When you think about motherhood and reality shows, most people automatically think about the Kardashians, Real Housewives, Teen Mom, or one of those shows where there are like 15 kids in the family. However, what most of us don’t think about is ourselves. Why would I lump myself into the same category as a rich Hollywood family whose life is obviously so scripted for our viewing pleasure. Well, besides the money, famous face, and television contract, the reality of motherhood is just as scripted for any of us.
When you sign on to social media, you will see photos of smiling children, funny #parentfails, and usually a selfie with wine after the kids are put to bed. (Obviously there are many more types of photos you will see, but I am generalizing the family ones strictly so this post would take 17 years to write.) What many of our timelines won’t show are the tears, not from our kids, but from us. Facebook won’t show the fears of putting our kids to sleep at night. Instagram wont show the guilt from not being able to breastfeed, or the pain of having to pump at 3AM. What they will show is our child’s first day of school outfits, baby’s first smile, and maybe, if we are really lucky, a photo of a kid-free date night.
This is not a bad thing, only seeing the happy moments. I mean, would I really want to be scrolling through a newsfeed everyday filled with just crying women and parenting drama? Well, no. However, having that reality out there may make me feel better about what I’m going though. So today I did just that. I posted a (vague) status about everything I have been going through for the past three weeks. Not just for my own benefit, but more because I feel like if I saw something written like that when I was at my lowest point, I would have felt less alone.
Being exposed like that is hard. I wanted to write it out there because today is a better day. Three weeks ago, I was in a place where I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to get back from. Who knows where I will be next week. As soon as I hit “post” I said out loud to myself, “Well, now it’s out there.” (I’m out a coffee shop and the guy next to me gave me a weird and concerning look.) But it is. It’s out there now, no taking it back. Part of me feels relieved. The other part of me is having another panic attack.