Dear Instagram Mom…

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Dear Instagram Mom,

Your pictures stop me in my tracks scroll. Something I have been doing a lot of given current events. Mindless distractions temper the anxiety of the world.

How did you get up and put on the perfect amount of make-up? You are wearing the cutest outfit I’ve ever seen, and you made your kids the most perfectly shaped Mickey Mouse pancakes. Please, tell me your secrets. Even if I were Hermione Granger, I wouldn’t be able to wave a wand to make my pictures look as perfect as yours.

The color-coded schedules you made for work and homeschooling look flawless. For those of us having a hard time finding time to brush our teeth, please shed some light on how you make a pandemic look easy.

Your’re Like, Really Pretty

Selfie

Dear Instagram Mom,

How do you get your hair to curl that way? Perfectly smooth, in voluminous bouncy curls, that wrap around your shoulders effortlessly. I see no fly a-ways, no split ends, no grey hairs, and no roots. No food, no spit up. Your top knots are on point; you probably look super cute in a hat, too.

Since the pandemic started, and if we are being honest, even before then, dry shampoo and sweats are the way of life in this household. I’ll let you in on a little secret, too: Hanes men’s t-shirts come in a pack of five for like, three dollars. It is ridiculous, and oh so comfy, with the added perk of acting as a great burp cloth.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Dear Instagram Mom,

Are you a part-time photographer? Your photos are the perfect amount of brightness, balance, and shadows. Do you pay for photo editing apps, or do you have a professional photographer follow you around your house from time to time to capture those perfectly candid photos that should be printed in magazines around the world?

How did you get your family to casually interact so lovingly? The dog is even sitting like a scholar. If I had a pet rock, it wouldn’t sit as perfectly. When did you find the time during working and homeschooling to do this, and how do none of you look exhausted from merely living?

Let Me Level With You

Dear Instagram Mom,

I want those photos. I have TRIED to get those photos. The candids, the staged, the perfection. I can’t capture it the way you do and it makes me jealous. Don’t get me started on how your house is perfectly clean and white. It makes no sense.

Many of us are fighting to keep our heads above water. There is no way we are capturing wholesome images that silently communicate calm and order. I just want to know, how do you do it? For every piece of your life that you share, I admire it and think of how I can improve mine. We have this unfortunate luxury of letting our minds wander and social media has this incredible ability to make us yearn for what we don’t have. This is never more evident than when we are forced to retreat into our homes during overwhelming times when social media becomes our window to the outside.

I don’t need make-up or cute clothes; my family pictures may never have everyone interacting cohesively. I certainly do not have a daily schedule down by any means, and we are all seriously struggling.

Thank you for sharing your life. While I love your pictures with a pang of jealousy, it reminds me how grateful I am for all the perfect moments that make my life sweet—ones that I’ll never be able to capture in a photograph on Instagram.

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