I don't know about you, but Instagram is one of my favorite things. OK, it's not as amazing as, say, Netflix, but it's certainly a welcomed vacation from the dumpster fire that is Facebook. Some of us moms surf Instagram to find inspiration on how to eat better or keep our homes tidier, while others look for homeschooling or play date ideas for our kids. Others just like having a place to post family photos. There's really no "right way" to use Instagram, but I must say there are definitely a few things every mom does on Instagram that we shouldn’t. I mean, you're all grown-ass women, so do what you want (and please keep those cute pictures of your kid coming because holy hell we need them right now), but sometimes a little restraint can go a long way.
I don't post on Instagram as often as I’d like, but it’s fun to scroll through from time to time. I mean, I enjoy a nice child milestone photo as much as the next mom. I am certainly partial to looking at well-stylized images, of course, because it’s definitely not hard not to fawn over photos of perfectly plated, well-balanced family dinners and KonMari’d toddler bedrooms. (Seriously, how does anyone keep a room that clean for that long? Who knows). I hit the like button every time I see a mom friend reach a goal, whether it’s getting her first post-baby job or going back to school or finally doing a headstand in yoga.
The thing is, though, sometimes Instagram can feel like a place where the bar for simply existing is set unbelievably high. We can get stuck feeling bad or upset that our lives aren’t nearly “as great” as what people post on the internet. The truth is, though, that no one’s life is perfect, but we tend to only post about the good, so it's easy to forget that everyone has ups and downs, good days and bad. I think that’s the first thing moms do on Instagram (and every other social media site under the sun) that they shouldn’t: wonder why their lives aren’t quite as glamorous as what's being portrayed on the interwebs. And that's just the beginning, my friends:
Compare Her Messy Houses To Someone Else's Home
I know, I know. It's hard, you guys. The thing is, though, your messy apartment is not going to instantly get cleaner because you’re looking at Ximena’s beautifully redone kitchen or Glenda’s pristine shower. Maybe they have more help, more money, or just, you know, more time.
Shame Herself When Looking At #FitMom Posts
Postpartum bodies, man. We love them, but sometimes we love them a little less than we should.
Adjusting to your post-pregnancy, post-childbirth, post-feeling-like-a-normal-human-being body isn't always even. It’s even more damaging, though, when we scroll through new mom fitspo where ladies who had zero body fat prior to pregnancy go back to being, well, extremely fit. And hey, kudos if you just happened to be able to physically and mentally work yourself into a slender figure or six-pack abs relatively quickly. But for the rest of us struggling to not look pregnant years after giving birth, there’s nothing wrong with just, maybe, not obsessing over these particular photos.
Share Really Gross Photos Of Her Kids
Hey, I’m no one to tell you what to post and what not to post. That said, maybe reconsider that picture of your toddler eating their boogers, or that newborn’s poop-filled diaper that has magically exploded all over the damn place. Some of us scroll Insta during lunch, you know?
Feel Like A Failure Because She's Not Pinterest Perfect
I’ll admit that I wish I were more creative about home play with my son. I mostly let him go ff on his own with his cars and trucks. Sometimes we do puzzles, I guess? I mean, that counts, right?
But the moms who like, make slime out of nothing or build terrariums with their little ones? Y’all are amazing, but I cannot compare myself to you or I will feel awful. We all do what we can.
Feel Nostalgic When She Sees Cute Pregnancy And/Or Newborn Pictures
Look, I get it. My ovaries make their presence known when I see a video of a teensy, pink newborn, too. I see pictures of pregnant ladies bumps and wonder if I should jump my husband as soon as possible.
But then I remember that I don’t actually want any more kids right now. I remember the nausea, the swollen feet and ankles, the sciatica, the weird and random rashes, the inability to drink beer... and suddenly I don’t care so much.
Panic When Her Kid's Lunch Isn't Served In A Bento Box
We aren’t all contestants on Iron Chef. We don’t all have oodles of time to carve zucchini flowers or make happy faces out of seaweed. I don’t even have any cookie cutters to make sandwiches look more “fun.” That, my friends, doesn’t make me a bad mom. I send my kid to school with a decent lunch, OK? Chill out, Instagram.
Cry When She Can't Afford An Extravagant Vacation
Yes, I want to take my son backpacking across Europe. Yes, I want to take an Alaskan cruise and show him the wonders of The Great White North. Perusing travel mom photos can be fun, too, but if I suddenly start feeling despair at my own financial situation? Well, then there's a problem.
Size Up Her Partner After Seeing Some Other Mom's Significant Other
Sure, we all wish our partners were patient, funny, caring, talented, and good-looking. And they all are, in their own ways. Not all of them build elaborate jungle gyms for their kids from scratch because they have excellent wood shop skills, though. They don’t all surprise us with exotic flowers and tickets to our favorite concert so we can Instagram them both. Some of our partners are a bit more, well, low-key.
Guys, that's OK! Don’t suddenly feel like you’re settling because some stranger on Instagram has a husband that looks like Thor and also builds schools in Cambodia in his spare time. Chances are he’s lousy in bed, or has some other flaw no one wants to post about on Instagram. Maybe his feet smell? Who knows! Just appreciate that you have the love of your life with you (if you do) or that, if you want it, you’ll have it someday in the future.
Compare Her Children To Other Kids
Just a few days ago, I found a video on my feed of a mom I know and her son at a skatepark. The boy is a few months younger than my kid, but was on a scooter going up and down ramps with ease. My son, meanwhile, won’t even go down the slide.
But you know what? Who cares? I love my son. I love that he’s smart as a whip in his own way, and that he has his own unique and loving personality. Don’t compare your kid to others. Ever. And when it comes to Instagram, learn to take it all with a grain of salt (or sign off until you’re ready to).