Life Through A Fucking Filter

Want to know what the biggest PR success of this century has been? Here’s a hint: it’s not Lidl. It’s Motherhood. Motherhood itself has become a brand and in the blink of a perfectly lined eye, it’s shed its mumsy, shabby, overweight, out-of-touch image and rebranded itself as the coolest, hippest, most efficient, successful kid on the block. It’s what all the cool people are doing. Everyone wants to jump on board the “mother-ship”…and we are trying our damnedest to do it.

It’s no longer enough to have a gorgeous baby to boast about…we have to have editorial-worthy interiors, wardrobes sporting a healthy mix of high-street and designer, fabulous hair, a mani and then we have to take a picture of it and post it online (of course, we don’t have to but you’d be forgiven for thinking so).

So what’s happened? Why are we posting more pictures of ourselves than our kids? Of our interiors than our Smalls? Why is our outfit more important than our Small’s smile? Perhaps it’s because we’ve fought for so long to have it all – to work, to mother, to wife and to look hot doing it – that it’s become unacceptable to let anyone know that somedays we just can’t be bothered. We all joke about wearing trackies and not washing our hair and scoffing ice-cream while napping in the afternoon without brushing our teeth but we never take and pictures of that, do we?

I’m genuinely concerned that I’m starting to lose my tiny little mind, my confidence and my social skills all in one hit. They say that comparison is the thief of joy and never has a truer word been said. And here’s the irony: I’m as guilty of it as anyone. We all stage Instagram shots – computers in well-designed interiors, impeccably dressed mommas casually pushing prams in front of uber, urban, graffiti coloured backdrops, add some well-appointed sun rays and a filter or two and hey presto – perfect life!

Instagram is rapidly becoming the Linkedin of Motherhood. We’re all using it to show off our mothering CV, to present ourselves in the very best light and while we all look awesome, it can’t all be real? Can it?

Gone are the days of comparing our Smalls – we’re way too relaxed and cool and non-judgey to be doing that crazy stuff anymore. If you happen to turn up to your NCT meeting to find that every other Small is speaking French while juggling and jumping on a fucking pogo stick, you don’t give a fudge and neither does anyone else. That’s sooooo last century.

This century though, it’s all about the mommas – “the millennial momma” – and it’s starting to cause me some serious anxiety. Oh, my rational brain knows it’s all bollocks. It knows it’s just a snapshot with lucky lighting and a filter. But, my non-rational brain (which is annoyingly dominant and bossy) says, “But, what if they do look like that all the time? What if their house is always that clean and tidy and full of fabulous vintage finds mixed in oh so casually with some designer pieces? What if their babies always look like they’ve just stepped out of a Mini Rodini photoshoot and how the fuck does their hair always look perfect? How do they rock a banging red lip every minute of the day and WHY DO THEY NEVER WEAR THE SAME OUTFIT TWICE???”

Is it just me or is everyone else watching everyone else’s life unfold online and think, ‘Why the fuck doesn’t my life look like that?” I sit there every morning scrolling through Instagram and wonder how the funk other mothers manage to look so fabulous in time to take their Smalls to nursery with time to spare to have someone take an artsy, filtered-to-fuck shot that they’ve posted online before I’ve even managed to pick the sleep from my eyes, iron a wrinkle or two out and have a wee.

Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not hating on any of these fabulous mothers – I’m envying them. I’ll admit it! I’m so green-in-the-face, sick-to-the-stomach in awe/jealous of these social-media-millennial-mommas that my insecurities are literally starting to eat me alive from the (slightly flabby) inside out. These insecurities are running so wild right now that I’m almost certain I’m not cool enough to be a momma.

And yet, perhaps some of you think the same about me? It makes me laugh out loud to say that because I feel so far away from these mommas that I can’t imagine I’m anywhere near cutting the ‘Brand Motherhood’ mustard but boy do I try.

I’m filter-guilty. I filter my life, my Small, my wardrobe. I don’t post pictures if my double chin or my lazy eye managed to photobomb the shot. If I’ve posted a picture of me wearing a red lip, it’s the only time I’ve managed to put lipstick on in the last week and I probably took it straight off afterwards because it makes me feel claustrophobic (I’m weird about red lipstick). I only take pictures of my house if I’ve just cleaned it – the rest of the time it’s a shit-tip – and if I manage to wear anything other than jeans and a t-shirt, I’ll snap it because I can’t quite believe it happened.

So, if I’m guilty of faking it here and there, is everyone else?

5 thoughts on “Life Through A Fucking Filter

  1. Hayley from the Little Ark says:

    Lol brilliant post. Iv just come across your blog and think this is hilarious and oh so true. The cool mum club holds us all to such high standards, from the dinners made (no beans on toast in site) to the amazing clothes on both mum and smalls. I look at these posts as I trip over 100 toys on the floor and wonder if these mums have a secret extra 8 hours a day than me!

    Like

  2. schmeroo says:

    So true and so relevant to me right now. 6 months into motherhood and I’m constantly refreshing my IG feed just so I can mutter what the actual fuck at these amazing and cool mums. And I literally couldn’t get a brush near my birds nest of a hair do this morning.
    I think it’s a good thing though as it is pushing me to do SOMETHING good while I’m on maternity leave…even if it is just master the art of the red lip.

    Like

  3. Jessica says:

    Oh my, I’ve just discovered your blog and am thoroughly smitten. Love your writing and think you are nailing ‘brand motherhood’. I’m four months into motherhood and have become an IG stalker, much to my demise, but you trump those filtered photos and instead of IG envy I have blog envy and am sat here wondering ‘how does she find the time to write such consistently good posts’?! Keep churning them out – I will be bookmarking for my nighttime feed reading fodder!

    Like

  4. Lizzie says:

    Great to meet you today at mothers meeting net walking. I’m so glad to have discovered your blog, thank you for being brave enough to write (so eloquently) about how an awful lot of us feel. You rock.

    Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    Love this article !
    i’m in ore of the mamas who look fab on instagram and am also guilty of over comparing myself. However, the filter is also my friend. keep writing ….Katy x

    @fashionlifedaily

    Like

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