Twice in a matter of hours I saw two different Facebook posts offering two opposite perspectives regarding the trend in social media users painting portraits of perfect lives by only sharing positive stories on their news feeds. Or, more accurately, the new trend in calling them out for it.
One article, the original, was one of those mom bloggers who think they are all the rage for being, arguably, too honest about their inner mom thoughts. They don’t hide a single tantrum from a buttload of strangers, shame the moms that do, and receive a pat on the back for being “refreshingly honest” and “real”, like no one has ever read about a tantrum or a “mom fail” before. Newsflash, it’s a niche, at this point.
It’s cool that people are being honest, and don’t get me wrong– I love a good crabby-mom story. They usually make me laugh. But, what exactly are they designed to do? Promote birth control? I don’t understand why these too-honest rantings of stay at home moms are so encouraged. Especially since, regardless of how witty the mom is, I’m still left with one of two thoughts:
- I’m so glad she’s not my mom.
- Do I really want to have kids? What if they turn out like hers, and turn me into the mom people are thankful isn’t theirs?
Side note: Before anyone jumps off their soapbox and down my throat about how all kids misbehave and blah blah blah… I know all this. I don’t need to be a parent to realize kids act up. Don’t forget, I was one once. I also know moms aren’t bad for disciplining their kids. In fact, I wish they would do more of it, nowadays, as parenting has really taken up residence on the back burner, from my perspective. I also don’t need to have a kid to see that someone else’s kid can be a brat at times. Here’s a secret: they’re kids. They do that.
My frustration is more directed toward the moms who take their kid’s bad day, or crabby mood, or tiredness, or what have you, and turn it into a comedy show for an audience they’ll never meet. Which, whatever. To each her own. If you want to exploit your kids bad behavior for comments and likes and readers, be my guest. It’s not my kids that are going to be embarrassed down the road.
Just because a mom didn’t post a picture of her kid making a hot mess of her freshly cleaned kitchen, or deciding that eating dirt was a good idea right after a bath, doesn’t mean that she’s not posting real life. Maybe she had a crappy day, and instead of airing the dirty laundry to please her friends, readers, followers, etc. she posts what could have been the one good thing that did happen that day. Like flying a kite at the park, or going for a walk after lunch. That’s called being a positive individual, not being a phony.
Here’s my non-parental-so-it-must-be-wrong opinion. Maybe if we focus more on when the kids are being good, they’ll behave more often, rather than taking pictures of them being bad, and positively reinforcing their negative behavior because your readers “OMG LOL” at your undeniably exaggerated story of how little Tommy knocked over a bowl of cereal last Thursday.
I’m well aware that there are moms who feel the need to post incessantly about how perfect their lives allegedly are. I’ve seen their blogs, their Facebooks, Instagrams.. And frankly, they’re lost on me, because I’m not an idiot, and not even Kate Middleton lives that sugary sweet and perfect 24/7. But it’s unfair to group all moms in with that particular flavor of phony baloney. Because the opposite end of the spectrum exists too, you know. Don’t think for a second there aren’t moms who over-exaggerate a negative situation for an audience, as well. They’re just easier to believe, because, gasp, if they are airing the negatives, then, it must be true, right?