The moms of the Internet are legion. They entertain me, they tell me the things I need to know, and they are not to be messed with. Each day I see what moms are talking about on Facebook or the sites I follow. I also see the main parenting stories that moms read.
Some days the conversation revolves around the same things, like how to name a baby girl! Or how to talk to your baby daughters or sons! Or how to conquer the holidays (again) or organize a child's birthday party (again). Moms are always on the hunt for recipes, it seems. Children present feeding difficulties on a daily basis. But sometimes the Internet trades in stories that ring false. They can feel oppressive or laughably not relevant to my life. Postbaby bods, exercise routines, how-tos for food/house/skin/kids, and these so-called hacks. Life could be easier, if only . . . Of course, we all read these stories, but sometimes I wonder if we'd have better mental health, or just a little more variety, if we could ignore the mommy memes. Here's a few things I could do without.
The Internet Wants to Tell Moms:
We feel guilt all of the time. Not true! The mom posts on my Facebook group are largely about finding a little relief from the rigorous care of one's baby/child/children, even if it's only a night out, a shower, or a walk alone. Many moms admit to struggling with long days or lack of sleep, and they want to hear other moms support them. Not feel guilted into doing more.
We are either working OR staying at home. For the many moms who work part-time, or not quite full-time, or run a business out of their house while caring for their infant/child/children, these lines have gotten very blurred. I know moms who run a business and homeschool their children. Now that's working.
We are always afraid of child fatality. Well, that's true. But I wish the Internet didn't constantly tell me the varied and horrible tragic ways that children die, are abused, or are murdered. A part of me feels like I do need to know. But my heart cannot hold all of that anguish. And parenting in fear is awful.
We accomplish everything ourselves. Moms are efficient, strong, and relentless, sure. But moms prefer assistance, balance, help, and a good night's sleep.
We have a beauty routine. If not showering in the morning and wearing activewear to the bus stop counts as a beauty routine, then, sure. Masks, immersions, blowouts, etc. sound really nice, but they are not in my routine at this time. Working moms spend a good part of the morning working by feeding, prepping, and shuttling kids before hastily grabbing their work bag and heading to work, fast. Mirrors are checked on cars and trains, or in many cases, mirrors are not checked at all.
We decorate rooms. False. There's moving clothing off the floor and making beds. But larger-scheme decoration, either planning or implementing, is not a priority. Sometimes we do talk about hanging up things on the walls or printing some photographs. Sometimes those pictures just sit in closets and drawers.
We are never alone. Well, this one is sort of true. There are many posts in my local Facebook group about mothers of young children feeling beset or overwhelmed by the intensity of their child's needs and a mom's basic inability to get a real break. These moms don't necessarily want a night out or tips on how to get a break: they just want someone else to say, "I know exactly how you feel."