At Carmel Mountain Preschool our staff is comprised of parents who are all too familiar with the ups and downs of raising a family. Whether they’re new parents or have had their second or third child, they can relate to the challenges that many of us face.

Being a parent is such a wonderful gift but let’s be honest, there are times when it’s just plain hard. We want to maintain our identity. In an effort to show that we’re grateful to be parents, we strive to be a positive light for our children while also portraying a positive “life” to friends and family. This is especially true in social media. We want people to see the happy times, not necessarily the sad or the bad times. We understand this struggle. The recent account below from our own Arianne Condrick-Bettazzi is one we think many parents can relate to. It’s a very real recollection of a day that seemed serene in an Instagram post but in reality, wasn’t.

—A Beautiful Day at Balboa Park—

I always wonder what all the moms’ real lives are like compared to their “social media mom persona.”

I know that mine is a far cry from what I portray. I didn’t really think about it until a few weeks ago.

This was my Instagram post: Beautiful Day at Balboa Park.

Little Boy in Balboa Park Instagram

Image credit: Arianne Condrick Bettazzi

And this was my actual day:

I woke up exhausted at 6:30 a.m. Because my son, Finn, is teething and/or fighting a cold and he woke up five times during the night.  My husband can’t help me at night because Finn is still breastfeeding and I haven’t figured out how to wean him even though he is 18 months old.  I woke up at 6:30 a.m. Because Finn peed through his diaper again – when will they make diapers that hold an entire night of urine?  

I rushed to strip the bed and get both Finn and myself ready for work/school.  We made it to school and I was an emotional mess.  Finn is having a difficult time adjusting to school and it’s hard for me to hear him cry.  I drop him off at class and try and get as much as I possibly can get finished.  Finn’s day is over and he is exhausted and we are late to meet friends for lunch in Old Town.  I nurse Finn in the back seat of my car in the parking lot until I think he is asleep (he is not) and then put a screaming Finn is his car seat (Finn hates car seats for some reason).  Finn cries for the first ten minutes no matter how many times I sing, “The Wheels on the Bus” and then falls asleep.

We drive to Old Town to meet our friends for lunch and Finn is still asleep. Never wake a sleeping toddler. Our friends have a yummy leisurely lunch while I sit with a sleeping Finn in the back seat of my car for two hours responding to work emails and calls.  Our friends finish lunch and Finn wakes up as they get into our car to head to Balboa Park.

The parking is a complete nightmare at Balboa Park and after driving around for thirty minutes looking for parking, I drop our friends at the museum and head out to find parking and walk back to meet them. One hour later I make it to the museum with Finn in tow and both of us are starving. It’s $30 to go into the museum. I know that we have less than an hour in the museum, Finn and I need food and we need to go find our car again. We forgo the museum, walk quickly across Balboa Park to get food and have to rush back to our car to pick up our friends.

During the rush from the restaurant to our car we pass through the beautiful gardens and I take a quick picture of Finn and rush back to our car, pick up our friends and sit in wonderful San Diego traffic for over an hour to get home.  But you have to love my post that day: “Beautiful Day at Balboa Park.”

Why do we feel so much pressure to show these amazing social media lives?  Sometimes I think it puts too much pressure on parents and it’s so unrealistic. Why don’t we post about all the crazy mishaps that happen as a parent?  That being said, in my next life I want to come back as Instagram Arianne!

Parents, can you relate?

Carmel Mountain Preschool provides a safe and caring environment with hands-on, developmentally-appropriate programs for children. We also offer excellent care for elementary school-age students with our before and after school programs. CMP is located at 9510 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego CA 92129, situated between 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel Valley, and Santaluz For more information, please visit our website or contact us at 858.484.4877.