E+E Column: Keeping it Real

Our Mothers Day morning contained a great deal of shouting and tears and I’m embarrassed to say not all of it was from the kids. It turns out that a certain young man hadn’t got the memo of societal expectations for the day and was his usual charming sleep deprived grouchy self. So much for a blissful morning with my perfectly behaved children! As I perused my facebook feed later, filled with pictures of gifts, flowers and happy families, I wondered how many of them had also experienced similar less-than-idyllic moments over the course of the day.

Whilst I fully understand the habit of just sharing happy moments, moments that we want to remember, that make us proud, I do wonder if there is an unintentional consequence of people not being ready to be honest about all the (‘scuse my french) shitty moments and a knock on effect of others feeling like they’re not doing something quite right. I am completely guilty of this myself from both sides of the coin. I tend to keep my public persona pretty positive and tend to only share the good times on my blog. My rationale is that I don’t want to remember all the times that I’ve wanted to tear my hair out in 20 years time but I’m not sure whether this excuse really washes. Because then, at the same time, I read people’s posts of tranquil family life, peppered with photos of beautiful pristine smiling children and wonder, what am I doing wrong? Why are my big two constantly grubby and grumpy, why does my house constantly look like a bombsite, even when we’ve been up for just 20 minutes?

Of course, when I’m in a better state of mind I know that I’m not doing anything wrong. This is just life with children. Of course there are heart warming, magical moments but there is also a lot of squabbling, a lot of messiness and a whole lot of the mundane. I’m not saying we should dwell on the negative aspect of things but I do think we shouldn’t completely hide it away either. Maybe by acknowledging this less than rosy side of things, we could make another parent feel a little less alone. Let’s share all aspects of life with each other, let’s support each other in both the bad and the good times, let’s build each other up when the other has had a rubbish day. Let’s keep it real.



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