I’m not sure what it is… maybe it is the end of year madness, school terms finishing up, the messed up weather, politics or the fact that the local Spar was out of Twinkies – whatever it is, I have been hearing so many moms comparing their parenting skills and personal lives to others… and feeling like they are failing.
The whole point of my blog and social media accounts is to relate to other parents like me, you know – the ones who don’t have space or energy to put all the toys away, who gives their kids hot dogs for supper more of then that they would like to admit and who considers the day a success if the kids’ socks match for once and everyone gets to school or work on time. My life might seem pretty perfect when you scroll through my Instagram feed, but no-one Instagram’s the bad times. I think deep down we all crave some sort of validation, so we filter the crap out of our photo’s and hide the mess… By putting your life online you make yourself vulnerable – and that is scary. To open yourself up to the knowledge that you are not perfect is one thing, but to let others in on that fact is a completely different beast. We are vulnerable, each and every one of us. We all have questions that keep us up at night, or nightmares that jolt us awake, demons that lurk in the shadows. No one has a life that is Instagram perfect.
The journey of life is full of bumps, bruises, scrapes and tumbles. This idea that we are perpetuating, myself included, of perfection and happiness is not real. That social-media-platform-ready life is not what we are living everyday. The journey of our lives is not relegated to the best moments; we all live the crappy moments as well.
We all have that one friend whose Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profile is the epitome of an idyllic existence – free of financial burdens or extra baby weight, with whom we would trade places in a heartbeat. Well, now you don’t have to. You too can have a beautiful #blessed life- as far as your online friends are concerned. Here are the top three filters I use to hide the nervous breakdown I deserve, and what really goes on behind the scenes!
- Moon Filter – highly effective in hiding bad skin, screaming children, dirty clothes and too little sleep.
trying to get them to lie still for a photo…
+/- 4 attempts, cow noises and loads of tickles later…
2. My personal favourite – the Valencia filter. This one is perfect for pretty much any situation – gets rid of dark circles, bad skin, exhaustion, dirty walls and floors – you name it. A real gem! Perfect for taking selfies in your bathroom.
What I really look like in the morning:
What I look like after applying the Valencia filter and the perfect duck face… (that is what every one seems to be doing nowadays ayhow – it looks kind of stupid, but who am I to judge, I’m just old)
3. The Nashville filter – perfect for creating the illusion of a perfect, peaceful life.
The perfect morning:
What happened 5 seconds later:
I got to read about 5 sentences and then gave up.
I’m a wannabe-writer. I use Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and my blog as part of my professional life – as a way to connect with my readers and be part of a conversation that we’re creating together, a conversation about creativity, growth, writing, parenting and life. It is a lovely conversation, and part of my work involves reading many blogs and commenting on lots of photos and scrolling through status after status. Some days it feels rich and multi-faceted. I learn and I’m inspired. I find recipes I want to try and stories I want to live. I feel connected and thankful to be part of such an intelligent and creative internet community. And then on some days, I feel like I have nothing to offer, like I must be the only loser whose house does not have lots of chevron and mint accents. I feel so certain that my life is a lot less darling than other peoples’ lives and it gets to me.
I don’t know why, but I crave the validation. I easily fall prey to the seduction of other people’s partial truths and heavily filtered photos, making everything look amazing. And their amazing looking lives make me feel not so amazing. Let’s choose to see the truth. Let’s stop comparing. Comparison is the thief of joy !
When you are unshowered, sitting in your pajamas in a pile of laundry, drinking your coffee that has been reheated for the 5th time and scrolling through Instagram and you see someone’s gorgeous filtered photo and feel crap about yourself – let common sense give you a smack on the side of the head, pull yourself together and move on.