I've been thinking a lot over the passed few days about the picture I paint of my life and the life of my kids via social media.
I've been accused of over-posting in the past, criticism I take in stride. With each moment I capture and share, my thought process is always, "Do I want to remember this?", and "How do I want to remember this?" (i.e. which filter, angle, caption, etc.) because for me, social media is a place to capture the moments that define my motherhood and my kids' childhoods, without including anything (too) embarrassing or invasive. If you want to come along for the ride, great, but for the most part, I often forget that aside from close friends and family that anyone else is even watching the show. I don't always consider my complete audience and often make assumptions about what people already know.
A few weeks ago, while thinking about how life has changed so much since having Piper and how I feel like my rating as mom has dropped from a solid 8/10 to probably a 2 on some days, a few sweet friends just-so-happened to message me via Instagram and asked how I always seem to stay so calm and positive. And I was completely blown away.
"Me??? Positive?? Always??!"
Instagram for me is for the happy moments or the moments that are so chaotic they somehow become funny and I don't want to forget. And for me, it's going to continue to be that way, and I think many of you agree that you use it for the same reasons. It's the digital scrapbook of our lives. Instead of stickers we have emoji's and instead of hours spent organizing it all into large, heavy binders, we have compact books printed for us.
But when all is said and done, I'm always left wondering just how off the picture my incomplete message is to those I love.
I've said it before and I'll say it a million times:
I am a beyond ordinary person.
And I fail all the time. As a mother, as a wife, as a nurse, as a friend, daughter, neighbor, what have you.
I can't tell you how many times Adam has come home from work to find me, aside from the occasional pursing of the lips, voluntarily catatonic on the couch because of the emotional and physical toll the day has taken on me.
Or how many times he's come home and I immediately declared that I needed alone time and gone in our room and watched Netflix while he made dinner. And later confided that I felt like every day was just me trying to survive.
Or how I can count on my fingers how many times I've shaved in the last four months and made my kids anything other than peanut butter and honey sandwiches and eggs for lunch.
I've lied awake at night wracked with guilt from exposing my children to the whiplash of an unprovoked mood swing and I've looked into my infant's eyes unable to imagine anything more beautiful or incredible, and at the same time wondered if it's more terrible to be done having babies or to have another one.
I scratch my head each week, wondering when the laundry baskets went from completely empty to overflowing and cursed my small-sized front loader for making it take three times longer to get everything washed, leading to my laundry room resembling my 14-year-old bedroom.
I've dieted week after week, and when the realization that the weight just wasn't ready to come off would hit I'd have a few one-woman cookies and milk parties.
And more positively, I've sat back while all three of my kids are on my lap, some laughing and some crying, and somehow found that in that precise moment I could never be more happy or grateful.
I know that, by nature, the little moments we share only show a small portion of what our lives are really like, but my point in rambling about all of this is, in your social media consumption, however big or small:
Don't forget it.
Don't forget it's a piece, and usually, it's the best pieces. We don't want to remember the scary stuff. For me, I want to flood my feeds with all the good stuff, so when my kids and I look back each night and years in the future, they can see just how much they have always been loved and adored in their mediocrity by their super dorky mom.
I never want anyone to ever look at me and think I'm more than I am.
I am you. My crazy is your crazy and I have many of the same joys and demons as you do.
So if anyone wants to talk crazy, I'm here. Always. If you want to talk happy stuff, same deal.
As Tina Belcher once said, "I'm no hero. I put my bra on one boob at a time just like everyone else".
And Tina, you're extra special for even bothering to put a bra on in the first place.