Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writing with Rose Colored Glasses

There seems to be a new trend for articles to criticize moms for using blogs and social networks to create a false, overly positive, inflated picture of their family life (if you need evidence, just google "Moms use Facebook to brag"). While I have certainly been on the "I wish I had it all together like she seems to" end of things, I've noticed that I also emphasize the positive moments from our month in my writing. 

Things are not sunshine and rainbows all the time here. There are days I hand Caleb over to David the minute he gets home and go lay down for half an hour because I'm so exhausted, touched-out and ready for a break. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I'm selfish. Sometimes I'm lazy.

So why don't I write about that? Sometimes I do. But, for me, those times are not a defining moment in our week, month or even the day. I feel like those difficulties should be assumed in motherhood, and that it's not necessary to use ink to dwell on them in every single post. The people I see on a day-to-day basis are certainly well-versed in stories of me falling down and getting back up again in this parenting journey.

It makes me sad to think that by choosing not to write detailed descriptions of those hard moments, I might make another mom feel less-than. I try to only write about what I want to remember 20 years from now; about things that build up my joy in motherhood. Not surprisingly, this doesn't include the time I yelled at my toddler to JUST. WALK. UP. THE. STAIRS.

So please, can I make an appeal? Give the mom friends in your life the benefit of the doubt. Assume their job is hard, that they do fail, and give them the freedom to rejoice over the beautiful moments without accusing them of deliberately trying to present a false impression of themselves or their children.

My sad boy woke up too early from his nap. I want him to watch TV so I can keep resting. He is not impressed with my suggestion.


MichelleG said...

Well said yet again. Hugs my friend.

Kathleen said...

You're right - we all want to write/post/tweet about our best while trying to forget those hard times. I've definitely fallen into the guilt trap by reading the "seemingly perfect" lives of others. Great reflection, Sarah!

Sarah_Joy said...

Thanks you two : ) And Kathleen, I don't think anyone is immune to those feelings! I struggle most to celebrate the (rapid) speech development of my friend's kids, but I AM happy for them and I will celebrate. I'm so glad they do the same for me in areas that might be difficult for them.

Two good friends who were not able to nurse their babies genuinely comforting me as I bawled over potentially having to wean my two year old come to mind...(I ended up finding out the medicine I was taking was safe from a Lactation consultant...I should remember not try cry before I call her ; )

It just makes me sad when I see bloggers and news articles that fan the flames of jealousy and comparison, painting every joyous exclaimation in the most negative light.