Don’t Let Mess Ruin the Magic
We’re all guilty of it (and if you’re not, maybe keep scrolling and keep that to yourself). Taking a photo of our kids, our house, our perfect Christmas tree – and cropping out the basket of laundry, the spilled juice on the table, or the ornaments your toddler has already pulled off and dropped on the floor.
Now there’s no shame in not wanting to share your mess with the world – we get it. Social media can be intimidating AND ruthless, filled with grid after grid of pristine, white kitchens with crumb-free counters, and perfectly placed holiday decor that would make Martha Stuart grin ear to ear. And if you dare to share your clutter, your mess, your hairs out of place, rest assured that some imperfect jerk hiding behind a keyboard will probably point it out.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other snap-a-whatever app are great tools, connecting us with friends, family, and news in the world that we might otherwise miss, but not without a few negatives. Online and influencer culture has slyly enforced this unspoken pressure for everyone, especially moms, to look a certain way, with a model, minimalistic home, stylishly dressed kids, and no mess NO WHERE. We almost carry a feeling of guilt inside (myself included!) that this level of perfection is not only easily attainable, but expected, and if we can’t reach it – we’re failing at motherhood.
This. Is. False.
It’s become painfully too easy to think “My house will never look like that, I will never lose the baby weight like they did, my kids will never sit still like that, I can’t post this imperfect photo”. I’m going to let you in on a little secret – yes, you can. You can post whatever you want. Social media doesn’t have to be curated or perfect – neither does your home or your life. And waiting for things to look just right before breaking out the camera may lead to missing out on some really great little messy moments of magic in between the perfect ones.
Obviously every family is different, with their own set of experiences, circumstances, and daily battles – and there’s no way to know who’s dealing with what unless they *want* you to know. But I want to make something super clear – there’s a difference between not wanting to post a photo that isn’t share-worthy with the right angle, filter, background, etc… and not taking the photo at all.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let unrealistic expectations keep you from taking the photo, enjoying the moment, or acknowledging the gifts you have right in front of you.
Not having a photo-ready home doesn’t make your photos in your home any less special. Not having an Instagram-worthy kitchen doesn’t make the Christmas cookies you bake with your kids any less delicious. Not looking immaculately made-up, “bounced back” (insert eye roll here), or prepared for a shoot doesn’t make you any less beautiful. And not having perfect photos to post doesn’t make you any less the perfect mom for YOUR babies.
I know it’s cliche, but one day you *will* scroll through your Facebook memories, your phone camera roll, maybe flip through a photo album if you’re the super on-it kind of mom (I am not, haha), and you will notice something’s missing. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s your perfectly imperfect tree. Maybe it’s your kid who only wanted to take photos with their tongue stuck up their nose. And you probably won’t remember the sweet moments you didn’t take pictures of for fear of someone else’s (or your own) pointless judgment.
You don’t have to post everything or anything at all. Just say cheese. Lean in. Take the picture anyway. And to all the partners, friends, and family reading this – take mom’s freaking photo! Don’t ask – just do it. She’ll thank you later.