I remember when my first was born. She cried a lot at night. I remember at the time, thinking she was broken as all the posts I had ever seen online from my friends and family, had always shown pictures of happy babies, having a great time. I seriously started to doubt my parenting abilities.
I recall, when the eldest was still a baby, asking a friend, rather shyly, if her baby ever cried. Her response took me by surprise. Of course he cried. He cried all the time. I was shocked. I had only ever seen happy pictures, and whenever I saw him, he was happy.
I have since learned as a parent, that taking your child anywhere, that feeding them first and trying to get them to rest, helps them to be settled and calm when out and about. Of course, it also depends on the mood and temperament of the child too.
I also learned that babies do cry. When they’re tiny, it’s how they communicate. Knowing that, helped a lot.
As my girls have grown, I have noticed that I too, only post the happy, cheery pictures. Not every moment in parenting is sunshine and light. Sometimes parenting can have it’s terrible moments. Tantrums for example are the worst. Meltdowns are draining and babies cry! They cry a lot if tired, hungry, over stimulated, teething, grumpy, developing new skills or not developing skills fast enough.
I have decided not to post, or even take photos of the dark side of parenting, but to focus my attention and memory on the happy bits. Photos are posted, because, I want to look back and remember, fondly, good things that happened. I also choose not to post unpleasant photos, because I don’t want to embarrass my children. I don’t want them to grow up and have photos of them, losing it in public or at home, all over the Internet.
Of course, the decision not to post unpleasant photos, is my choice and each person is free to do whatever they like. I just want anyone to know that if they see pictures of me and my family online, and we are all happy, that there is probably a whole story behind that photo. Chances are, everyone was happy at the time, or it could have been taken before or after everything turned sour. Usually before. I don’t tend to take photos after.
Is it therefore fake, that photos are posted and it doesn’t show the whole picture? Maybe.
I think with anything posted online, that it’s important to realize that the image displayed is only a snapshot in time and that it isn’t how things are always. The photo could also be completely staged to get a particular reaction from the intended audience. Never judge your parenting from what you see online. Know yourself and be confident in who you are. Everyone has bad days or even bad moments most days. You’re not alone.