Parenthood is so pretty online. Of course, between new-fangled camera phones that allow you unlimited opportunities to get the perfect shot, social media filters, and Pinterest boards ripe with ideas, it's no surprise. Adorable photoshoots with babies dressed up as princesses? Easy. Perfectly decorated birthday parties? Done. Inspirational letter boards with wise words about #momlife? A dime a dozen. But what if those boards were honest for a change? I've come up with funny letter board quotes for moms too exhausted to lie, because enough already! My hot mess sisters need to know they're not alone.
Look, when it comes to gussying up motherhood online, I do understand the impulse. And, honestly, I'm not judging because it's not all a lie. In my experience it really can be absolutely beautiful and amazing, so it makes sense to try to convey that IRL. But it's not always that way, is it? And a lot of the "motherhood is beautiful" stuff we see online, while true, is also extremely performative. We do it to express our own joy sometimes, sure, but we also do it to let EVERYONE KNOW HOW AWESOME EVERYTHING IS AND HOW AWESOME WE ARE AND HOW EVERYTHING IS FINE! DO YOU BELIEVE ME YET?!
Even acknowledging the challenges of motherhood is done in a performative way. You know, a way that's so noble and always ends with, like, "BUT I WOULDN'T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING!" And we wouldn't, sure, but I think there's a lot of emotions and experiences worth exploring, openly and honestly, before asserting that we're ultimately happy with the choice we've made to raise our children.
I think these truth bombs would be easier to swallow if we all agreed to use some of the language of online motherhood in a way that's less performative and more honest. And what happened? Well, these tastefully photographed letter boards, that's what:
At all. Frankly, I'm shocked no one has called me out on it so far. No one is more fooled than the children, by the way. They seem really convinced I have the first idea what's going on. Bless their little trusting hearts.
Once you slip into a stretchy ol' pair of maternity jeans, you will question your entire life up until that point. Why don't we wear pants like this all the time you guys? Honestly, there's no reason not to (they look just like normal pants, only they're comfy AF) so I see no reason to stop. Life is hard enough without a button digging into your belly after a big meal.
How many times do I have to beg you kids to give me a little bit of privacy? It's not enough you invaded my uterus for nine months, now that you're out you have to invade my nightstand?
Yes, I know it looks like a microphone. It's not a microphone. Put it down and go wash your hands.
At all. And it'll happen again. I'm not terribly sorry, TBH. I love you so much, but there's only so long I can listen do you drone on about Pokémon, sweetie.
Not all the time. Most of the time it's actually quite nice, to be honest. But sometimes motherhood really sucks and the books never talk about the profound overwhelm of this very specific type of suck, so does the fact that I experience it regularly means there's something wrong with me?
No. The answer is a resounding no.
Sex didn't stop being great (see nightstand drawer), but I'm running on four broken hours of sleep for the past five months and if I have 15 minutes to be in a bed you bet your ass I'm going to be sleeping as hard as humanly possible.
Unless you're offering to wash them. In that case, by all means!
I am responsible for so much. I have to give a f*ck about everything for everyone. So the things that aren't strictly speaking necessary? Those f*cks have to stretch really far and, sorry, I just don't have one to spare for whatever stupid thing you want me to do right now. It doesn't mean I don't like you (necessarily), it just means I really don't care about this thing at this point in time. Talk to me a few months after I start sleeping again.
"Har har! It looks like you've got your hands full."
Boy do I ever, chum! And I know this little comment is pretty light and airy to you, but placed just so among all the other sh*t I'm dealing with it's enough to break me, so please, just don't. Even if you mean well, Don't. If you really want to help buy me a coffee.
Oh so delicate. Like fine porcelain. Like a butterfly wing. Like a delicate garden flower. I either need to be left alone to do my thing or, if approached, I need to be handled with gentle, loving, knowledgeable care.
And it's a lot. Go ahead and try it! It's so cathartic.
Me before kids: My children won't have any screen time until they're 2, at which point they will be allowed to watch 20 minutes of education programming once a fortnight.
Me after kids: yEs i'M STilL wAtChINg pJ MaSKs, Netflix! Don't you judge me!
Just a smidge? Maybe? Please? Pretty please?
What moments would you like me to treasure the most? The moments when I'm covered in poop or the moments when my baby is covered in poop? Should I treasure the moments when I'm actively being judged for a choice I'm already feeling insecure about because, again, I really don't know what I'm doing and it feels like everyone else does? You want to treasure it for me? Hey sweetie! Come in here! I found someone who wants to listen to you talk about Pikachu for four hours straight!
Look, I get it. I'm grateful. But bear in mind that you're looking at parenthood through very rosy glasses there.