Any mother or father will tell you that there are days when they feel like they are a lousy parent. Each day we face a new challenge with our children. One day a parenting technique works like a charm, and the next day it fails completely.
A photograph posted on social media is just one moment. Most people tend to publicise the happy moments and hide the challenging ones. Not many parents, if any, will upload a picture onto Facebook of their house when it looks like three bombs have exploded there, one after another.
It's rare to find people who will tell-all on social media about what life is truly like as a parent — the evenings when we cry with frustration because our baby has woken up for the fifth time in two hours; the days where it seems we can't get anything done and drown in dirty laundry; the frustrating hours we spend trying to help our kids with homework when we don’t even understand it ourselves… It's these moments that never make it online because we don’t want the ‘not coping’ label.
From my personal experience, while a photo is worth a thousand words – it can also hide many. A split second smile can be captured after hours of endless crying, tantrums and a disastrous day.
As parents, we need to remind ourselves, and often, that parenting is difficult for everyone. There will be days when we have that picture-perfect moment where on the same day, many other parents aren’t coping. Our lives are far from perfect. And social media is heartless when you’re having a bad day.
That you care enough to try your best is proof enough that you are, in fact, a great parent. Don’t seek approval from Facebook or Instagram. Tomorrow is always a new day to capture the moments to remind you that you’re doing just fine!