The Importance of Being Real on Social Media During Social Distancing

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It’s always refreshing to see something honest on social media, where we tend to post only our best moments — but it’s even more important to see people being real on social media now, during social distancing.

What do I mean by real? Mother’s Day 2017, this is the picture I posted on Instagram:

There’s my happy little family, out for an evening stroll. What you didn’t see on social media that day was the fact that I was pregnant with our third and had been sick all morning. That the kids had trashed The Cheesecake Factory during Mother’s Day Brunch, and we were probably now on their “do not serve” list. That an hour before that picture was taken, this picture was taken:

In the spring of 2017, our daughter was big into the “fun with feces” stage, and I found her room covered in just that when I woke her up from a nap. I spent Mother’s Day afternoon disinfecting her crib and hosing her down.

I asked my husband to take this picture because this was the reality of Mother’s Day for Moms of littles. It’s not the picture I shared on social media that day, but I’ve often thought since that it should have been.

I think we need to see these things even under normal circumstances. We need to share them, so we can hear from our fellow Moms, “Hey, that’s us today too. Solidarity, sister.”

So we can hear from the parents who have recently entered into the next phase of parenting, “Yep, I’ve been there. It will pass, you’ve got this.”

The social distancing we’re practicing right now is far from our normal, and in light of it, these real, less-than-perfect moments become even more important. We need them now.

Now, when our screen time is up 61% from last month.

Now, when our feeds are flooded with scary news, funny memes, homeschool schedules, and creative projects.

Those memes are important because they make us laugh. The schedules and projects help to spark our creativity…but what we need most is to feel like we’re not alone, in this time where we’re more isolated than we’ve ever been.

I don’t know about you, but my house looks like someone’s gone through every room in muddy boots and emptied every drawer looking for gold bars that aren’t there. Being here all day every day has taken a real toll on my house. Yours too? Show me that mess.

I haven’t been able to make a schedule. Nor have I even thought about starting the homeschooling part of all this. My kids have watched an extraordinary amount of TV while I try to get my work done and figure out our new normal. Anyone else out there? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Show me your kid melting down because you put their sock on the wrong foot. Mine did that today too.

Show me the Rice Krispies you poured for dinner because you just couldn’t cook another meal. That’s been me all week.

Show me the pajamas that you haven’t changed out of in eight days, because I need to see something other than the pajamas I haven’t changed out of in eight days.

Show me the good things too — show me the creative projects you’ve done, the inspired school activities that have worked for you, the things you’re doing to make this time extra special for your kids.

I know there are a lot of people out there who, for various reasons, don’t like to get too personal on social media, and that’s just fine. But for those out there who are comfortable posting the things that maybe are not quite working for you, please share. Balance it out, so we can find community in those real moments amid this new reality that still doesn’t seem real.

Oh, and if you have a solution to the “fun with feces” stage besides duct taping the diapers on, I’m all ears. Because baby #3 is here now, and entering that stage herself. This time I’ll post that picture.

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