My last post discussed the dark side of Instastories. Let’s say no to TMTF—too much, too fake. Let’s swipe away from those poses and manufactured posts of brands and bags and clothes and food and pastel stationery. All that does for me is make me look at my closet and stress about what I am supposed to wear now. I’m not in my twenties anymore. Here’s to being real and not giving a shit. Well, at least a little bit.
So what DO I want to see on Instastories?
Lean in, mamas, I kind of need to whisper this.
1. Real skin—not as in bare torsos of guys with ripped abs. But, like freckles and wrinkles and eye bags.
2. Real worries and stresses. It is not a perfect life and so why are we trying to sell ourselves as calorie-free chocolate?
3. Things that remind me of how I was before kids, and how I am during. It’s for that reason that I am obsessed with @instachaz and @catandnat because they are so so so different.
4. People doing something different and not giving a shit. Shout out to @instachaz, @catandnat and Bryony Gordon as mentors for this.
5. The occasional tantrum. Not to shame the mama or the kid but to show what the mamas are dealing with on a daily basis. Kid can wear a Spiderman mask to protect privacy for his future job applications, you know?
6. Birthday cakes that fall into the “failed” category. Messy finger food (as in, messy before anyone’s dug in). Cake pops that sag. Unicorn cakes that look somehow more like dad’s private bits than a YouTube-worthy creation.
7. I’d like to see an Instastory of an Instagrammer climbing onto a chair to get that “aerial” perfect shot of food then falling into the plate of food (not in a way that requires an ambulance). It’s not that I want to see Jackass-ery or pain, but people who climb on top of chairs for the perfect post seem unhinged to me.
8. A couple kissing like they really do, not like the Instagrammer of the couple dictates they do so as to look like they have yoga arms, no double chin, and no tongues. Yes, I have probably been a victim to all of that too so this post is a wake-up call to myself as much as a call-to-reals to you all.
And now a major shout out to Ditch the Label.
They are real and totally cool in being real.
Of course, my biggest fear is if I am real. I know that sounds dumb, but my mission in this life is to lift up mamas by finding the magic in the midst of the mess. I speak at events and confess that I, too, lose it with my kids and myself. Like on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel like the audience deflates to hear that. But it’s my reality. I am fuelled by coffee and a willingness to put myself out there to show the commonalities for all mamas from Topeko to Tokyo, from Dubai to Detroit.
So, I’m sticking to looking for my damn wand with my mascara-colored roots and wrongly tinted cover up. After my digital detox, I’m more conscious of how many minutes per day I spend mindlessly scrolling. I want to give my fingers a break. And my mind. To look out the window at the horizon. Or bond with a blank page and do something little on it—just for me. Just for me and maybe my kids someday. Not for the world.
I’m writing this to remind myself I’m a writer and a mama of three, who is writing for the joy of it, but also for whoever still reads. My Instastories are actually those few moments in any given day when I’m feeling the magic.