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Parenting: The Fantasy vs. The Reality

If you are a mom or dad and have spent any amount of time on social media, odds are you may have walked away from your computer feeling like a totally crappy parent.

Seeing all the idyllic photos your friends post of their day-to-day lives with their little ones (early evening family strolls, afternoon gelato dates and well thought-out sensory table play…) can be enough to make any parent feel like a failure. You may wonder, “Why do all these other parents have it together, while I feel like I’m ready to snap?”

Well, the answer is: your friends don’t have it all together. They go on Facebook and feel like totally crappy parents sometimes too. They’re only posting the photos of little Emerson smiling sweetly on a picnic blanket in the park, but what you’re not seeing are the photos of little Emerson having a diaper explosion all over that same picnic blanket 20 minutes later.

Social media has given us a distorted view of what parenting really looks like. We are only seeing the good parts of people’s lives, not the low moments.

We’ve built up this sort of parenting fantasy in our minds, but today I wanted to give you a dose of the reality behind those sweet photos your seeing in your Instagram feed from my own Instagram photos

 

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  • Fantasy: Awwww! A sweet sleeping baby 1 of 9
    Fantasy: Awwww! A sweet sleeping baby
    Reality: Said "sweet, sleeping baby" spent the past 45 minutes crying and finally got so tired she conked out.
  • Fantasy: Fun! Meal time with baby! 2 of 9
    Fantasy: Fun! Meal time with baby!
    Reality: She threw this dish of food on the ground approximately 38 seconds after the photo was taken.
  • Fantasy: A magical mommy daughter lunch date 3 of 9
    Fantasy: A magical mommy daughter lunch date
    Reality: This was right before she spilled a gigantic glass of ice water all over my pants.
  • Fantasy: Adorable baby snuggles 4 of 9
    Fantasy: Adorable baby snuggles
    Reality: She was really only letting me snuggle her because she was intently staring at our dog out the window behind me.
  • Fantasy: Post bath time giggles 5 of 9
    Fantasy: Post bath time giggles
    Reality: Immediately after I snapped this photo she peed through this towel and down my leg.
  • Fantasy: An idyllic family day at the beach 6 of 9
    Fantasy: An idyllic family day at the beach
    Reality: I got a sunburn on my neck and Fern was a fussy grump all day long.
  • Fantasy: A lovely little impish baby full of personality 7 of 9
    Fantasy: A lovely little impish baby full of personality
    Reality: She had two diaper explosions while we were out running errands and I ran out of extra clothes.
  • Fantasy: A mother daughter moment while reading a book 8 of 9
    Fantasy: A mother daughter moment while reading a book
    Reality: Most of our "reading time" was actually spent with Fern pulling the books out of my hands to put them into her mouth.
  • Fantasy: Baby’s are so cute when sleep! 9 of 9
    Fantasy: Baby's are so cute when sleep!
    Reality: This was a makeshift bed on the floor so I could lay down by Fern after she refused to sleep and had already woken up three times in the previous six hours.

More from Lauren…

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

MORE ON BABBLE:

25 things NOT to do with your baby
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10 things you should NEVER say to a mom
17 bizarrely fascinating 19th-century baby portraits
15 weirdest, creepiest dolls… EVER 

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