You know the “Facebook Mom”. She’s the one who’s life looks perfect from the outside. Her status updates are of a strictly organic household, a blissfully happy marriage and children who fart sparkles. Her Instagram photos show delicious calorie free dishes, polished hairstyles and again children with sparkles.
If she has a blog, and chances are she does, it’s more of the same. Her life is perfect, her body is perfect, her kids are perfect, her husband? Perfect. Everybody always eats dinner together, they’re on time and nobody yells. Her kids are confused by the concept of punishment due to their perfect nature and time out is part of their family sports activities rather than the result of drawing pictures on your sister’s arms.
From the pages of social media it looks as though she spends her days living in the euphoria of perfect and it leaves the rest of us feeling, well – like failures.
The truth of it is, though – she’s anything but perfect.
You see, the “Facebook Mom” is actually the real life Mom, full of faults and failures, polished up with with the shiny cover of the internet. The pictures she snaps are well planned and often photo edited. The words that she types are well thought out and spell checked (twice). The whole thing is carefully put together and each part of it is calculated to ensure that she projects the perfect picture.
The thing about the “Facebook Mom” is that she doesn’t mean any harm by it. She’s not trying to make anyone feel bad, she’s not even trying to make us feel judged (which we automatically feel, because we’re so full of fault and she’s so perfect. She must be looking down on us). She’s trying to share with the world the life she wants to have.
None of what she shares is untrue, it just feels like it by the things she’s omitting.
Her husband is fantastic – he loves his family, works hard to provide and remembers to take out the garbage. He also snores like a hibernating bear, leaves bread crumbs all over the counter and NEVER PUTS HIS SHOES AWAY.
Her children are magical little creatures too (aren’t they all) – they giggle and play, freely give out hugs and are learning new things daily. They’re also fighting over a broken Barbie leg, drawing on their faces with permanent markers and refusing to eat their dinner because, “It looks fuuuunnnny!”
She’s also pretty awesome (we ALL are) and does all of the things she says she does. Sure she keeps it all together in a nicely wrapped package, but when the ribbons come off you (and she) discovered that it’s been 3 days since she washed her hair (how did that happen?), she’s hollering at her children to “Please be QUIET!” and dinner is actually a combination of take out from 3 different places to avoid having to fight with anyone over eating anything.
She doesn’t know it, but those pieces that make her feel like a hot mess to the rest of the world are actually the ones that make her seem the most human. Sharing them wouldn’t make us like her any less, in reality – we’d probably love her even more.
I think from time to time we’re all guilty of being a “Facebook Mom”. I know I sure am! We omit the details that are unattractive**, we skip sharing the moments that are hard and we make sure to push forward the ones that are great. If we aren’t careful, Facebook quickly turns into the place we go to compare ourselves to others, a dangerous and destructive habit to say the least.
Life is one big chaotic mess for all of us. Mother, lawyer, garbage man or Queen of England, it doesn’t matter – nothing is ever perfect. It’s supposed to be that way. We learn our greatest lessons in the midst of our mistakes after all.
Life is also a unique beautiful gift that we’ve all been given to live, create and enjoy. The next time you see a perfect post by the “Facebook Mom” smile (and know that it’s all gonna hit the fan sooner or later) and move on. You’re too busy writing your own story to worry about her’s anyway!
**While I believe in being authentic in life, whether in person or online I’m not suggesting we air our dirty laundry either. There’s a BIG difference between letting people know you had Chinese take out for dinner and announcing you & your hubs had WW19 last night. **