Like most moms, I spend a lot of time on social media. Whether it’s Instragram, Facebook, or Tik Tok, it plays a huge role in how I perceive myself as a mom, as well as other moms around me. One thing that I am growing tired of is the inauthenticity of motherhood.
The highlight reels, the showcases of perfection, the edited and filtered photos. I am over it. This is not only on social media, but in real life too. We, as moms, feel the need to sugarcoat everything, which really isn’t doing anyone any favors.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to share our greatest adventures from a vacation and that one snapshot when both my kids were looking at the camera. But I also share the not-so-perfect moments, too. If my kids make a giant mess or say something inappropriate but I still get a laugh out of it, I share it. Because maybe, someone else might get a laugh out of it too. I do this not only for comedic purposes, but I think other moms need to know that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows over here all the time.
Tips for Being More Authentic in Motherhood
Stop using fanciful language.
This is when you’re describing certain things that have a tendency to be challenging and difficult in order to make them sound more “magical.” For example, describing nursing as your “breastfeeding journey” makes it sound like you took a really long flight instead of dealt with sore nipples and constantly washing pump parts.
You didn’t go on a trip, you fed your baby. I want to know how hard it was to be the only one who could get up with the baby at night. I want to know how your milk production stalled in the beginning. By not sharing the not-so-glamorous parts, it sets up false expectations for other moms.
Show the mess.
We have all taken a photo and then upon inspection, retaken it because the background wasn’t just right, whether it was a laundry basket full of clothes or a messy table full of dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a clean counter more than anything. But I am also a working mom of two small children. They are constantly making messes and leaving trails of clutter in their wake. When I see a mom friend post a photo of an immaculately clean kitchen or a color-coordinated playroom, it makes me feel like I need to get my life together.
Share your fails!
No one deserves a win more than moms. But children are unpredictable and sometimes, you can’t win no matter how hard you try. Whether it is a full-blown temper tantrum in Target or being thrown up on during a four-hour flight, sometimes being a mom is hard. Really hard. Maybe the saying “misery loves company” is especially true during the trying season of mothering small children.
It makes me laugh and also feel like so much less of failure when I hear that other moms are going through the same struggles as me. “Your kid won’t sleep through the night, mine neither! Your kid will only eat brown things? Mine only eats things that are covered in ketchup!” It helps to commiserate with each other and not feel so alone.
While we all want to share our perfect children and our perfect home, keep in mind that someone might benefit from you sharing the not-so-perfect parts. By sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, I have gleaned some really great advice and ideas from moms who have gone through this challenging phase already. You never know what you can learn–or what someone can learn from you, if you are true to yourself and remain authentic in motherhood.