Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Facebook Facade

Here is my biggest problem with the Facebook social networking boom that has occurred in the past 5 years. 


I have dozens of friends that I keep close tabs on who have oodles of gorgeous children.  I see thousands of photos each year.  You know what they have in common?

They are all cute, happy, smiling, and perfect.

I know that these children are not cute, happy, smiling, and perfect 100% of the time.  Or, let's be honest, even 80% of the time.  We are all lying liars who lie.  Facebook is not real life.  Facebook is a gigantic advertisement for the life we all want to present.  Our "family brand" if you will.  And this inundation of our kids in matching polo shirts frolicking on the beach with big smiles on their faces is making me insecure.

Well, not completely.  I'm exaggerating as usual.  But after the week I've had it does make me question my mothering abilities.

Toddlers can be assholes.  There, I said it.  I love my daughter but  As she approaches three I feel like I am dealing with a 13 year old who just lost her iPhone.  Only instead of fighting over homework and boys we are fighting over naps and poop.  Sounds idyllic and amazing, right?  As I write this my daughter is screaming bloody murder because I am trying to get her to rest so that we can go out as a family tonight and not burn the restaurant down. 

I am guilty of the Facebook facade too.  Take this past Easter for example.

The pic I would probably post on Facebook:

Cute hubby - check!  Cute kids relatively happy - check! Obligatory excessive Easter bow - check!

The picture that would probably represent the reality of an early morning, too much sugar, no nap, and a long mass:

Mouth covered in peeps -check! Hands covered in chocolate - check!  Eggs strewn around - check!

Kate and I have had a rough couple of weeks.  She is going through some major transitions and learning new things and it has made our routine rocky.  I am looking to find people who have something in common with me, who can empathize, and who will actually look me and say "yep, my toddler can be a real pain in the ass".  Instead, I escape into Facebook and see this:

Mmmmmm... Cake. 

So to all my 30-something friends who do not have kids yet.  Or even to my mommy friends who often feel insecure during this era of social media attention whoring.  Facebook isn't reality.  The people who create the stuff on Pinterest are covered in glue and paint when they are done.  Those cute cherubs you see in their sweet Halloween costumes and who get straight As and just performed in their ballet recital?  They probably threw an epic tantrum getting into that costume or those ballet tights.  And that is OKAY.  That is NORMAL.  That is what makes the other side of parenting, the sweet part of parenting, all the better.


Angie said...

You nailed it, toddlers are assholes. My daughter just turned two and she has become so obnoxious lately. Some days I feel like pulling out my hair in frustration. Although, I am guilty of only posting the happy pictures of her on Facebook.

I hope the phase your daughter is going through passes quickly.

Michele @ Moonfield Lane said...

Hilarious and so true. We used to call our second son an asshole (behind his back) all the time when he was 3. Truth be told, things haven't really changed much now that he's 4! Love the "covered in peeps and chocolate" tantrum picture!

60 toes said...

I appreciate your post and couldn't agree more with the false representation. You are not alone. I am having some issues with my ten year old right now and my fifteen year old who is a pretty easy child at the moment had some ROUGH months/years as a toddler. Hang in there and if you ever want to share some "reality" I would love to dish. :)

SweeT said...

Love this post- you are so right!

The Whitefields said...

Couldn't agree more about Facebook. I seem to always log off feeling a bit...deflated. Don't get me wrong, I love looking at pictures of friends who live far away, its the constant bragging and mindless posts (50 times a day) of other people that really turn me off. As much as Facebook is a success, I really see it going the way of MySpace in years to come.

Sarah Kuehnlenz said...

I'm so glad you posted this... it's exactly how I feel lately. I don't mind the 'fakeness' of Facebook though.. it allows me to look at my own branding and realize we do have good times.

My toddler is being an asshole too lately so it's needed. Good luck with Kate, I've created a routine now with wine and bubble baths after we finally wrestle the demons to bed.

Victoria said...

This was hilarious... real Laugh Out Loud material, because it's all so true! I am a mother to 3 teenagers now, and that has it's own story to tell, but I remember several times questioning my "parenting abilities" when my kids head started spinning and mouths spewing anger at me. I will be sharing this on all my media channels... the truth needs to be heard! Great Post.

Anonymous said...

Very Funny, I am in my 30's...Love the social media aspect. But I do see tons of smiling kids on Facebook and you may be onto something. LOL. But as a doggie owner I have to share my recent story...I went over my friends house who is also a doggie owner and both of us are childless at the moment. So our "children" are our dogs. Well my dog decided to mark his territory on her door. She was so grateful to that incident because her dog was acting crazy and it just "normalized" the situation for her. That no my dog is not perfect. LOL. Great post!

Katherine said...

Oh, I find that the funniest pictures to post are the ones of Little acting like a complete turd. I do realize that I am one of the few who post pictures of my child screaming and crying and covered in whatever he just made a mess out of on the living room carpet, but I'll keep on posting them as long as he keeps on being a total pita. And yes, I will embarrass him years from now by showing those photos to all his girlfriends. I wish more parents would do the same - I'd rather get a good laugh out of a photo of your child making his mean face then look at the 158th shot of him with his halo shining bright.

MyInnerCheerleader said...

Hilarious! This really made me giggle.

Anonymous said...

My children can be real pains in the ass as well! But I love those little pains in the them dearly :)

Aa's Mom said...

Hi! I'm a new reader and I absolutely love this post!! I have an 8 year old and a 4 year old, both boys and both willing to make me tear my hair out every day! I agree with you about the Facebook facade; it's like we suddenly get the chance to be divas, which means our entire life is in the spotlight (or so we think!), we *have to* put our best face forward! So not reality, people!

Unknown said...

I just came across this...hilarious, true, honest and I love it! Thanks for keeping it real

Amy said...

So true! Thanks for having the balls to re-affirm what we all really know is happening behind those precious staged photos. :)

Julia P F said...

WITNESS. If I read one more post about how great of an eater someone's toddler is. I AM TAKING HOSTAGES. also three might kill me... Terrible twos my ass. It's terrible threes

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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