We’ve had a good run, internet—but we’ve got to break up.

It’s not you. It’s me.

I know it seems like I’m totally in love with you given the amount of time we spend together, but it’s become painfully clear to me I am not happy when I’m with you. Yes, you have your good and wonderful qualities. Online shopping makes my life easier. Online bill pay. Email. Amazon Prime. I really do love all the convenience.

But I’m so over feeling like an epic failure at life.

We just can’t seem to get on the same page. (Ha, get it? Page? . . . never mind.) The days you are joyful and grateful, I hate you. Why do you have to be so freaking positive all the time? Who are all these Pollyannas, and how do they find time to cook and clean so well? (Like that picture wasn’t totally staged in front of the perfectly-arranged background. I bet if you showed the uncropped version I could see some real life.)

I’m sorry I’m not grateful for EVERYTHING. It’s NOT awesome to be a mom all the time. I have not done a fabulous job teaching my kids those all-important life lessons of tough love and hard work. They hardly ever get their clothes in a laundry hamper, let alone a drawer. There are days you make me wonder how Social Services has not come to claim my malnourished children schlepping around in their fourth-day pants. It can’t be legal to feed kids a rotating menu of frozen pizza, spaghetti and hot dogs, at least not based on those organic, home-cooked whole food meals you continuously flaunt across my screen. They make it look so easy. Clearly only lazy moms flake out on cooking. So why can’t I do that? Why can’t I get my act together and be the mom and wife it’s so obvious everyone else is managing to be?

Some days I don’t like my kids or my husband. Some days I feel like he’s just as much of a child as they are. And of course, those are the times you show up with posts and comments from seemingly everyone else proclaiming undying love and romance. BARF.

You’re also pretty great at reminding my less-than-perfect husband that he has an even more imperfect wife. We’ve covered the lack of cooking. My house never has, on its best day, looked anything like the pictures I see all over the mom blogs. It’s not just the dirty floors, piles of laundry, and clutter covering every surface. It’s the never-finished anything. The flooring. The trim. The spray insulation seeping out from behind the shower panel wall. The 1970s paneling I’ve been meaning to paint for 20 years.

Maybe if I had fulfilled my potential and taken the traditional career path the successful people splashed across your pages seem to have, or maybe if my husband was one of those office dads who comes home in the evenings and weekends and plays with the kids while I finish the DIY projects, maybe then our lives would look like all those people you show me.

Or maybe I just am a complete waste of skin. If all these millions of people can manage, why can’t I?

That really is the crux of our relationship problems, right there. You don’t show me anyone who looks like me. I don’t see my life mirrored anywhere in your infinite supply of examples. And that’s really sad because I have a wonderful life. I honestly feel happy and content when I’m not looking at all your one-dimensional worlds.

Even on those days when I feel genuinely grateful and glass-half-full, you spit out all kinds of worst case scenarios at me. Yes, today we’re rocking the diabetes train. Sugars staying level. Kid’s feeling happy. And then I see the person whose child is in the hospital even though they were rocking it, too. Or the news article about the promising new clinical trial she could have been part of if only she were newly diagnosed. Or a year older. 

The days when everything is going as well as it can ever go for my daughter in school—her clothes aren’t bothering her, she’s not coming home sick every day, she isn’t bringing home a ton of homework—then you come at me with another statistic about the limited future prospects someone with Autism is likely to have. Or some therapy that would have helped her tremendously if only I would have implemented it before she started school.

Or I am feeling positive and optimistic about this cancer battle. My treatments are going well enough. I don’t feel too terrible. And then you pop in with the latest news report that I will likely get this back within the next 20 years. Or you give me an update from a “support group” about someone who had the same “good” kind of cancer I have—but has been in and out of treatment for the last seven years. Or the note about the one who lost the fight altogether. And suddenly, I’m sprawled out on the bottom of a dry well staring at a pinhole of light that appears to be going black.

I just can’t handle the emotional roller coaster I’m on when I’m with you, so I need to be done. For my own sanity, I have to go back to living in this little bubble of a world I call home. I’m so much more content, even if I am in complete denial.

I think we’re both happier as casual acquaintances. I’ll look you up when I need to reorder my husband’s socks.

Until then, you can keep your perfect world. I’m happy in the imperfect one I have.

Aimee Erdman

Mediocre Mom raising two girls, two cats, one dog and a husband in our tiny farm house on the prairie.