Fake domestic bliss

Just before 9am on Wednesday morning, I tweeted to the world this picture:

photo-513It was rather unfair of me really, to send out a cyber-gloat showing both of my children calm and content so early in the day. There was the two-year-old, drawing happily in his high chair, concentrating on his masterpiece. And, watching over him while happily sucking on her fingers, was my six-month-0ld daughter. Their seats were turned to face each other, they had probably just been chatting happily to each other while I looked on. There wasn’t even too much clutter in the background. Yes, this was a scene of domestic bliss.

But there was more to the story than this little tableau showed. The photo, you see, is a fake.

It is not a fake in the sense that it didn’t happen. It is not a fake in the sense that it was posed. No, this photo taken on my phone captured a fleeting moment of calm in the kitchen on Wednesday morning. But I took the snap just to prove to myself that occasionally, life can be this tranquil. Occasionally, life looks like it is all under control.

This image of domestic bliss is, you see, in no way representative of the status quo at our place on any given morning at 9am. It was, you see, a fluke.

The fake domestic bliss lasted for about a mili-second – just long enough for me to press click, in fact.

Before I had even put down my phone after taking this photo, Milin threw his notebook and pencil on the floor. Hard. He was annoyed that the binding of the book meant it wouldn’t lie open by itself. He is two. He doesn’t have the co-ordination to hold a  heavy book open with one hand and draw with the other. I shouldn’t have given it to him.

Jasmin is sweetly sucking on her fingers, yes. But less than a minute later she sticks them too far into her mouth and is sick all over her chair and herself. As I pick her up, she is sick again – all over my clothes. I have no other clean jeans.

Milin’s beaker sits, quite full, on the table. It is out of his reach because not only has he refused to eat anything this Wednesday morning, but he has refused to drink his water too. That beaker becomes the source of our major battles that day.

On the kitchen table, almost out of shot, is the packet of ‘Dr Peppa Pig’, which is Milin’s name for the Peppa compress which lives in our fridge. Minutes before this photo was taken, he was pressing the compress to his head. He had banged it when I wasn’t watching him. I was distracted by Jasmin, or by something on my phone, or by something else.

While the children sat in their chairs, I was running around, trying to find Milin’s hat, my keys, Jasmin’s pramsuit, and my sunglasses to make sure I didn’t need to look the world in the eye. We were late to meet a friend. I had decided not to go to our weekly singing class partly because it was sunny out and partly because I couldn’t be bothered. I’d had two cups of  coffee already even though I’m trying to limit myself to one a day. We ran out of the door, finally, after more tears, after I’d snapped curt words and wished I hadn’t, after I once more wondered how other mums made life look so easy, and after I’d just about wiped the sick from my clothes and out of my hair.

And so, it was rather unfair of me to cyber-gloat that picture of fake domestic bliss without an explanation. I hope this makes up for it. Sometimes real life is more than you see in the picture.


19 Comments on Fake domestic bliss

  1. Kelly
    March 2, 2014 at 2:48 am (4 years ago)

    I can identify! When I look at other moms’ Facebook pictures, I sometimes feel jealous that their lives are so perfect. Then I remember that my Facebook friends probably think my life is all baby smiles and fun family activities. It’s comforting to know that if I’m that falsely represented, they probably are, too.

  2. Mummy Says
    March 2, 2014 at 7:11 am (4 years ago)

    Exactly! I guess though that it’s perfectly natural that we would want to show the world the prettier moments. X

  3. Mummy Hearts You
    March 2, 2014 at 7:55 am (4 years ago)

    There is always a story behind the picture, and I love this one! and if it wasn’t so hectic and chaotic then it wouldn’t be normal 😉 I

  4. carie
    March 2, 2014 at 9:17 am (4 years ago)

    Sometimes that’s true, but it’s just as good to remember the moments of bliss – and they look so happy together!

  5. Lucinda Turner
    March 2, 2014 at 9:25 am (4 years ago)

    There is always a story behind a photo 🙂 You couldn’t imagine the chaos that went on around the calm scene. All parents have these x

  6. Honest Mum
    March 2, 2014 at 10:10 am (4 years ago)

    Urgh I totally relate…it’s a shot that never shows the whole story because in the midst of madness (sick on clothes, kids banging heads) no one has time to get the ‘real shot’. Loved this!

    • Mummy Says
      March 2, 2014 at 11:23 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! And the real shot wouldn’t be very pretty either – madness indeed!

  7. Le Coin de Mel
    March 2, 2014 at 10:23 am (4 years ago)

    A really honest post… love it! We all do it, Kiran! Can you imaginge posting the photo of Jasmin vomiting whilst Milin is throwing his book on the floor? Mind you, that would be funny, but on the same level as a wedding picture on a thank you card featuring the bride with closed eyes and the groom picking his nose… not likely to happen 🙂 x Mel

    • Mummy Says
      March 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm (4 years ago)

      Haha, and yes, those are photos which you will never see! X

  8. hensonpd
    March 2, 2014 at 6:44 pm (4 years ago)

    I can also relate. Most images I post are of the smiles and laughs. But being a mom I think it’s pretty normal to go from the “aww…so sweet” moments to the “you GOT to be KIDDING me!” I feel like the calm exists but is quickly fleeting. Mommylife can get so chaotic. I am happy to have stumbled across your blog. I will be back. You can check mine out at: honeysuckleandlace.com

    • Mummy Says
      March 2, 2014 at 11:21 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for your comment, I will take a look. And yes, things can change so quickly!

  9. MummyBear'sBlog
    March 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh yes, how everything can change at the click of a ‘shutter’ 😉

  10. Winding road
    March 3, 2014 at 3:11 am (4 years ago)

    Every single time I take a picture of a perfect and serene moment, it ends before I’ve put my phone down too. At least you can acknowledge those moments DO happen and one day down the road when parenting amnesia sets in, those pictures will be ALL you remember. xo

  11. Free Range Chick
    March 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm (4 years ago)

    What a great post. I can’t believe how much I relate to this. I can take many snaps of seeming domestic bliss with my two, and then a moment later, everything descends into chaos laced with vomit, poo, thrown food, spilt milk, tears. Having said that, it is all good fun. No, really.

  12. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    May 5, 2014 at 8:01 am (4 years ago)

    I think that when the kids are smiley we have time to take photos cuz they woud let us.. and when they are tantrumy who has got the time to take photos let alone hold a camera or phone. I know this scane cuz ive been in it lots of times. The before the blissful photo and after. I think its not fake.. i think its just we really do have more chance to take photos when the kids are alright. Nice post as always =) #whatsthestory

  13. thereadingresidence
    May 5, 2014 at 8:20 am (4 years ago)

    Oh yes, been there! All is perfect and happy for a moment, and then you let your guard down and chaos reigns! Normal life, I think x

  14. Iona@ Redpeffer
    May 5, 2014 at 10:09 am (4 years ago)

    Oh yes, been there and done that. Just this now for example, my two were shouting at each other and increasing the volume as they went. So what did I do, yell at them to be quiet. Classy parenting. I can’t handle the shouting crescendo as it grates, but I should have dealt with it better. And moments before all had been laughter and giggles with Daddy. I think we should start a ‘reality parenting linky’ to share our rubbish moments together and ease the guilt a fraction.

  15. Charly Dove
    May 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm (4 years ago)

    Love it when a photo does’t appear quite as it seems! What a wonderful moment though, you must have been thrilled to capture it. Lovely post, thank you so much for sharing with #whatsthestory

  16. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    May 5, 2014 at 7:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Loving this post Kiran! It’s amazing how quickly things can turn from a moment of serenity, into a day of chaos! We live in chaos a lot with only one little’un and am a bit terrified of how less frequent the calm moments will be when number 2 comes along!! xx #whatsthestory


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