Social Media – it’s the elephant in the room, isn’t it?
How so many people’s lives appear perfect because now we can filter what we want the world to see. I am not sure exactly when I realized it, but I know when I stopped trying to filter out the bad bits. I was talking to some friends about how homesick I was.
We had been here for a few months and I desperately just wanted to go home, but I didn’t want people to know how hard we were finding it, so I continued to post fun photos of us and the kids living the Cali dream. One of my friends said she had no idea; that it looked like ‘the perfect life’. Then I realized – of course, it looks like the perfect life; all Disneyland and beaches and happy smiling faces. I took weeks off social media after that.
I hated the idea that I was showing my friends a lie!
The social media trap is easy to fall into. We see other people’s lives through rose-tinted glasses because that is what they show us or what we want to see. Rarely do people tell us about the moment their 2-year-old was found covering the floor in poop, or that they lost it in the car because the kids wouldn’t stop fighting or that the baby smiling in all the photos cries most of the day or never sleeps, or that their preteen is the queen of attitude.
We don’t often read about the struggles of motherhood, or how hard it can be to manage a family budget or how although we love our children sometimes the school vacation time feels like forever and heaven forbid we admit that there are those among us who sometimes feel our life lacks the fulfillment it used to have!
So here it is. Being a parent is HARD.
It isn’t the rainbows and unicorns life you pictured during pregnancy. Children have an amazing amount of love to give, but they also have this incredible ability to drain you of all your energy; every last drop.
Toddlers can throw epic tantrums, preschoolers can have insane mood swings and don’t get me started on threenagers; the struggle is real. Just when I think life is going to get easier someone changes the game. My experience is only parenting up to preschooler age but when I speak to friends with older children I realize the struggle doesn’t go away, it just changes.
Parenthood is like a series of curveballs being thrown at us to keep us on our toes.
We are programmed to love our children; to think they are the greatest things since sliced bread; to see them as the most beautiful things on earth; to find their rubbish jokes funny and to want to give them the world on a stick. BUT that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Most of us are just winging it and praying we are creating lovely little people who will grow into awesome adults, but our social media accounts often don’t paint this picture; instead, they show our ‘perfect’ life.
My take home message: don’t believe everything you see on Facebook. Nobody has the perfect life.
If you didn’t get out of your PJs until lunchtime, well done you. If you chose spaghetti O’s instead of kale smoothies for lunch, you are a rockstar. If you skipped a trip to a fancy museum to stay home and watch movies, I salute you. If you let the kids dig in mud instead of creating that craft you saw online using organic quinoa, you are my hero.
Step away from Pinterest, stop criticizing yourself; you are doing an excellent job! Oh and by the way, if you are currently crafting with quinoa or having kale smoothies, you are equally as awesome and I need to know what the secret is to making kale taste less like lawn clippings!