Is the way most mothers portray themselves on Facebook fake or are they simply being human by only showing the good bits? That’s the question I’m posing today – mostly to myself, but you can have a think about it too if you want to (see how inclusive I am?!).
In recent times there has been much made of the mothers who make their lives seem absolutely perfect on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/insert other names of social media sites here. You know the ones, posting pictures of their rock hard abs an hour after giving birth. Regaling us with tales of how their infant sleeps through and is just so fantastically good and quiet ALL the time. It seems these mothers (I’m sure dads and other family members do it too but I’m a mom and that’s what I’m focusing on) flooded the scene for a while and then all of a sudden everyone got bored of that and the tide turned.
Now there’s the backlash: stories of how little Timmy kicked off in the supermarket and brought down an entire display of cornflakes boxes with his flailing limbs mid-tantrum. Pictures of children drinking water out of the toilet or happily colouring in the family dog with permanent marker. You can’t move for posts highlighting the most testing moments of parenthood.
But are either of these ‘sides’, we’ll call them the Perfect Moms and the Tantrum Moms, portraying the reality of their lives? It’s true no one’s social media accounts are an accurate depiction of every feeling, every moment and every thought passing through their heads (apart from those people. You know the ones. ‘Going in the shower now’, five minutes later: ‘Nice shower now going to put the kettle on’, five minutes later: ‘Spilled some milk on the kitchen counter, what am I like lol’). Most people filter down what goes on and end up with a very small amount of their lives actually on show to all and sundry. We might see holiday snaps, pictures of them at weddings, some baby pictures and perhaps they might share news or jokes which interest them. Are the Perfect Moms doing exactly the same things we all do when posting about their amazing life. When was the last time you told Facebook you were cleaning the shower or taking the bin out?
Maybe what we should request is a balance between the two: so Perfect Mom can still post her abs but maybe with a caption explaining she got them from doing almost constant sit-ups in the night getting out of bed to tend to a crying baby. Tantrum Mom can post to her heart’s content about the trials and tribulations of life with a tot, but maybe just the occasionally picture of baby looking super cute in an animal-related costume. Everyone likes babies dressed as bears, fact.
Harriet and Alexandra X