In this age of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and a million photo apps with fun filters, many of us are trying to make each picture… perfect. I am always trying to make my pictures look better. Who doesn’t want to look their best and share how adorable their kids are with the world? Guilty as charged right here!
This comes at the price of searching social media and allowing jealousy to sneak in.
I get caught looking at everyone else’s perfect pictures of their seemingly perfect weekends.
You maybe clicked on this link because you thought I was going to give you tips on how to take better photos. Sorry, I have no expertise on the matter. If you scroll through my Facebook and Instagram pages you won’t find creative filters or even many clear pictures of my family.
Today I am here to empathize with you, the mom whose family isn’t picture perfect.
The mom who wants to be a mom but struggles with infertility or hasn’t met the right person to have a child with.
The mom who is raising her baby alone because of a causal encounter or boyfriend abandoned his responsibility as a parent.
The mom who is staying in an abusive relationship because she doesn’t know how to safely leave and is afraid.
The mom who is splitting custody and raising her children every other weekend and four days a week.
The mom who is a step-mom and loves her step-children as her own but has a complicated relationship with their mom.
The mom who lost her child from miscarriage, stillbirth, an accident, or cancer.
The mom whose partner is in the military and deployed. The mom whose partner is a police officer, firefighter, or EMT working all hours and putting their lives at risk when they go to work. These families celebrating another holiday or milestone with their loved one away, while their partner is serving and protecting others at the price of their life.
The mom whose partner works second shift and only sees them two days a week.
The mom whose partner died from suicide or an accident.
The mom whose partner has a chronic health condition, going in and out of the hospital.
The mom who lost her partner to cancer.
The mom who is living and working through (insert your stressful or traumatic life event), making her feel less than perfect.
The mom trying to make each picture perfect now because you truly know how precious each memory being made is.
I empathize with you because I am one of you. My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer when our oldest son was two years old and our pregnancy was 18 weeks along. He died when our sons were three years and seven months old.
Most of us fall into one of these categories. The desire to feel picture perfect is normal, but we don’t have to let it affect us. Social media is a great way to share updates with family and friends across the country. It’s also blasting us in the face with all the fun everyone else appears to be having.
Fellow moms, if you feel this way please know you are not alone. You are not alone in feeling jealous from time to time of what everyone else appears to have. Let’s not allow jealousy or feeling incomplete to win though because we are survivors.
We know first hand the hurt and pain that can accompany motherhood. We understand and appreciate when we are feeling truly happy. We cry hard but we also laugh harder than anyone else.
We know the hard work it takes to parent given any one of these obstacles. There are additional stressors in our life. Many of us don’t have a parenting partner available (for any given reason) to fall back on when we are sick, stressed, and need a break.
Friends, you are not alone. Please know you are never, ever alone. Social media can make us all feel “less than” from time to time, but is also a wonderful resource for online groups offering support.
I have been part of groups for cloth diapering, new moms, stay at home moms, and the many groups organized by Twin City Moms Blog. Groups for young cancer wives, colon cancer and appendix cancer patients, and young widows. The groups social media connects me to help support me and feel less isolated.
They help me let go of the unrealistic notion there is a “picture perfect.”
No family is untouched from a stressful life event. Sometimes it is just a filter on a phone app that helps paint a different picture to the world. You are not alone, none of us are alone.
What type of support do you seek from social media and Facebook groups?