy dinners, and look like we stepped out of a magazine? It’s nonsense.