The InstaMammy Reality

I like social media.
I like how it allows me to stay in touch with people.
I like how it helps me to connect with old friends.
I love how it allows my family members who are scattered like glitter across the planet, to see what’s happening at home.
I love how it lets me see my niece’s little face and how she knows who I am even though they live abroad.
I love how one comment or image can spark conversations that are both heated and entertaining; sometimes even intelligent!
I like to see photographs of the people I like, smiling and happy.
I enjoy it and I get it I suppose.

As a Mummy, it provides some escapism. When the kids are asleep or you find yourself with 5 minutes to sit with a cuppa, there’s something nice about hitting the little blue F  and seeing what’s happening in the real world.

You know? That place where exciting things happen? Where Peppa Pig isn’t in charge and where people live wonderful lives?

Where everyone has terrifyingly precise, painted eyebrows and sparkly white teeth and where people look naturally happy, all of the time?

You get to look into the lives of your “friends”: see their exciting nights out, admire their fabulous clothes, wonder where they get the time or money to visit that salon again.

We see happy families, smiling for the selfie.
We see who’s at the gym, who’s out for dinner and who’s heading away on holiday.

phone2

And while there is no harm in this really,  the key is to know that what you’re looking at is not reality.
It’s virtual.
It’s fabricated.
It’s lies.

No one’s life is perfect all of the time.  We know that, but let’s face it…who is going to voluntarily put a shitty photograph of themselves up for the world to see?

The natural selfies are probably one of 23 shots.

There are magical filters that apparently beautify! (Note to self…find out more about these.)

The reality is that regardless of how careful you are, if you look through your list of friends, you’ll possibly come across at least 2 people about whom you have to ask yourself “who is this?”

And while it keeps us connected, a huge issue for many new mums, is the isolation caused by social media.

Yes, we can see what’s happening and stay up to date with our friends.  We post photographs and status updates about our children and about our lives, to let our friends and families see how cute they are and how entertaining life is with kids.

But when this means that our friends feel that they don’t need to visit, or meet for coffee, or pick up the phone, then… we have a problem.

When seeing everyone else having fun, makes you feel boring and frumpy in your busy, unglamorous world of feeds and nappy changes, then…we have a problem.

When you know the story before someone tells you it, then…we have a problem.

When someone you haven’t spoken to in 2 years only realises that you’re no longer friends when you finally unfriend them on social media, then…we have a problem.

When every conversation  you have includes the line “Yeah, I saw that,” then…we have a problem.

And it’s our own fault.  We see it all on social media so we no longer feel the same need to ring someone up to ask how they’re doing.
After all, we know they’ve been to dinner this week, had the dog to the beach and that the baby has been puking.
We read it on Facebook.

We no longer consider a coffee date important as we know what’s going on with them.
We read it on Facebook.

But of course, Facebook doesn’t give you the same satisfaction that you get from good conversation over a cuppa.
Facebook doesn’t give you a hug before you go back to the whirlwind of your life.
Facebook might help you feel connected to the world outside your home, but only for a second, and only until it doesn’t.

Last week, I met a good friend for dinner.

She’s not on Facebook.

image

It was refreshing. She was interested in my stories, in how I was, in how the girls were doing… she hasn’t seen it on Facebook. I was delighted to hear about what she’s been up to since Christmas. It was real conversation and it was lovely. We actually had so much to catch up on.  There were no lies about how perfect life is.  It’s difficult to lie to someone’s face.

We were able to talk about the difficulties we have with our respective Mini-Mes. We laughed at things we remembered from our nights out BC. Stories were interesting because they hadn’t already been told or seen. It was good, old fashioned catch up and it made me feel fuzzy and loved and ridiculously real again.

So while this isolation I speak of obviously doesn’t just apply to mums, that’s the angle I’m seeing it from.  I’m lucky that I have a wonderful family and some very good friends, but sometimes, just sometimes, being a mummy in the presence of two fabulously fun princesses 24 hours a day, can be a lonely place.

And while social media is fantastic and helps us stay in touch, it isn’t real.

So if you know someone; a mummy or daddy, or friend or cousin, who you have to really think about the last time you actually spoke to them, do you and them a favour.

Pick up the phone and say hi.
Or call to visit and actually hold the baby, while she makes you a coffee.

Rather than sharing sentimental quotations or memories on our friends’ pages, we really need to try to make more of our reality… not our virtual reality.

So there you go.
Social media is fabulous.  I get it.  I enjoy it.
But sometimes, it just isn’t enough.
And that’s the truth.

 

image

I am Seasons Fecking Greetings Mum

“Hello my two minions. How are we at 5.30pm on this Friday evening after a full week of school and routine and mayhem? Shall we go to town and watch the Christmas lights being switched on? It is after all the season of glitter and Santa and smiles and joy. Let us go among the throngs of people and celebrate the official start of the festivities. Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! Let us not consider bedtime and the fact that Daddy is working. Let us girlies go anyway, to make memories and be blessed and potter around the atmospheric street. Mammy is a strong and adventurous Mammy, more than capable of taking you, my little cherubs, in to experience the joyous atmosphere and twinkling lights and seasonal songing from other local children. Let us go-ho-ho!”🎅

Mammy is the biggest Christmas Fairy walking and so my children must have obviously inherited my enthusiasm for all things Santaful… 🎅🎅
Mammy is also a Twat. 🙄

Having allowed one “OOOOOOOH!” at the lights outside the Voodon’t, and permitted me to find a “perfect spot” where we could all see Mr MC and the amazing snow, with a bench for them to stand on and room for Mammy to move, they decided that 3 minutes of chilltime was more than enough for Me.

“I’s cold”
“I can’t see!”
“Where IS Santa?”
“I don’t see any lights!”
“Stop singing Mammy!”
“I don’t wike it.”
“It’s too loud!”
“I need a peeeee”
(I had never intended to have my daughters in a pub toilet. Funnily enough, I never noticed how small the cubicles were. Probably because I haven’t ever had another person clinging to my knees and screaming “My Bum is soaking” in there. Well… if you don’t count that…never mind!)😂😜

Having lost the perfect spot because of the sudden need to peepee, Mammy and her minions struggle through the crowds to find another spot where we can safely stand without Princess being stepped on, or Mini-Me being hit in the face by a flashing fucking glowstick.

Mammy is insistent that we shall smile and grin and be merry and fucking bright, but Mammy forgets that despite the pintsize of the youngest Mini, when she decides she’s DONE with something, she is DONE.

Mammy can smile and grin and be merry and fucking bright all she wants, Mammy is not really in charge.

Mammy makes promises. Mammy makes promises through gritted teeth. Mammy makes threats through same teeth. Mammy allows her laugh to tinkle over the head of the tantruming threenager… Mammy hopes it does not sound as hysterical as it feels.

Princess Demonica takes every ounce of Christmas spirit from Mammy, throws it on the ground and stomps all over it. She then takes her Skye teddy from the handbag…Skye, her most beloved and revered teddy…and FLINGS it onto the ground, so hard I think I hear the teddy cry a little. Perhaps it is my poor self whose cry I hear. She then combusts into hysterics because “Skye is on da gwouuuuuuund!”

The other Doll is channeling her inner teenager, shoulders hunched, hair over her face, bored pout perfected. “Any chance you’d smile?” asks Mammy, desperate for some comeradierie. “I am smiling” she answers, rolling her eyes…

Mammy decides that nothing will ruin our fucking Memory making.

Mammy smiles and dances.
Mammy takes some photos.
Mammy videos the countdown and the faces of her two cherubs, who abandon their crusade to break Mammy for 20 seconds…

Mammy glances around at the other festive fuckers. All the families and children and flashing lights and smilings for the camera and wonders what she did in a past life to have children who are intent on testing the limits of twattery every time Mammy tried to ‘make fucking memories.

And then Mammy sees the other kids who are also protesting at being up past bedtime, or out in the dark, or cold. She sees the other Mammies and Daddies, struggling to carry little people and bags while pushing buggies.

She sees all of the adults who are determined to create a festive atmosphere and make memories for their children, despite the fact that the children give not one shit and would be quite happy at home watching Paw Patrol.

And so Mammy takes a breath, remembers that she is not alone in her deluded notions of festivity, that very few families are actually “pottering” happily around the street, or singing the carols in unison, or being Hallmark worthy… and then Mammy does something incredibly clever.

Mammy bribes the children with promises of Happy Meals and does the side-shoe-shuffle down the street to the car, just before the Santa arrives to add anymore drama to the Llamas.

And so we are in the car, through the Drive-Thru and back in Chez Rushe by the time the other knackered parents and their little Darlings have even thought about moving.

While the rest of the town are sitting in traffic, Mammy is jingling all the way home to do the Bedtime dance with two feral wagons. But despite the stress and #fml moments of the evening, Mammy is glad she insisted. Because thankfully, the only person who remembers any of those, is Mammy.

All they remembered as Mammy tucked them in were the lights and the songs. And really, it’s not MY #memories that are important. It’s theirs.

Because, now I come to think of it, Mammy doesn’t remember anything other than fun and festivities when I think of things MY parents brought me to. I must ask Mum how SHE remembers them! 🤣😂😘