Kids smiling, jumping in the pool, playing in the sand, eating popsicles, swimming without a floatie for the first time, cooking on the grill, having a frozen beverage by the water. These images will flood your Facebook or Instagram feed ALL. SUMMER. LONG.
Here's what you don't see.
The mom who took the picture hasn't showered in 3 days. She hasn't worn makeup in much, much longer.
She broke up 4 fights already today.
Her toddler threw a tantrum because she asked for a banana. But when the banana was delivered to the very spot she requested so she could see the TV while watching Peppa Pig (for waaay longer than she should have been allowed), the banana was, GASP, cut into pieces. She wanted the banana BIG WITH THE PEEL ON BUT JUST STARTED A LITTLE SO SHE COULD PEEL THE REST HERSELF.
Her oldest has asked what the plans are for the day for the 137th time.
And honestly, there are no plans for the day.
There are no plans because there are many, many, many clothes to wash. And a dishwasher to empty because it was run 4 days ago. EVERY bedroom looks like a pack of wild hyenas ran threw it. There are toys in every damn corner and there are dress up clothes in the bathroom, which have left a trail of glitter down the hallway and even on the toilet (don't even want to know what happened there).
But by the 138th "what are we doing today", Mom just can't take one more f*cking second. So guess what, kids? We are heading to the pool!
For about 46 minutes. 21 of which were spent putting sunscreen on each child and blowing up flotation devices.
But somewhere in those 46 minutes, Mom succeeded in taking a picture in which NO child is crying, whining, or fighting. As a matter of fact, they even look...happy. Post that sh*t to Instagram, baby.
Then if she is lucky, by the 47th minute the children are requesting a snack and she can snap another picture to share of them eating popsicles by the sparkling blue pool water and it looks so peaceful that everyone, even Mom, buys it.
Plus Mom is still in shock that the kids went 47 minutes without asking for a snack. That's a success right there. Have to stop and celebrate the small stuff, right?
All of a sudden it's late afternoon and everyone wants more snacks. Mom doesn't know what to make for dinner. Or if the kids will even eat the damn dinner because SNACKS.
Everyone needs showers or baths now because they lathered up in sunscreen for the 46 minute pool escapade. They don't want showers, especially the youngest, so she needs to be carried in and refuses to cooperate for the entire duration of the shower. The bathroom window is open a bit and the entire neighborhood has most likely heard just how uncooperative she has been.
Finally, somehow all children are clean and in pajamas. Then the snack requests begin AGAIN. Mom whips up some homemade milkshakes and for a few moments of bliss, all kids are happy and maybe Mom can grab her phone and snap a another quick pic as evidence of his momentous occasion.
If she's lucky, the kids will fall asleep by 10 pm and Mom can finally relax. She will sit down to her favorite show and maybe even post about it on Facebook to let people know that she still watches programs that aren't on Nick Jr.
However, approximately 8 minutes into the show, Mom is asleep on the sofa. Her moments of freedom slip away as she wastes them on something as boring as sleep.
She will wake up and do it all again the next day.
Her summer is AH-MAZ-ING, dammit. And she has the pics on social media to prove it.