Real Life On Our Couch

September 5, 2015 • Home DecorKidsLifeStyle

a while ago a belgian journalist contacted me because she was preparing an article about mamas on instagram. as i have been sharing a lot of #julietrabaey on there, it didn’t surprise me she considered me ‘an instamom.’ i shared some of my favorite pics with her to be published in the magazine she writes for, and didn’t really think about it again until the article came out. i shared a picture of it on ig (BUT OF COURSE) and i wanted to repeat here what i mentioned there.

my life is far from perfect. it’s complicated, it’s messy and it can be exhausting. sometimes i feel like sharing how this makes me feel – like when juliet had such a difficult time those first three months of her life. i posted a few pictures on instagram to share how hard it was on me and our family, and got so much comfort and encouragement from the comments that followed. i’ll forever be grateful to everyone who shared their own stories with me or offered me some words of sympathy. i don’t think i’m exaggerating when i say they really helped me get through a tough few months.

luckily, juliet is doing much, much better now. she’s as happy and healthy as a baby can be. it took me a little longer to adapt to my new life (and it’s probably still an ongoing process), but i can honestly say i am feeling happy much more often than not. i choose not to dwell on things, and to move forward, so that is why on ig i’m back to sharing happy moments and memories. i don’t think that means i’m being dishonest. it just means that whenever possible, i like to spread joy and optimism.

what does all this have to do with that article, i hear you think. the instamoms that were represented in the article, were all examples of perfectionists and aesthetes. they like to think about the photos they post, perhaps even style them a little bit before they take them. i plead guilty, but as the article said – it’s not so much about trying to ‘fake’ something, than about wanting to remember the best of everything. just like back in the day when moms used to book a professional photographer to take their family portrait. so even though the article never accused me of anything, it did make me think about how i’m presenting myself online and what i’m feeling and thinking in reality. and it made me want to share a little more than i usually do.

like the story behind the pictures you see above. because juliet had such a difficult time those first three months, there was barely a moment she was awake and not crying. we were exhausted and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and the last thing on our minds was organizing a photoshoot to commemorate the start of our little family. i pushed back thoughts of regretting that later on, but of course time passed, juliet’s troubles went away and i regretted having lived on fast-forward for three months without taking the time to letting it all sink in.

so when we finally set up the tripod and took the time for a family picture, we sat down on the couch on which we had cried, laughed, rocked juliet to sleep, watched netflix endlessly through the sleepless nights and nursed ourselves and juliet back to health. it was an emotional moment yet at the same time there was absolutely nothing ceremonial about it. juliet only liked sitting still for about five minutes, my husband felt silly having to pose, and it took about a million shots to finally find the pose where we all didn’t look like complete morons.

so actually, nothing about the pictures above is perfect, but they are pretty perfect to me. when the journalist described the setting as carefully thought through and composed, she was only partially right. yes, we’re all wearing EMOI EMOI because their sweaters look great and have cute messages on them. yes, we’re sitting on the absolutely perfect moroso couch which we carefully selected for our home at MASTER MEUBEL. and yes, we look like a happy family because that’s what we are, in the end. but what you don’t see is the conflicted emotions, the happy tears, the sad tears and everything else going on behind the scenes, and perhaps that is a shame, because sometimes it can be a beautiful thing to share, too.


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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