"What no one knows about the photos I post on Instagram as a parent."

Today my daughter and I caught up with a friend for coffee and she said; “I have wondered if you always get nice photos of Everly at brunch because she’s incredibly well behaved… but I see now that she’s not.”

After I got over being mildly offended, (was she saying my child isn’t perfect??) it made me think about how often you see other people’s Instagram feeds and think they’ve got it all together… when in reality, it’s just a normal person choosing to share the nice parts of their life with you.

So, what are some things to remember when you’re looking at Instagram feeds? To start with, feeds are generally ‘curated’; planned ahead, often with edited photos using a preset for a consistent look, or ‘real’; a day to day look at someone’s life with candid, realistic photos.

Of course there are MAAAANY other categories in between, but very basically, it boils down to these two. Neither is better, worse, fake, or less important than the other, they’re just different. They might appeal to different people or they might appeal to the same people but in different ways.

As an example, we’ll look at my own feed (curated) and a good friend of mine Elisha’s (real).


Elisha’s feed is a peek into her life with her gorgeous toddler, Billie, her partner, Jimmy, and the activities they do, clothes they wear, milestones they’re celebrating… anything and everything is there.

You’ll see pictures of Billie on the swings at the park next to a picture of a cake they made that morning, dress up days at kindy and puppy dog filters on photos. It’s adorable, warm, real and it makes you feel as though you’re living their day to day life with them.


I get inspiration from Elisha’s feed for almost every aspect of my parenting journey, from play ideas to recipes to toddler clothes and homewares. And I get just as much enjoyment from her Instagram feed as I do from curated accounts that I follow.


But while I do also share real parts of our life, my feed is most definitely curated. Not a lot of it is shared in real time. Generally, the things you’re seeing have happened a few days prior.

This is so I can arrange my photos in a way that the colours and images meld together to create one long ‘flow’ when you scroll through my feed. I also use presets when editing, so the colour scheme stays relatively similar from one picture to the next.

My reason for having a curated feed? Firstly, I enjoy it. (This is important!) Secondly, I have the time to do it. And thirdly, when Everly is being a ratbag, when I’m tired, when we’ve had four wake ups through the night, when she’s refusing to eat anything other than yoghurt… the last thing I want to do is take a photo.

We have crappy days where I don’t get out of my pjs, we relax, have a nap, cuddle and do whatever it is that will get us through the day. And those photos just wouldn’t fit as seamlessly into my feed.

????SWIPE???? Ev loves being included in meal prep now, and I’m finding that she’ll try (a few) different foods if she’s helped make the meal ????????⠀ We’re testing out the @dinnerlyau boxes for the next few weeks- they’re the most affordable meal delivery that I’ve found and the recipes are amazing! ⠀ Today was a Spanish style quinoa with haloumi ???? I cooked, Everly plated, and the whole thing took 30 mins ???????? ⠀ ⠀ The details: There are three recipes per box, and the boxes range from $50 to $80 (including delivery!) BUT the Dinnerly crew have kindly given me the discount code EVERLY for $28 off your first delivery! Which can take it down to as low as $20 for a 2 person box or $50 for a family box. You can also make them vegetarian ????????????????⠀ ⠀ Check out my story for the swipe up link and a few behind the scenes pics from today ???? ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #dinnerlyforthewinnerly #ilegitmadethatup #genius #mealprep #mealdelivery #dinnerlypartner #toddlerplay⠀

A post shared by Jess || Mama to Everly (@allabouteverly) on


This doesn’t mean that I’m trying to trick you all into thinking I have the perfect life. Yes, I’m constantly aware of and grateful for the fact that Everly is a placid, happy kid, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a pain in the butt sometimes, or a total ratbag on other days. Everly can throw her avocado on the floor with the best of them.

But my Instagram feed, by my choice, shares the best and prettiest parts of our life. The love, the joy, the beautiful clothes (on Everly, not on me #kmartislife), the toys, the cooking and the smiles.

Our reality is still there in the captions, amongst the edited photos, in the stories and the DMs. Just remember, if it looks like a rose-tinted life… it’s probably a preset.

This story was originally published on All About Everly and has been republished with full permission.