I’ve heard Facebook described as a curated version of your life – sometimes building a blindingly perfect version for all to see. Recently, a friend posted a very real and honest parenting picture on Facebook, and it was such a great example of bravery, acceptance, and support; so with her permission I’d like to share it as a reminder to all parents out there. When you open up and let others see, you may be surprised at the response. Don’t be afraid to keep it real!
“Real parenting behind the Facebook facade…dark circles and bags under eyes after a long night at urgent care and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Still in pjs, haven’t showered, no makeup, haven’t brushed teeth or hair, trying to eat breakfast and sip coffee while holding my sick child, I have to pee but I’ve been stuck in this exact position for the past 3.5 hours. Keeping it real ladies and gents.”
You do what you have to do for your kids. Plain and simple. This is a perfect example, and one only other parents can relate to. As you start your journey into parenthood, you will likely find yourself doing things you never imagined possible – and at the same time wondering what you ever did with your time before you were a parent.
I felt so much joy for her as I watched messages of unconditional support from her friends and family (both online and off line) sprawl across her post. From prayers, to jokes, to relatable stories, it reminded me that we are not alone in the parenting journey, and it does take some effort to reach out for support and understanding – but when you do, it is SO worth it.
This mom was in one of the Newborn PEPS groups I led, and during that time we talked a lot about how the group was a place to be honest and tell the “real” parenting stories. She found that the support of the PEPS group and the resources she received was what kept her from coming completely unhinged with a very colicky infant that first year. Now that her son is two (and out of that stage!), support is still needed – and keepin’ it real, even on Facebook sometimes, can be just the thing in a time of crisis. Some days are hard, some are horrible, but with the right support you can get through it. Like I told her – “You look like a mom who loves her child and would do anything for them”, so let this serve as a reminder that you don’t need permission to come as you are as a parent – there are no apologies needed.
A Mom Who’s Been There
About the Author
Jen Winckler is a Newborn PEPS leader in Snohomish County. She is a stay at home mom (aka. Volunteeraholic) to two boys, ages 12 and 10, and is still trying to navigate the constant curve balls that parenting dishes out. She used to dread the minivan driving soccer mom title, but has come to love watching her boys play their hearts out (and did sell the minivan as soon as they could open their own doors without banging the car in the next stall).