Behind a painted smile 

Behind a painted smile

Looking around the playground there are smiles all around me.

Laughter and happy tales but behind those painted smiles are tired and broken people

The kids didn’t sleep I know because you posted last night on social media, then again this morning stating how many times they had you up.

I do the same myself. My children tag team at times and I now can’t remember the last time I had a full nights sleep.

I post this too then smile in the playground as if nothing has happened.

The thing is its part of what we signed up for when becoming parents. They don’t come with hand books or rules or even instructions. They are all different so we fell we should just smile and get on with it and paint on a smile when times are tough.

But what happens when there are worse things going on in our lives…the children not sleeping is the least of your problems but we tend not to talk of those things either do we?


Because we’ve trained ourselves not to overshare.

Not to talk of our problems in public

This is why we walk around with painted smiles on our faces and the pre-programmed words “I’m fine”.

When did sharing your feelings become so wrong, when did it start being taboo?

We spend our lives teaching our children right from wrong, urging them to open up and share their day, their troubles and their feelings

But, we don’t do this ourselves

Children cry if they are in pain

They cry if they are hurt

They scream and stamp their feet just because they can – to release their frustrations

But we don’t do this as adults

Instead we hold it all inside

We bottle it up

And we don’t talk

We walk around with a faux painted smile on our faces when people are around, and convince ourselves that ‘we really are fine’

So, next time you see a friend smiling try looking behind that smile, try looking into their eyes – do they say “I’m fine” a little too quickly?

We all need to read between the lines a little – you may have a friend who is so used to painting on their smile that they’ve forgotten how not to.


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10 thoughts on “Behind a painted smile 

  1. Needed to read this today. Had the worst day and when a work ate asked if I was sure I was ok I just said yeah and got on with it. It’s so hard sometimes.

  2. Yes I think we all do this. I’m aware of the whole you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors type of thing when I think someone has a perfect life. They might not. This is the same thing isn’t it? My worry is that people will start to gossip. Not in a mean way but things get said and I don’t want the whole world to know my business so I’d rather not open up sometimes! x
    Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours recently posted…Student Essentials: Top 5 Apps to Simplify LifeMy Profile

  3. This is so true, I’ve found with blogging when I do perhaps write a more ‘candid’ post – people will come up to me in the playground and ask what’s happened? It’s is as if they can’t believe that I indeed feel that way because I’m always smiling…

  4. It’s true that it can be hard to ask for help when we need, but if you have someone who cares enough to ask after you, we should try to let them in a bit and say what is going on. I hope that YOU are ok Clare, and that this post has gotten something off your chest? If you ever want to anonymous rant, pitch me a post for the BritMums blog and I can take a look! Warm hugs x
    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill recently posted…A bedroom fit for a queenMy Profile

  5. I always say ‘I’m fine’ when I’m not. Sometimes, in our busy lives we just take that answer without really looking at the person. So really we shouldn’t ask someone how they are if we don’t really care, as we never expect the answer to be ‘No I’m not fine’

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