I remember when we were trying to get pregnant, my husband and I were incredibly aware of parents walking around with their kids. I remember seeing the mom with her new baby, holding him in the restaurant, while he slept away in her arms. I remember seeing the dad at the lake with his toddler, probably showing him how to fish for the first time. Remember when you were pregnant for the first time and it seemed like everyone was pregnant too?
I knew as a first time parent that things would be hard and not so picturesque as the glimpses we see on the street. In fact, that’s why my husband and I put off having kids for almost eight years. But, we were excited first time parents and I remember sometimes, late in the night we’d both be awake and we’d talk about some of the excited memories we anticipated making when starting our family.
In a world enveloped by social media, you would probably be lying if you didn’t see a photo on Instagram and secretly remember to try that with your little one. Some of your greatest photo ideas come from your fellow Insta addicts.
A year and a half later with ten months of diapers (sheesh, when can we potty train already?) with a ten month old, you learn those memories are like flashes that come and go so fast, you can hardly remember they happened in the midst of sleep deprivation. And what about those moments we anticipated would be our “charming” little family memories? What actually happens in those dreamed about moments?
1) Parent dreams about taking cute photos of their newly crawling baby, peeking out from under the coffee table and sharing it on Instagram. #cutestbabyever
What Really Happens: Your baby isn’t peeking out because they are way to engrossed in eating whatever unidentified object was growing under your coffee table because who has time to actually clean under there when you’ve got kids running around. Whew.
2) Parent dreams about baby playing outside, maybe picking a dandelion and looking at it curiously.
Baby waits on parent while just taking in the world. Ah, yes, another Insta moment. Seriously, I had an exact image like this. Man, sweet mother. #justyouwait
What Really Happens: Baby eats the dandelion and another one. And another one, until you realize he’s eating all the dandelions while being so quiet.
Tip: Never mistake quietness with good behavior. Never.
By the time you find him, he has already found a new interest in the surprise your neighbor’s dog left as they walked by earlier.
3) Parent dreams about snuggling with their little one for naps as they gently fall asleep against their chest. Totally Insta worthy. Hello #sleepingbaby.
What Really Happens: Your baby has now discovered your nose and eyes and even your ears. These are incredibly fun to try and rip off your face. Now, this could be Insta worthy. #babyripsfaceoff
But your too tired to even care because all you want to do is sleep. Did I mention the biting? Ever had a teething baby gnaw on your shoulder as you try to sing “Go to sleep little baby”? Yah, no one ever makes it through that song with a teething little.
4) Parent dreams about their little’s first photo with Santa. This will blow up your Insta likes. #babysfirstsanta
What Really Happens: Screaming. Crying. Lots of crying. There will be a glare in this photo from all the tears. I don’t blame the kid for this one, really. A large, strange man, laughing at me for being so little? Really?
5) Parent dreams of hoisting your toddler on your shoulders as they excitedly watch the town parade and all the horses trot by. You decide to make them giggle with a little tickling. Thank you #documentyourday
What Really Happens: Vomit. Too much tickling. Yep, that’s the cotton candy you just had to buy him earlier. A sticky and slimy car ride home, followed by a toddler with an upset stomach from all the candy you let him eat.
Parent dreams of that feeling they say you get when your little grabs your finger for the first time.
That feeling when they begin to crawl for the first time and you could care less what they eat under the table because you’re ecstatic they figured it out. OK, maybe you’ll do a quick sweep under there.
That feeling when you laugh with them as you hose off the doggie poo they ate while playing outside.
Who cares about the photo with Santa. They won’t remember anyways.
Throw up is never picturesque but the pure joy they experienced by running around with cotton candy in hand, while waiting for the parade to start? That’s what really happens when parents see their dreams unfold as their babies grow. Pure innocence and joy. #enjoytheride
Come on guys. I know you have some #instamomentsgonewrong. Tell us what they were!
If you want to see more of me fumbling along as a mama to encourage yourself, check us out on Instagram.