Balancing Real Life vs. Social Media Parenting

This is to all the Moms that try to be perfect. That overextend themselves…take the blame, carry the burden, hide the family secrets, and shame themselves for not fixing it. We’re the ones that never take care ourselves first or get enough sleep. This is to you. This is to me. This is your Mother, your Sister, your best friend, your co-worker. Our tribe. Yet, no one calls shenanigans. No Mom wants to admit defeat. The same tribe that tries to make everything look perfect, sometimes is our own undoing because we let it get to us. I’m guilty. I admire and hate all kinds of peoples’ Insta lives.  Even my friends. I worry about how how I look at pick up. Do I fit in? What about my dog? Is he in? Am I wearing the right clothes? What about my glasses? Is 40 really the new 30? Sigh. And PS. Dad’s aren’t excluded, just the minority.

How do I choose a picture to go with this? Not easy. 

I wish my life looked like my Instagram. A lot. A lot, it does. What I’ve discovered is, so do all the other Moms: It’s not a competition but social Media seems to makes it that way. We Moms don’t need to. I think we’re better than that. 

My life is not that unique. Life is about choices. It’s what we choose to do. So many people have a different version of the same story. That’s forking heavy.  I’m 40. That is still heavy, still scary.  How did I get to 40??? I got baggage. For never being married, so forking much! (PS: watch The Good Place. It will change your life.) 

Does this sound familiar?

The behind the scenes you want to forget but can’t….the tears, the yelling, the tantrums, the god-forbid what more. The moments that Mom’s deal with on a daily basis and never speak about. My Gremlin is turning 11. I’ve had many villages, from East to West, that swooped us up. I appreciate, love and respect everything they’ve done. So much love to both my tribes. 

Yet….Do I feel like a failure? Yes. Some days, someways, I do.  Most days, I try to do better. And some days, making the bed is a victory. 

Am I embarrassed by my shortcomings? Or ashamed by what is supposedly the new norm in child rearing? As an intelligent, articulate woman, why do these labels concern me so much? And, if we are so forward-thinking, why do we treat ourselves and each other this way? In our house, we say “Be a Kadie. Not a Regina”. Only the cool kids will get the Mean Girl reference. 

I hear this often: What school does Molly go to?  What grade is she in? Languages/ Extra-curricular? Where did she go for pre-K?From the East to the West coast this seems to be the norm.

I wish someone would’ve pulled me aside when I was pregnant, and told me the true story. Even though we’ve all been kids, it’s a very a different perspective coming at it as a Mom. In Almost Famous, the Mom says, “rock stars have stolen my son.”  Now, social media, electronics news, tech…they’ve stolen some of the innocence that we grew up with when all that needed to happen was for the street lights to come on. Our kids don’t know street lights.  

When you become a Mom, or Dad, do you lose yourself? Or, do you become one with them? And where’s the balance, especially for single Moms and and couples trying to balance? Where do I end and they begin?

When you have an issue with your kid, do you discuss it with fellow Moms? Or do you keep it to yourself because you feel less than as a Mom?Embarrassed?

I can tell you, I’ve felt all of the above: On Insta, Mols and I rock. In private, we have the same issues that you and you and you and me all have. Doesn’t matter what it is…ADHD, conduct disorder, divorce, Bi-Polar, depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, cutting, insomnia, whatever it is. Everyone has something. My hope is that I can walk through this with my Gremlin and teach us both to never judge. To always have compassion. And when we really don’t understand, to ask more questions.

This is the most open I’ve ever been about our struggle.I def have more! Baby steps. My hope is that we can build a #cutemomblog community and real life Mom life. It’s forking hard. I’m blessed with all of you!

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