Saturday, December 20, 2008

Negative = Real, Positive = Facade?

My best friend used to get the use of the phrase "real world", as in "welcome to it". Her response: "What? Have I been living in a fake world this whole time?" (roughly paraphrased).

A variation on this troublesome saying has recently made its way under my skin. I've noticed in several of my favorite "mom" blogs and podcasts that it is common to refer to meltdowns and breakdowns and generally anything negative as "real life", or revealing the "real me". Why is it that women believe only their failures are "real", and anything positive about themselves is truly a facade??

I'll use myself as an example. As you may have judged from my recent posts, I had what might be called a stress breakdown last week. I felt like I couldn't do anything right, the house became a disaster, and I really wasn't of much use to anyone.

The week before that, I was obviously happy, pretty much stayed on top of the housecleaning, and felt like I did a good job supporting my husband and nurturing my daughter. Does my subsequent meltdown mean that everything that came before was just a show to deceive the viewing public?

I don't believe so. The "appears to have everything under control" part of me is just as real as the "I desperately need a break" part of me. If anything, the negative side was a failing of the real me, not the revealing of a truth beneath a facade.


  1. Your friend sounds like a very sensible person to be annoyed by that saying. ;)

    Not being a mom, I haven't visited any "mom blogs" but I agree with your raising the alarm on the other as well!

    People are not one-dimensional and Stepford-wifish (and if they are then they are creepers and I will be looking for the nearest exit). If this is as common as you say, I'm glad you brought it to attention - it needs to be rethought.

    Good stuff!

  2. Interesting thought. There are a lot of blogs that talk about how tough it can be to be a mom, as if that's the most real it can get.
    Sorry to hear about your stressful week. :-)