Which One Are You? The Messy Truth Behind Those Perfect Playroom Pics

Some mums have a knack for interior design. 

And some kids have a knack for completely destroying a room (even a beautifully designed one) in a matter of seconds.

Just ask Poonam Sharma, who is one of the many Queens of Instagram interior design. But she is also a mum to a three-year-old little boy. And, as Poonam so eloquently captured in a side-by-side playroom pic, even the best laid playrooms can go astray when you add a child to the equation.

Expectation Vs Reality – the Perfect Playroom

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Playroom perfection. Sure, it starts out with hand-picked wallpaper, matching toy storage systems and perfectly placed pillows. And then the kids come in.

Then it’s a messy mixture of spilled breakfast, opened books, cardboard boxes and half-finished Duplo. Oh, and, of course, the obligatory pile of unused nappies scattered around the carpet.

But that’s the side of family life we don’t see. Instead, our Instagram feeds serve up a steady stream of family life perfection. White walls, tidy spaces, uncluttered kitchens, clean kids. It’s easy to feel you don’t measure up as a mum when your own house is a mess of kids’ toys, when your kitchen bench is piled with dirty dishes and when chaos rules.

Behind the camera lens

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Image source: Wonder And Rah

Poonam shared the two photos with This Modern Life, reminding us all that there’s often more to a perfect room than meets the eye -staged playrooms are not the reality… or not for long at least!

The post has received a heap of likes and comments, with people applauding the mum for keeping it real. Many parents are also posting their own unstaged shots of what their houses actually look like.

You know, in the real world. Where all us Mum Central mums live.

messy truth of life with kids
Image source: My Red Head Gang

It’s easy to feel like you’re failing when you head to social media. But in reality, no matter how amazing your interior style is, the kids are still going to make a massive mess. Because kids make messes. It’s what they do.

This is the reality of life with kids – toys strewn from wall to wall, laundry half folded on the couch, glued-on-pasta artwork covering the fridge, kids sleeping peacefully in MY messy-looking bed…

messy truth of life with kids

This is what being a parent is all about – not perfectly staged photos, but letting the kids play, make mess and add Shopkins stickers to your overly expensive TV cabinet (thanks, daughter).

kids messy rooms

After all, for every perfectly staged “before the kids wake up” pic, there is always an “after the kids let loose” pic. Some mums – our own Mum Central editor Nikki included as her daughter’s disastrous room above shows – just manage to keep the “before” long enough to snap a photo.

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Image source: The Otto House

Feel like getting real?

messy truth of life with kids
Image source: Buddy and Bear

Share with us your current playroom/kitchen/living room/bedroom situation – we would love to flood social media with those behind-the-scene shots that prove “child chaos chic” is actually a more popular interior style than Pinterest would let on…

And if you do want to try and get the chaos organised – rofl – then take a look at our clever ideas for LEGO storage.

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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