Photos of picture-perfect families clogging up your Instagram feed? It’s time to start following Average Parent Problems — the brainchild of Mommy Shorts blogger Ilana Wiles.
The account — which boasts 277,000 followers — features photos that epitomize the daily struggles of parenting. Think kids sobbing at the doctor when they learn that the new pediatrician doesn’t hand out lollipops.
“Instagram has gotten very curated and a lot of popular moms to follow look like they are leading perfect lives, which can feel very intimidating,” Wiles tells Us Weekly. “But it’s important to understand that what you are looking at is not real life. It’s art-directed. The mess is cropped out, or the tantrum that took place immediately before or after the picture, is omitted.”
She continues: “My view is that parenting is really fun when we are able to laugh at the ridiculousness together.”
The New Yorker, who encourages moms and dads to submit photos with the hashtag #averageparentproblems, regularly shares memes of her daughters Mazzy, 6, and Harlow, 3. Here are some of her favorite featuring her own family:
Meanwhile, not every meltdown lands on Instagram. “I took my daughter to a festival recently with rides and games. She went on three rides, won two stuffed animals, got her face painted like a cat and was standing there eating an ice cream cone when she realized the pony rides were packing up to leave before she got a turn and had a fit,” Wiles tells Us. “I was like, ‘You are not allowed to have a tantrum while you’re holding prizes and ice cream with your face painted.'”
Wiles book The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting is on sale September 27.
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