Had a 'Real Mum Moment' lately?

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 Photo: Getty Images

Since the advent of blogging and social media, mums don't have to look too far to find comfort and support from others travelling the same tumultuous path of parenting.

Our feeds are filled with relatable parenting stories of humour, stress and anxiety, and the honesty in the posts of many offers us a glimpse behind their perceived perfect lives.

However, it's not always the case. Sometimes the pressure from social media to conform to the 'perfect' mother image is intense, and we can be left feeling like we're failing at the hardest job in the world.

We only see what others want us to see and this picture perfect world has us doubting our own abilities.

But a new social media campaign is putting paid to that, instead encouraging women to continue supporting each other through motherhood by 'keeping it real'.

Digital Mums website founders Kathryn Taylor and Nikki Cochrane started the digital campaign, #RealMumMoments, on the back of the recent Facebook Motherhood Challenge.   

Unlike the motherhood challenge however, which some felt was a forced and false depiction of motherhood, the aim is to provide an open forum in which mums can share honest, unpolished and 'real' parenting experiences. 

"While we think it's ace many of you took part in the recent Facebook Motherhood Challenge we'd like to do our own version of it – one that's a bit more real," notes their website.

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The campaign encourages mums to share "something that brings to life what it's really like being a mum".

"It might be a funny thing that your little one has said in public; a parenting disaster along the lines of them drawing on the walls, or a bowl of painstakingly prepared food unceremoniously chucked on the floor. We bet there are a fair few involving poo!"

Since the campaign started, mums have taken to social media to share their very own stories – the majority of which have us cringing on their behalf.

There are stories telling of public swearing, inappropriate questions and references to alcohol and body parts, as well as inappropriate behaviour – by both mum and child.

Fi Alsop tweets, "When curious sons aged 4 and 2 microwaved the TV remote 'to see if it would melt like cheese. #RealMumMoments."

Cessally Collison said, "When you're on a bus & tell your son he can't have any of your diet coke because its special mummy juice and he says 'wine?" #RealMumMoments."

Family psychotherapist Dr Karen Phillip says that sharing real situations can make fun and interesting reading, and also enables mums to openly disclose and discuss difficulties and challenges, joys and accomplishments.

"Campaigns like this can stop the feeling of isolation some mothers experience.  Unlike Facebook, where parents often paint a perfect picture of themselves, this campaign doesn't misrepresent the truth."

"This can help mums realise that they're not failing – that there are others out there experiencing the same balance of accomplishments and struggles."

Phillip adds that while we can't stop the progression of social media sharing, or cease the content being posted, we can select what we find helpful and leave the rest behind.

"If done correctly, this can support mothers and bring their community closer," she says.