This is what being a mum REALLY looks like.

Last night I was scrolling slowly through various feeds on the Internet when I suddenly had a massive bout of FOMO. Although I’m not sure it’s called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, for the uninitiated) as much as FOPAW (Fear of Parenting All Wrong).

See, all of these images – all of these happy snaps that I was seeing – were contradicting my own reality.

All I could see were these visuals of amazing road trips, with happy families piling up their belongings into the family car, then gleefully taking off, singing along to Frozen, getting along famously and playing travel tic-tac-toe as they traversed the country. Meanwhile, every time my family had ever attempted to take a cross country trip, or a car trip of any kind come to think of it, it always descended into something out of a National Lampoon’s Vacation movie. There we would be, not able to make it a kilometre out of town before World War 3 would break out in the backseat over something as trivial like who got to look out of the WINDOW. I wish I was kidding.

Then there were all of these teenagers who were hanging out with their mothers and families and appearing gleeful. The pictures of them floating onto the beach in their flowing white cotton outfits, smiling and playfully hugging one another wasn’t exactly what I, as a parent, was experiencing. Hell, if I was lucky enough to get all three of my kids into the car of a morning without some kind of apocalyptic styled argument over who got to ride shotgun, I’d consider it a good day.

 Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan Pathfinder. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

Which got me to thinking. Were people online just posting the very best of themselves? Or worse, were news outlets just using stock images to portray the ideal teenager and family life and I was crushing on a scenario that wasn’t even real? Because let me show you what happens every time I’ve tried to grab a happy snap of MY teenager:


1. The Mother/Daughter snap.



2. When you ask them to smile.



3. When you ask them to pull a funny face.



4. Happy family photo shot:



5. The perfect road trip.




Are these carefully choreographed shots real life though? Of course they aren’t. Real life is messy and complicated and I for one long for the days when you couldn’t delete a photo just because it wasn’t perfect. Because life isn’t perfect. It’s messy and chaotic and full of moments in time that can never be recaptured. Sure, these might include sour looks and Weetbix on your shirt and arguments in the car – but one thing it will always be, is real.

So, let’s all try and recapture a bit of that yeah?

What do your family photos look like?

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