This post is part of Stress-Less Parenting Club's new workshop."Scary Mommy" Jill Smokler is offering her advice on cutting ourselves some slack, and getting over the notion of perfect parenting.
If Facebook painted an accurate picture of our everyday lives, most of us would live in immaculate houses, have constantly obedient yet happy children and always have our hair and makeup done to perfection.
Of course, while they rarely reflect reality, those are the snippets we’re proudest to share with family and friends. Go ahead: Take a look through your Facebook feed right now and I bet you’ll see happy couples celebrating milestone anniversaries, smiling children on vacation or at sports games or dance recitals and groups of girlfriends out for dinner or drinks with no tantrum-throwing kids in sight. Kind of makes you wonder why your life doesn’t look like that, right? Well, theirs doesn’t either.
Once upon a time, I was one of those moms. One who strived to capture the perfect picture to proudly send out in December so people could marvel at my beautiful children. One who only shared shots where every child was angelically grinning at the camera and my house was clean and tidy in the background. One whose albums were filled with the idyllic moments that made up approximately one percent of our days. The problem with those pictures, I quickly discovered, is that they don’t represent real life. Real life isn’t picture perfect, especially where children are concerned. Kids are messy and uncooperative and frustrating, as well as adorable and sweet and charming. Shouldn’t we document and share all of that? Years from now, the pictures you’ll appreciate most are the ones that truly reflect your life at any given moment in time. And today, I’m quite sure your friends and family will appreciate a glimpse into the life you really live, rather than a pretend one.
Your challenge: This week, make an effort to document the less than perfect moments in your day. Instead of telling your kids to stop what they’re doing and smile for the camera, capture them as they are, at any given moment in time. Ask them to be silly instead of saying cheese. Don’t stress about the plates stacked up in the sink or the dust ball in the corner or the chocolate mustache on their faces. Just capture them ... the good and the bad. And then share those shots with your friends and family.
Can you do it?
I’ll go first. Here are a few photos from my trip to Disney last week; the kinds you’d normally see a beaming mother share:
See how happy we were? The kids were sweet and patient and had a blast at the happiest place on earth. Go, us!
And below are a few shots that far better represent our week. Did we have a bad trip? No, absolutely not. But it wasn’t perfect either, so why would I want to remember it that way? All of the photos made my Facebook page and will appear in the album that I will (someday, maybe?) put together. Combined, they represent my family completely, which really, is what documenting and sharing is all about.
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