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When I was growing up we were told the internet was a scary place. I was always super aware that the fellow fifteen year old I was talking to on Yahoo! Chat could likely be a pervy sixty year old in Wigan wearing a sweat-stained string vest called Terry.
But now I’m a grown-up (HAH) and (I think) not so worried about hypothetical Terrys, I’ve realised there are other people on the Internet we should be wary of. And they are mothers just like me.
When I came out as having PND I was fairly shocked at the amount of people who emailed me saying “no! Not you! Not your perfect lovely life!”. And that made me feel a bit sad, like I’d been deceiving the people who read my blog. I was worried that I’d been portraying an image of perfection in my life that doesn’t actually exist.
Don’t get me wrong, my life is lovely. We live in a great place, have the means to put food on the table and heat in the radiators and I have two brilliant children. But it’s not all shiny happy perfection, not at all. I have a dusty dressing table and a baby’s high chair that has yesterday’s cement-like Weetabix stuck to it. Last week when both kids were sick I lost track of when the last shower I had was.
I have the occasional screaming row with family members and can rarely be bothered to hoover my stairs. When I’m having a bleak PND stretch I can go four days without leaving my house or brushing my hair: on those days it gets to 3pm and sometimes I’m not sure if I’ve brushed my teeth or not. That’s gross, isn’t it? Definitely not shiney perfectiony rose-tinted awesomeness.
But nobody really wants to read about the bad stuff on a blog, or do they?
I don’t want to feel like I’m complaining about how tough my perfect lovely life is because I’m full aware that I should be very grateful, and I don’t want to bore people with my Middle Class moanings. But at the same time I don’t want to make others feel inadequate because I’m writing about a dream of motherhood that perhaps doesn’t quite exist: and I should know, I think I subconsciously strive for an ideal lifestyle that I read about daily but isn’t in my reach.
I’m an avid reader of blogs and there are some out there that make me sigh with longing. You know the ones? Perfect clothes, perfect hair. Perfect homes, perfect parties. Perfectly behaved cute kids. Perfect blogs. These are the women who definitely clean their teeth before 8am and always hoover their stairs.
At least that’s what they make you think.
Maybe behind the scenes that isn’t the case. Maybe they have perfect homes because they pay their perfect cleaner to come twice a week? Maybe they have so much time to blog about their lives because their perfect husbands work 18 hours a day?
But still, people are always going to want to read their blogs because then they can believe this level of perfection is attainable in their own lives. Stepping into their lovely lives for 5 minutes a day is pure escapism.
What do you think? Would you rather your blogs came with a dose of reality, or do you like to read about the rose-tinted parts of people’s lives only?