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One Mom's Online Anxiety

I fell into that familiar social media black hole of gorgeous things and beautiful people, and before I had time to tweet my latest Instagram, I was feeling particularly small. You know how it goes. Smaller. Uglier. Less fashionable. Incapable. Totally failing at motherhood.

On Pinterest, I see pretty food that I will never pull off.

On Facebook, an old friend with four kids lists all the things crossed off her to-do list. It’s still the morning. All I've accomplished today is remembering to give the kids their vitamins.

I look at blog posts and I see gorgeous pictures of well-decorated homes. They remind me that we've lived here over two years and the walls are still bare.

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And running through my head the whole time is a quiet rant. “I can't handle this. I am so stressed. How will I ever get it all done? The kids need to eat. And, look at the crumbs on the floor! And someone feed the damn dog!”

It goes on like this until I stop myself and think about what I've learned in my nearly five years as a blogger.

For the most part, life is good here in the digital age. I love the way we develop community and gain perspective from each other while also—hopefully—inspiring other mothers with our own stories.

When I am feeling small I'm forgetting that the mom behind the beautiful homemade meal on Pinterest probably has nights like mine. You know, the ones where everyone fends for themselves in stages because we've got soccer or tee-ball or work.

And when someone shares on Facebook all that she accomplished that day, it's probably because it's rare and she just wants to feel good about it for awhile longer—and I totally get that.

One of the reasons I keep coming back are to read and share those messes.

I have to remember that the beautifully decorated room I see in a blog post doesn't show the rest of the house.

We all have messes.

One of the reasons I keep coming back are to read and share those messes. I go beyond the cleaned-up version of myself and my home, and open the doors to more of myself with the concerns, questions and sometimes even the raw truth about how hard and scary motherhood can be.

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And when I do that, there is always a resounding “me too” from the community. There's something very powerful about a me too moment—it’s a validating and reassuring gift.

I try to remember that life is both messy and beautiful online and off, even for that person with the seemingly perfect words and pictures.

This post is part of our blogging carnival where we explore how the online world has helped us as moms. Read more about it here: Welcome to mom.me

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