Friday, January 15, 2016

Messy Mommy Blogger Exposed and What That Means for the Rest of Us

I saw the most perfect family picture today. It was a Facebook friend of mine, someone who I don't know all that well, but seems to live this pristine life. The children always have their hair done and their clothes and shoes match. They are always baking or doing mess-free crafts. Everything is perfect. Everything is in place.

This family looks healthy and well-lit on Instagram, and frequents Facebook with their daily updates and pictures of outings and outfits, glamorous getaways, doing bucket-list accomplishments and activities.

Then I saw it.

It was the entire background of one of a group of photos, posted by this family's relative. At first there was that catalog-cut family again, gathered around a clean, dark wood table, with stark white walls surrounding them. There was the requisite craft, and the remnants of a gourmet meal, but it was what was in the right corner in one of these series of photos that stood out the most.

It was a MESS!

I saw it. Piles, Bins. Toys. Clothing. Unrecognizable and could only be categorized as mess items were strewn across the carpet as you could see from the photo taken from the other room.

It grabbed me like a warm hug. There you are! You were there all along! All this time, I looked at all of these perfect family photos and thought how remarkable it was that a home with little girls could be kept so clean. How they could eat without dishes in the sink, they could use glitter without a crumb falling to the floor?

I compared myself to you. I let my mess consume me. I tried to gain leverage over my mess but always failed. I cropped it out of my photos. I didn't take photos because I didn't want to document my defeat against the mess. My defeat against moms like you.

You could control your mess, Why couldn't I?

Seeing your adjacent room, I realized that your life is less than perfect and maybe a little bit more similar to mine than I had imagined. I realized that I needed to see this. We need to see the bigger pictures - the zoomed out view. We need to see the clutter and commotion.

Our family is not a still-life viewed in feed of square photos so why are we trying to edit it down to this carefully contrived charicature?

In our quest to find an attractive photo to convey the way we want to be perceived, are we are cropping out the details that make us who we are? Destroying evidence that we are human?

We are at the very least losing the accessories that makes the story authentic and interesting.

I know we aren't all excellent at housework and as put-together as we seem on social media but can we be a little more candid about how our worlds' are portrayed? I want to see your mess!

It makes me feel good to see that I'm not the only one that is dumping buckets of water out of a boat full of holes.

I try to make my blog posts and social media posts pretty. I try to create these attractive photos that grab your attention but I promise, from now on, I'm going to try to be a little more real and not come across as perfect. I am so far from that you have no idea.

I realize it's as unfair as Julie Roberts being photoshopped to look like a 20 year old to sell anti-aging products as it is to try to sell this image of my family that is just not true.

We're real. We're messy. I'm going to make sure we don't lose that in our photos. I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about us and I don't want anyone feeling like they suck at being a SAHM because they haven't gotten off the playroom floor all day.

I'm wary of a house with no toys or games in the family room and I'm going to be wary of your selfies if I can't find anything your family is passionate about lying around.

For those disgusted by my messy house, there are plenty of other bloggers to follow that will keep up the facade for you but I guarantee there is a lot more to their stories than what's in their Facebook feed.


  1. I love this post so much! First the title, I'm another messy mommy blogger as well. I stopped caring what other people think when they come to my home. I have three little ones running around the home all day long (we also homeschool). Keeping a perfect home is just not realistic and frankly, not very fun. It's great that you're keeping it real and inspiring others to do the same!

  2. I needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing! New follower here :)

  3. Nailed it. My house looks like that photo too. Baby gate and all. I clean when I can, which is usually when the baby is napping. Kids can mess up what you clean in like 30 seconds. LOL I run a blog, watch two kids, homeschool one of them, and if my house is a disaster when hubby comes home it's because I've been juggling all day and you can't possibly have it all.


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