We live in a time where there has been a confluence of forces that allows for the creation of the perfect family. At least in the sphere of social medial.
And while the temptation and desire to present an ideal family has always been strong in America, the ability to curate your family’s apparent perfection has only recently become feasible for the average person.
Because of this, there are a lot of Facebook posts, Instagrams or tweets describing or depicting perfect family moments.
And I’m here to tell you they are bunk.
OK, I’m here to tell you almost all of them are bunk. It’s fair to assume that with the ubiquity of cameras, certain un-staged and organic golden moments are captured. But based on my experience and the experience of so many other parents the genuine ones are few and far between. And most of them are wildly misleading.
So here’s a Daddy Days guide, a backstage expose — a virtuous muckraking, if you will — of the dirty underbelly behind some of the too-good-to-be-true family posts you see on the Internet. I call this “Curated social media posts vs. reality.”
Post: Picture of kids smiling while wearing silly oversized sunglasses in the backseat of a pristine, clean, current model year luxury SUV.
Reality: This was 15 seconds into the trip, where the kids were coaxed into putting on the sunglasses for a photo op in order to get chicken nuggets. The car was a rental and one of the kids puked 15 minutes into the trip making the damage deposit nonrefundable.
Post: Picture of a happy couple with three smiling kids browsing the wares at a farmer’s market.
Reality: The kids are whining endlessly about how boring it is to be out in the summer heat looking at vegetables. The produce is startlingly expensive, which curbs the parent’s enthusiasm for organic beets. The smiles in the picture are genuine, because the kids were just told they could get a snowball from a vendor, and the parents are laughing at the irony of going to a Farmer’s Market to get snowballs. (Which are not free range, but are very, very sticky.)
Post: Picture of 1-year-old looking down at his first pair of shoes. Caption: First pair of kicks for [insert insufferably trendy name here]!
Reality: What the picture fails to capture is as soon as the kid starts to walk, he bursts into inconsolable wailing because he is not happy about this whole shoes on the feet situation. He won’t wear shoes for almost six months after this due to the trauma.
Post: Picture of a newborn with rosy pink cheeks, peacefully dozing on his mom while she looks down on him in wonder.
Reality: The wonder and miracle of birth and of the mother-child relationship is accurately depicted. But some context is necessary. This is four or more hours after the birth. Babies do not come out clean and rosy cheeked. Actually, there is nothing clean about birth. It’s an earthy, natural and bloody process that I’m quite sure violates all the user agreements for posting photos on social media sites.
Post: Artsy picture of a gourmet-looking breakfast being served on a vintage French breakfast tray to a mom in bed.
Reality: Photo filters were liberally applied. The breakfast is basically scrambled eggs and the kid had to be locked out of the bedroom during delivery because they are clambering for sugar-frosted flakes and totally missing the point of this annual Mother’s Day ritual. Photos of the state of the kitchen after this breakfast was prepared will not be taken.