Image of Spike enjoying the Spring sunshine with blog title of Why I do so much with Spike, and why you shouldn't believe everything that Instagram shows you
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Why I ‘do’ so much with Spike – and why you shouldn’t believe everything that Instagram shows you

Ever see another parent on Instagram and think their life is perfect? Do you think they are acing it and doing a great job? They are, we all are. But they aren’t doing a better job than you, or anyone else you know because they capture a few perfect moments.

My Instagram feed

I capture sweet moments and things that I get up to with Spike. I share them and I share day to day bits of our lives. If you read my captions its not always sweet but the photos usually look it. For the most part. However that doesn’t mean my sh*t is together as much as you may think.

You do so much!

Spike cuddling Toad from Wind in the Willows statue at Brockholes, Lancashire, Someone I know told me I do so much with Spike. That I’m always out and about with her. And thats true. She got this from my Instagram feed, because I try and get out every weekend. She said it like it was a bad thing. Like I shouldn’t spend as much time with my child as I do. And backtracked quickly when I tried to defend my situation. You see I work 5 days a week. I, and Spike, spend more than 8 hours every day in the same room or the same outside space. Spike is in nursery or in their outside space. She doesn’t venture any further. 5 days a week, 51 weeks of the year. Forgive me for not wanting her to spend the other 2 sat inside the same rooms that she’s in for the rest of the hours of those 5 midweek days.

My coping mechanism

That’s just one reason why I do so much with her though. I didn’t admit it when I was defending myself to my friend, but going out is my coping mechanism. I can’t stand being cooped up in the house with Spike. It drives me insane seeing the same rooms all day every day. Spike is a very energetic young girl and she wants to do things all the time. She wants constant attention and given that when we are in the house grinds on me. I prefer to go out because then the attention I’m giving her can be interlaced with attention drawn to other things, to learning about things and sharing experiences with her.

My house doesn’t agree that the best place for me is out about about

Spike playing at a soft play centreWhen you look at the posts on my feed, and hear me speak about everything we’ve done over the weekends, you might think ‘Wow, she’s got her life in order. She’s dealing with everything so well.” However, my house would disagree. Because we go out so much there are often things that get left undone throughout the house. I try and do as much as I can on an evening, but there’s a pile of clothes in Spike’s room that have needed to be put away for a week now, and I really should clean out the cupboards in the kitchen. Plus, don’t get me started on the tops and getting rid of the ones that Spike doesn’t pay with anymore…

The jobs around the house

I don’t hoover, or wash up – those are T’s jobs – and I fit a food shop in around the things we’re doing on a weekend. I cook, and I clean what I need to. I do the clothes washing and put them away but I fit it around our lives. Other people take so much pride in their homes that they can show them off on Instagram. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But you’ll never see a serene, beautiful home shot on my feed, because thats just not my happy place. My happy place is the every day experiences and learning and fun that I can have with my girl on our days off. That is also just not my home. It’s a lived in place with dirty dishes and skewed coffee pot lids!

The rise of social comparison

Spike sat on the kitchen worktop with dirty dishes and messy worktopSocial comparison is horrible. You’ll sit there flicking through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – whatever your poison is. You’ll see snapshots of people’s perfect life and you will wonder why yours doesn’t match up. Please don’t. Please remind yourself that a lot of the time that image is a carefully chosen, usually carefully constructed snapshot. We share what makes us happy, we are human in that respect. And that should make you happy too. It shouldn’t make you think that you are less than someone else because your whole life doesn’t look as ‘perfect’. If you start thinking that it can get you into a dark place, and that’s no good for anyone. So step away, think about the great parts of your life = because there will be some – and enjoy it.