About this photo: “It was Thanksgiving Day, and I had strategically waited to dress my two toddlers until right before we were planning to walk out the door… you know, so they’d appear kempt and stain-free when we arrived at our dinner party. Since they never seem to look this way at the same time often, all I wanted was one nice picture of them smiling side by side. This is what I got. Sometimes you just have to laugh and let go!” —Ashley Johnson, managing editor at Grit and Grace Life
A #filterless Motherhood
If you’re a mother, you may have found yourself perplexed scrolling through Instagram. It seems like most social media mommies are constantly sharing adorable family photos, in which they’ve managed to look put-together—hair and makeup included—and assemble their smiling babies in front of the camera, dressed in the latest kids’ fashion. Not to mention, the sliver of their kitchen that you can see in the background is spotless.
“Did those kids not put up a fight at all during this shoot?” you might be wondering. “Were they actually excited to do it? And how does she keep her kitchen that clean with three little ones milling about all day? I could never!”
Before you get to thinking that your kids are defective (they’re not), realize that this is literally and figuratively a snapshot of that mom’s life. You can’t see the countless attempts she put into previous photoshoots, or the half hour she took stashing kitchen gadgets away and wiping the counters clean before the camera shutter clicked. What we see on social media is not the whole story. Motherhood is messy, and it seems that most days as mothers are less than perfect. Sometimes every little thing goes wrong. But what stays constant is your resiliency in making sure your kids are happy and healthy. The messy kitchen was the means of preparing a nutritious meal for your babies to learn and grow. The failed photo op was a well-intended way to capture a precious moment in time. No aspect of motherhood is perfect; your expectations of it shouldn’t be, either.