As much as we’d love to say social media has become a safe-place, let’s be real here – it still isn’t 100 per cent free from toxicity.
Yes, we’ve come a long way in trying to defy the world of filters, Photoshop edits and good lighting, but apart from Finstas (aka fake Instagram accounts), a person’s real account still showcases a slightly more perfect version of themselves.
I mean, how many of you have mustered up the courage to post a makeup free selfie in bed while stuffing your face with chocolate? I haven’t, there’s a 99.9 per cent chance you haven’t, and the same goes for every other person around you at this very moment – that is unless you’re standing next to Jessica Rowe.
We’ve watched her on our screens, read all about her life in her deeply honest memoir ‘Is this my beautiful life?’, seen her hair go from blonde to pink to blue to platinum, and she’s shown us that tinned spaghetti and burnt chicken shnitties are A-OK dinners. Us Aussies have welcomed our favourite mum into our homes because she is the accurate representation of everything you don’t come across on social media.
“I get so tired and weary of seeing, especially on social media, these beautifully front-of-house lives of people, where everyone looks neat and tidy, children’s hair is brushed, houses are immaculate, we cook amazing meals – but that is not real life and it’s no one’s,” the mother-of-two tells co-hosts Maz Compton and Eliza Cracknell on the latest episode of Healthy-ish: How do we find that elusive work/life balance.
“I used to waste too much time thinking and comparing myself to everyone else’s sort of front-of-house with my back-of-house and realising you know, we all have our struggles.”
She’s become so fed up with this perfect façade that Australia’s #crazycatlady has taken matters into her own hands, now becoming social media’s self-proclaimed #craphousewife.
“The older I get, I’m going to be 49 this year, the more comfortable and confident I feel with just being honest and saying you know what, I’m a crap cook, I bribe my children when I can’t get my children to do what I want them to do, I’m tired sometimes, I hide in the toilet on my iPad when I want peace… I used to throw Smarties out of my wardrobe when I tried to be on the phone with my friend wanted some peace from my children,” the TV host continues.
“But that’s okay. I’m not perfect, but I’ve come to realise I’m enough. I’ve realised, you know what? I’m a good mum because I love my girls, I have fun with them, we laugh even though I now embarrass my 12-year-old terribly, I talk to them, I play to my strengths and we all have those.”
Now, the 48-year-old has just released her fourth book ‘Diary of a Crap Housewife’, detailing all her misadventures and embarrassing moments to prove to others what a ‘perfect’ and ‘balanced’ life truly looks like – sans any BS filters.
“It’s not about being the perfect mother, and more and more I think as women we need to give permission to say ‘you know what, it’s okay if you’re not great and this, this and this because you’re so good at all these other things.’”
She asks everyone, regardless if you’re a mother or not, to give yourself the permission to take that afternoon nap, order that takeout, let go of the idea of achieving this work/life balance, and to stop “pretending that life is fabulous, that we’re always happy, that we live these neat and tidy wonderful lives.”
“In terms of being kind to yourself, I think that means and what I try to do, it’s about giving myself permission to just have a break, to not buy into the pressure of having it all, of being perfect, of having this supposed work/life balance,” she explains.
“For me, being kind to myself is I read my Kindle late at night and I eat chocolate in bed and I don’t share the chocolate with anyone – it’s in my bedside table drawer. That is mine, no one else is having it.”
You know what? YOLO, we’re having chocolate in bed, too.