Motherhood is one helluva ride. With more twists and turns than a bowl of spaghetti, it’s full of excitement, wonder, unconditional love and – if we’re frank here – energy-sucking moments.
While the less glamorous vignettes don’t always make it onto social media, boy, it’s good when they do! After all, we’re all in this parenting gig together, and for every bright and sparkly family portrait on Instagram, there are squillions of tired mums trying to keep it all together in the real world.
So a big thanks goes to Much Most Darling blogger and mum of two, Shannon Peterson, who is reminding us that social media life and real life aren’t the same thing!
With a four-month-old at her breast, a fit ball under her tush and a three-year-old just out of the frame, Shannon has shared an honest Instagram and blog post, showing that motherhood isn’t all pretty photos and perfect moments.
She says, “The other day I spent THREE HOURS like this, people. Over 180 minutes. More than ten thousand eight hundred seconds. Bouncing side to side and back and forth, in a very particular pattern” – unshowered, un-fed and on “the brink of tears … The truth is, this is who I am most days.”
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Just in case you thought my real life was anything like these tiny squares, I give you: this is 4 months. J has been an incredibly easy baby, from labor to delivery to him being *here*. But 4 months happened and his needs have grown tenfold. The other day I spent THREE HOURS like this, people. J had to be swaddled, on his back, in my arms. While I was bouncing on my giant exercise ball (never once used for it's intended purpose). With my boob perfectly resting in just the right spot on his chin. Our house was (is) a mess, my breakfast (lactation smoothie) sitting abandoned behind me, dirty hair and desperately in need of a shower (and 5 minutes without someone touching me) – and at the brink of tears. I mean, I was too lazy to even take the sticker from our movers off the stability ball 🙈 and I'm pretty sure you can see the remnants of my snowflake crafting on the carpet next to the couch I forgot to clean up. The truth is, this is who I am most days. Not a put together human who has her act together. Not a mom who can juggle working from home, kids, etc. I'm just a crazy person trying to maintain some semblance of calm while attempting to figure it all out. Counting down the hours until bedtime and the kids are asleep, and then that first delicious sip of Gin & Tonics or wine. And you better believe I VSCO and heavily edited the you-know-what out of this picture to make it look light and airy and "fit my feed". Because I'm stuck on the couch under a 4 month old cluster feeding little dude who won't have anything to do with anyone but me. – Here's to YOU mama, holding it together even when it gets rough. And even if you're not, you're still a part of this club of crazy. Anyone else having a really rough week? – – – – #beautifulbfing #breastfeeding #breastfeedwithoutfear #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #fedisbest #darlingmovement #our_everyday_moments #bfing #breastfeedingisbeautiful #mommyandme #momlife #mommylife #noshame #normalizebreastfeeding #rainbowbaby #happymom #mamabear #theDulcetLife #boymom #feelthefeelings #joyfulmamas #liveauthentic #motherhoodunplugged #mybeautifulmess #ourcandidlife #ohheymama #thehappynow #momofboys #honestmotherhood
The whole truth
This post is so refreshing in its honesty. Shannon says that in the past she’s tried to “focus on the good” moments in her social media feed, she’s realised that, “it’s really important to address the not so great stuff so that people know it’s normal.”
The mum tells The Huffington Post that she has been dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety recently, and wanted to show a more accurate picture of what it’s like to be a parent.
“Scrolling through my feed is hard ― seeing all these beautiful mums with their hair and makeup done every day, perfectly put together left me wondering why I couldn’t be that,” she explains. “Why my pre-pregnancy jeans are still too snug, why my living rooms aren’t perfectly styled and pristine, why I don’t always feel the ‘motherhood is beautiful’ words that are shared. I have been feeling so uninspired and, quite frankly, pretty emotional about not measuring up.”
It turns out that Shannon isn’t the only one feeling a bit ‘normal’ in comparison to social media.
At the end of the post, she gives a nod to all mums, saying, “Here’s to YOU mama, holding it together even when it gets rough. And even if you’re not, you’re still a part of this club of crazy. Because nothing is ever as perfect as we sometimes portray on Instagram, but it’s refreshing to let the ‘real’ out every once in a while. Anyone else having a really rough week?”
Yes, Shannon, the answer is, “yes.”
Since her ‘authentic’ post went up, Shannon says, “So many women shared that they were in the same position and feeling lonely and defeated, just like I was and am … and it just felt good to connect on such a huge level with so many other parents across the board.”
Shannon now vows to show more of real life moments to the world, starting with this pic where she’s breastfeeding, pumping and making her three-year-old feel included – all at the same time.
You’re awesome, Shannon, and so, dear reader, are you!
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I want to cover you all in rainbows and hugs ❤️ thank you so much for all the love from my last post! 4 months is a wicked beast and not for the weak, and I've been overwhelmed with it all and trying to keep up appearances. I am glad it resonated so much with you all and that you appreciated seeing the more authentic side of things. So on that note, I'm going to make a huge effort to show off more of our real life. Including what it looks like when this mama is trying to start getting her body used to the pump again, but baby needs / wants to nurse and brother doesn't want to be left out of any part 😳. My husband and I are going away for a few days for our anniversary coming up, and I've been putting off pumping because trying to find a time when J is NOT nursing is basically impossible. @bravadodesigns just released this crazy amazing "clip & pump" nursing bra attachment and I'm over here like 🎉🎉🎉 because now I can pump and nurse simultaneously without having to hold the pump to my breast – what whaaaattt?! The black portion you can see just clips right onto my body silk seamless bra (so I don't have to remove it 🙌🏻) then I slide the pump flanges in (no need to remove the shields from the bottle!) and hit start! It's kinda sorta really incredible, and almost makes me hate pumping a little less 😉 – Who else pumps? Is there anything you've found that helps you get the best output? Or that makes it more comfortable? Tell me all your tips! – AD – – – – #easypumping #seamlesscomfort #beautifulbfing #breastfeeding #breastfeedwithoutfear #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #fedisbest #darlingmovement #our_everyday_moments #bfing #breastfeedingisbeautiful #momlife #mommylife #normalizebreastfeeding #rainbowbaby #happymom #mamabear #theDulcetLife #feelthefeelings #joyfulmamas #liveauthentic #motherhoodunplugged #mybeautifulmess #ourcandidlife #ohheymama #thehappynow #momofboys #honestmotherhood #pumpingmom
And if Shannon does find a sec to think about cleaning her house (not to be confused with actually cleaning her house), then she’ll love these cleaning hacks for busy mums.