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Katie Hurley Headshot

Facebook Perfect Parenting

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I've noticed a trend among moms on Facebook in the past few weeks. In blogs, in status updates, and even out in the real world, moms are fighting back against what people now refer to as "Fakebooking."

If you check in with Urban Dictionary, Fakebooking has several different definitions. But they all seem to share one common theme: misrepresentation.

To hear the moms tell it, other moms who Fakebook only post the best of the best of their parenting moments. Lovely, filtered pictures (courtesy of Instagram) cover their pages, showing the world (or Facebook world, anyway) that they have perfect children who are perfectly smart and perfectly behaved.

These Fakebookers conveniently leave out the part about the 20 minute tantrum in the produce aisle, the bathroom covered in urine ("My two-year-old is potty trained! Yay!"), or the Legos strewn across every square inch of the house.

Using super cute pictures and well-crafted status updates, these Fakebooking moms paint the picture of the best day ever. Every single day.

Until now. Suddenly, moms and mom bloggers everywhere are speaking out against this common practice among social media users. They want moms to be real. They want to hear the gory details of life with toddlers, preschoolers, and beyond. They want us to admit that no mom is perfect and that we all have very bad days once in a while.

Or do they?

There is no perfect way to parent and there is no one parenting style that will address the individual needs of each child. As parents, we have to get to know our children and figure out what works for all of us.

The truth is that there are no perfect parents. We all make mistakes. We all have a very bad day once in a while. And we all struggle with mom guilt at times.

But is that really what we want to put on Facebook?

If we stop over-thinking these glorious posts and pictures for a moment and reframe it just a tiny bit, we might open our eyes to the positive side of this debate. Why do we post the super cute (and expertly edited photos) and share our triumphs of the day? Because parenting is hard. It's a miracle. It's fun. It's fascinating. It's everything we ever wanted. But it's really, really hard sometimes.

We post the moments of perfection to get a virtual high five. What we are really saying to the world is this: This is the best moment of the day! This made my heart melt. This is what I will think about when I sink into an exhausted slumber that might last six hours (if I'm lucky).

Is that really so wrong? Is it really so fake?

Make no mistake about it, there is nothing fake about reaching out with the good and sharing the positive. It's the good moments that keep us going and remind us that we are doing something right along the way.

Instead of assuming that those posts and pictures are meant to brag or to showcase pure parenting talent, why not stop to give another mom a much needed high five at the end of the long day? Why not choose to see the positive instead of assuming that it all boils down to some sort of competition?

As someone who has survived quite a few tantrums and urine soaked bathrooms, I can honestly say that I don't want to hear about it on Facebook. I would much rather see those amazing cookies you just made. And, by the way, would you mind sharing your recipe?