Instagram thoughts: on being 'real'

Friday, April 8, 2016

I love Instagram,it's like getting a snapshot of someone's life... but then I wonder, is this what your life really looks like?

I keep reading that your feed needs a 'theme' and needs to be congruent. Um, does "fumbling mom" count as a theme? No?

Reflecting on my own feed, there's so much you don't see, so much more to my life and I want it to be positive but not misleading. This is real life after all.

You see the selfies taken in front of a bright window with a face full of makeup or a filter turned so high that it doesn't matter if I didn't put foundation on or that I only slept for 3 hours.

don't I look lovely? Why thank you window for providing the perfect light to dissolve my wrinkles long enough for me to get a selfie!

Yup, this is more realistic... previous days makeup and children hanging off me... all that's missing is a giant mug o' java!

You see a blur that is my toddler, unable to be frozen in focus because she's always moving too quickly dancing through the house, running and screaming, shaking and shouting.

You see a smiling baby, sticking out his tongue with a cheeky grin or shoving his contented face with handfuls of food.

aww look at those sweet little babies all lovin' on each other

Ya, NO

All I have to say is it's a good thing I my camera has a speed-mode. I take like 103873 pics and get 1 for the photo album (or Instagram, whatever). Lol photo album. What is this, 1990?

that's what the other 103872 look like... ish

You see a pre or post-workout selfie showing world "I'm trying".

You see a cute couple, all dressed up and ready for 'date night'.

You don't see the many days where there's no time or energy to shower.

You don't see the toddler tantrums and the timeouts (no, throwing massive toys at your sibling is NOT okay).

You don't see the baby, gums swollen with teeth that just won't break through despite months, MONTHS of trying.

You don't see the tension between the husband and wife, because that date night, the one date in 7 months, was awesome but too far and few in between.

You don't see how self-conscious I am about my post-baby body or my deepening wrinkles.

You don't see the endless cups of coffee (okay, you actually do see that), the frustrated and irritated mom, the overworked husband, the often under-appreciated wife, the couple longing for some much-needed alone time.

You don't see the tears. Oh the tears.

Life isn't always as perfect as our Instagram feeds would have it seem.

Pinterest-high expectations often leave us feeling like we have to always have our best face forward. The face with the best light, the best filter, the smiling kids and the pin-worthy meal.

That's not my life, most of the time anyways.

I don't want to be that mom. You know the one, the one whose feed you follow because you can't help but wonder how her life seems so perfect ALL. THE. TIME.

I'm not one of those super model moms (obviously) whose life appears to be a perfect feed of amazingly edited pictures taken by her Instagram husband. You will not find children who pose perfectly wearing the outfits sent to us by some designer. That doesn't happen here (although, if you're a designer: send away, your stuff might be featured in a blurry cell phone pic as my toddler whirls and twirls past me or sits crying in a timeout - your preference).

I don't have the energy for that... but you still don't always see all the real. Maybe all the real is a bit much, no one wants all of that. Do you see some of it? I hope you do. I hope I'm adequately portraying my perfectly imperfect life. I hope you can find comfort and validation when you read and look at my posts. I hope you feel that I'm a real person with real struggles. I know those are the posts I relate to, the ones that bring us together, that unite as as moms and people.

Like this post with me and my sick girl... we've both had better days... but this, THIS is real life. Okay, I did use a filter, no one needs to see me in all my makeup-free, sleep-deprived glory sans-filter. I can be real and still not want to look like a monster.

Sure, I want to look and feel pretty and I want you to see that because that is also real life... but there's so much more than the beautiful moments. There's all the tough ones, all the mediocre ones and all the other ones that fill in the blanks.

Life isn't always picture perfect, in fact, it's only that way a small fraction of the time. I like to share those moments, but it's not fair to have you thinking that my life is a series of Instagram-worthy moments. It isn't.

I hope you will find, every now and then, a picture of what real life really looks like... of the sick toddler who wants to be held all day, the crying infant whose stubborn teeth just won't commit or the weary-eyed mother who just needs a break.

You also might find me, hiding in the kitchen eating a cold porkchop off a fork. It could  did happen.

Because, sometimes lunch is cold meat on a fork. Don't pretend you haven't been there. Trust me, I'd be eating grilled cheese crusts if that were an option (it's NOT right now - more on that HERE)

Life is happening, let's share it all: the beautiful moments but also the not so perfect ones and for goodness sakes, let's not have everyone thinking it's all sunshine and rainbows. There's a mom, somewhere, looking at your not-so-perfect picture thinking "THANK YOU, I needed that".

You're welcome.