I have a mom friend who has lovely children and a lovely life. How do I know? Because she reminds me of it constantly on Facebook. She has more than once referred to herself as “supermom” and likes to update her friends and family on how much her children adore and cherish her. These things may all be true about her, but…
I blocked her from my newsfeed.
Mostly because I was tired of opening my Facebook and being reminded how exhausted I was, how cranky I was, and how my kid smacked me in the face that morning. And it isn’t just her. For my work (and I do that sometimes), I often have to read a lot of blogs and there are a few blogs in particular that make me wish that instead of a “Like” button there was a “vomit” button. I’m not trying to be catty (that just comes naturally). But perfection makes me squeamish. I fear it like I fear dark alleys in London, because they never caught Jack the Ripper (ponder that). Although it must be said that ultimately, who cares if someone touts how perfect their life is? That’s the internet, just walk away and quit whining about it. Right?
But social media seems to bring out the best in people, and by best I mean the worst. I don’t want to sound bitter. I accept that some people are more perfect than me; better at birthing 10 children while making a ganache for their chocolate cake that will later go viral on Pinterest, but that’s not me.
The Washington Post recently published an article explaining how Facebook has made us all braggarts. The author notes, “According to yet-to-be-published research at Columbia University, browsing Facebook or another social media site increases our levels of narcissism as well as our self-esteem.”
And it seems parents are some of the worst offenders. Perhaps its insecurity. Perhaps loneliness. Or perhaps it’s a loss of connection from social norms that comes with constantly having to wipe poo all day, but ladies, we’re irritating braggarts. And if you think I’m just a lone naysayer check out Unbaby.me or STFUParents.
I know we all have times of chest-swelling pride and that’s okay. But there is no denying we are all messes, marvelous, poo-wiping messes and instead of hiding it behind a wall of Instagramed pictures of our perfect children and gift-bequeathing husbands, perhaps we should own that mess and the marvel and the yuck that goes along with it.
Oh and by the way, I don’t mean to brag, but I showered today.
I know you are jealous. Now, LIKE IT!
If you want to read a marvelous post about owning your beautiful mess, read this. It’s so lovely, almost too lovely for the internet.