I Instagrammed my Day and Felt Guilty

Remember when ICMB contributors took over the ICMB instagram page for a day?  When Kaitlyn and Sara asked for volunteers to take over the page for 24 hours, I volunteered!  It sounded fun!

I was first up for the instagramming challenge.  I had the instructions and had practiced on my phone to make sure I knew what I was doing when I logged on bright and early Monday morning a few weeks ago.  I went to snap my first picture to post (my son building legos at 7:30ish in the morning) and felt guilty.

photo copy 2Was this the picture I wanted to post?  Should I take a picture of a messy room or a sink full of dishes instead?  Should I wait until my children were fighting?  Did this accurately portray what my life was like in the morning?

Next up: the drop off at day camp for my oldest two kiddos.  I took the picture of them walking into the building and felt guilty.

What will people think about the fact that I drop my kids off at day camp, even in the summer?  Will they notice it’s before 9am?  Will they judge me because I was too rushed to walk them up to the door? 

Then the photos from work (photos 3 – 5).

I like working.  (Guilt).  But a storm blew up and we had to go to the basement at work, while my kids were at day care/day camp and probably scared (GUILT!).  I had to stay late that night (Guilt).  I ran out of time to pick up the kids and make dinner (Guilt.  Guilt.) We ordered from Taste of China and there were no fruits, vegetables, or whole grains served that night (OK . . . that was fun!).

We made chocolate chip cookies after dinner during the next thunderstorm (that’s pic #7, if you’re keeping track)–OK, that picture didn’t make me feel guilty.  I love chocolate chip cookies during a thunderstorm!  And then, the kids went to bed in the middle of the storm (my son slept on the floor in the girls’ room because everyone was scared of the thunder)–Would other moms think I’m a jerk because I didn’t lay with my kids until the thunder stopped?

When I signed off ICMB instagram for the day, I was exhausted and surprised I had obsessed about a project that was just meant to be good, harmless fun!  I second-guessed every picture I posted, wanting to make sure that people understood I loved my kids, but not wanting to portray a fantasy world about being a working mama with 3 small children.

And then I realized I needed to get over myself.

All mamas (regardless of stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-away-from home) are crazy busy!  We’re all doing the best we can and honestly, I’m jealous of the mama who has time to judge another mama’s instagram picture.  I can’t speak for every mother out there, but I know I have just enough time to scroll through the newest posts from the people I follow before I’m running off to soccer/ballet/piano, or to get dinner, or to keep my two year old from coloring on the wall.

Kate lives in Iowa City with her husband (Matt) and three kids, ages 7, 5, and 2. She works at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa. She earned her PhD in Curriculum and Supervision in 2012. Prior to working at the University, she taught high school mathematics at many public schools in Iowa. Kate has also coached junior high and high school cheerleading squads for 10 years. Kate has a personal blog http://katedegner.wordpress.com . . . stop by and relive your junior high and high school mathematics classes! (without the anxiety or the homework :) )


  1. Kate, You did great! I posted to Instagram a couple days after you, so I was checking out what you posted. I totally remember thinking, “wow Kate had an exciting day.! A tornado warning and she left the house!” Then I thought, my Instagram day is going to be really boring, I know we aren’t going anywhere!

  2. First off, Kate. This site made me do MATH before I could publish a post. 🙂

    I still hold to a comment I made several years ago…should I ever have children, I would be just fine with you and Matt raising them for the first five years of their lives! They’d be the BEST KIDS EVER. Yes, I totally believe the lego pic and the camp pic. The part I struggle with is the Chinese food…that seems unbelievable!

    I have a lot of friends who wonder how on earth they can ‘do it all’ perfectly. And honestly, it’s nice to know you wonder if you are sometimes. You do have a system down, and you are one of the busiest people I’ve ever known, but you make it work. A little reflection and guilt just makes you a little closer to the rest of us (even the ‘us’ without kids), that wander into the ‘???? am I doing now?’ sector of the world from time to time. 🙂

    • Wow! The math question is a new addition . . . but I had to do multiplication & addition before I could post a reply 🙂 Thanks for the nice response. At this point, I’m sure Matt and I would welcome your children until the age of five! Its when they get old enough to talk back that they’d have to move out. I hope you’re doing well!


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