Facebook and Instagram make our lives and our parenting look pretty. They’re edited snipits of what we choose to share. But let’s be honest: parenting and life aren’t always picture-perfect.
That’s why I thought it important to share this post from a postpartum mom, Claire Bidwell Smith, about the disconnect between her Instagram photos and her minute-to-minute real-life experience of parenting. I’m guessing this might sound familiar to more than a few of us. (Thanks to my friend Melissa for passing along.)
Photo by Alisa Blackwood
I capture little moments of my life and post them on Instagram… They are sweet, colorful and poignant pictures, snapped carelessly sometimes and yet with intent.
But they don’t tell the whole story…
Most of the time I feel frazzled, depressed and coiled tight with anxiety. Being a mother is hard. Being a wife is hard. Being a writer is hard. Living in California is hard. I worry about the future a lot. I worry about the present. I worry that I’m not being present.
And maybe that’s where the photos come in. I spend so much time feeling like things aren’t good enough that when they are, I take a picture, desperate to hold onto that moment for just a little longer.
It’s worth heading over to Bidwell Smith’s essay to read her full post.
The early postpartum period, while filled with moments of heart-bursting cuteness (or snapping off pictures of it), may also be filled with anxiety, depression or feelings of being just plain overwhelmed. Like Bidwell Smith writes, this mamahood thing — especially the intensity of the newborn stage — is made up of moments both beautiful and challenging. We do what we can to get by.
If the camera helps us notice the best of moments, so be it. Kudos to Bidwell Smith for sharing so openly what is too difficult for many of us to say aloud. Mamas, how do you absorb the beautiful moments?
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma