Sydney mum, Yasmin Quemard, says there is an untold story of motherhood on Facebook.
“We used to think the images we were being shown in magazines were real and now I feel the same with social media,” she said.
“I look at what people are putting on Facebook and I feel like that’s real but actually it’s not.
“It’s just one aspect of a person’s life and being a mum and seeing all these pictures of other mums looking so happy, in control and so beautiful and radiant – I felt like that is only showing one side of motherhood.”
Yasmin’s four-month-old son, Arthur, was born at 25 weeks and was in NICU for 95 days.
“I had Arthur a lot earlier than other mothers and I felt inadequate, I guess, because people would talk about this mother’s instinct and mine didn’t kick in…
“There’s all these kinds of myths and expectations and you feel like these things come on day one but they take a really long time.”
The 38-year-old’s journey into motherhood had a rough start, so when she posted a happy moment on Facebook last week she decided to give it context in an effort to help other mothers.
Surviving on the fumes of coffee and three hours sleep she wrote:
“The Little Man & I.
I wrestled for quite some time whether to post this without some truthful commentary to go with it. Sometimes I struggle with my “social media self” versus my reality.
So let me just explain. This is a photo of me looking very happy and content as a mother with my beautiful son. But there are times when I also look sad, tired, grumpy, lost, anxious and annoyed as a mother.
I feel the need to be real and honest. Particularly now. I struggle dealing with all the emotional states that come with being a first time mum.
When I come on here and see pictures of other mums looking so happy too, sometimes I ask myself these dreaded questions: What am I doing so wrong? Why don’t I look so in control and happy like those mothers?
That’s why I wanted to give a little background to this photo. This was taken in the park after a 2 hour crying episode (him) and a small blub blub (me) in the morning. I just managed to get out of my pyjamas at 11.49am and I was surviving on the fumes of coffee after a sum total of 3 hours sleep that night.
I look at this photo and I think: I am a mum doing the best I can for a great little man who will one day be a greater bigger man thanks to a little help from me.”
Yasmin says she has received “beautiful comments” following her post and they help her get through hard days.
“I just cut through the bullshit now and I just want to get to the truth…It’s so much more comforting when the walls come down,” she said.
The new mum wanted to acknowledge that there are a whole range of emotions that come with motherhood and challenge her one-sided Facebook feed.
“I didn’t want to be part of putting pressure on other mothers, so I thought if I posted this, I am taking the pressure off mothers by giving the background to my story.”
The latest episode of This Glorious Mess. What is bird nest parenting? How do you raise a non-homophobe? Help, my kid is a biter. What did your parents do that today would be considered bad parenting?