I love Pinterest and Instagram and probably spend way too long browsing and scrolling throughout the day. I find inspiration from both and they can be so useful for finding ideas for craft activities or recipes. I am thankful for the inspiration they give me to be a better Mum, to do more interesting things with Darcie and to feed her new and exciting recipes.
But some days I find myself staring blankly at my phone, feeling quite frankly depressed and uninspired. I see pictures of nurseries that are literally perfect, that have probably taken weeks to get just right and more money than I would ever dream of spending on our rented property. Then I look around at Darcie’s room, which I love, it has been lovingly (kind of, he does hate painting!) painted by Dan, and filled with all of her favourite things that myself and Dan have chosen for her or that we have been given by our family and friends. I love this room, but when I compare it to the ones I see on Pinterest I feel that it is not good enough, she deserves more and better and why haven’t I given it to her? But Darcie doesn’t care, she has her toys to play with, her bed to sleep in and parents that love her (I don’t even think she cares about that to be honest!). So why do we feel this constant pressure from social media to be ‘picture perfect’?
These houses and rooms we see online are not lived in, they have been primped and perfected for a photo. They are created as inspiration and something to aspire to. I see pictures of Mums and Daughters in matching outfits, the Mum is wearing heels and has perfect hair and the daughter is smiling in her fluffy tutu. It’s hard to remember sometimes that that is a posed photo, who knows how many takes it took for the daughter to stay still, look in the right direction and smile on cue. The exquisite dresses and tutus that I would love for Darcie to wear every day just aren’t practical for a baby that has just learnt to crawl and wants to go off and explore not be held back by a load of fabric.
Just because someone has written a list of 50 things to do to entertain a 6 month old doesn’t mean that they spend all day every day doing those things. Even they have days when they lack the energy or motivation to do sensory play or read That’s Not My Hedgehog a hundred times with any kind of enthusiasm. We see the best of people online, which is great, I’d rather see that than constant moaning and complaining. But it’s important to remember that we are seeing the highlights, not the whole picture. And the way you are feeling looking at their pictures is the way that they are feeling looking at somebody else’s, and there are almost certainly people looking at yours the same way as well
There’s nothing wrong with not being Pinterest perfect or to not have a flawless Instagram feed. It’s great to have these things to give us ideas and tips that we never would have thought of otherwise but the moment it starts bringing us down is the time to put down the phone, turn off the computer and life in the real world for a bit. Focus on the things that are important, have a cup of tea, play with your children and take some of the pressure off. Being a parent is hard enough without comparing ourselves to perfection all the time.