Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Real life (in between the perfect Instagram pictures)

Instagram can be so deceiving. 
Don't get me wrong I love Instagram. 
I love editing and posting pics from our life and getting a peek into others 
but that's just what it is
a peek.
A tiny glimpse into one second of their day.

Sometimes these glimpses inspire or leave you in awe (like when you see a picture of a beautiful sunset or a tiny snowflake).
sometimes they make you laugh (I'm totally a fan of the new video addition)
sometimes they encourage and build you up
but sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) they leave you discouraged and disheartened. 
Feeling like you are falling short. 
Like you are not as good of a mom/friend/crafter/decorator/baker/stylist/photographer/shopper/adventurer (fill in the blank) as the person whose awesome picture you are looking at. 
That was taken for one second of their day.  

 Here's a little example.
Yesterday I took this pic of me and Wesley. 
I could have posted it with the caption
"Playing with my boy"
and you might have thought a million different things.
Maybe you would scroll right past it
or maybe you would think "that's a cute pic".
Or "that's sweet...spending time with your kids is good".
Or maybe you thought...
"She has 4 kids and still has time to spend with each of her kids. She's such a good mom. I rarely do that."

What you can't tell from this picture is the conversation that happened before it.  

 As we were in the car driving home from dropping Kenzie off from school Wesley asked if I could play with him when we got home.
My first thought was, "I don't have time to play...the house is a disaster and I have so much sewing to get done" but I told him, "Sure, baby. What do you want to play?"
He said, "No I want you to PLAY with me".
I repeated myself..."Well what do you want to play. Do you want to paint? We could do some watercolors?" Or I was thinking to myself...we (I mean you) could watch a movie. Movies are so much fun.
Wesley: "No mom. I want you to play with me. You are always doing grown up stuff."

Knife to the heart! Ok Ok I get it. I'll PLAY with you. Whatever you want. 
{Don't worry I didn't say that just thought it}
So after some discussion he decided he wanted to play stuffed animals with me. 
So we pretended his stuffed animals were in school. 
I was the teacher and he was the adult helper "Mr. Sellars". 
It was 45 minutes of work. 
Good work.
Playing (I mean really getting down on the ground and pretending and playing WITH my kids) can be hard. 
And 10 minutes of pretend play can sometimes feel like an hour.
I'm not going to lie there were a couple of times I tried to make school be over with but he clearly wasn't done (but Mom...they haven't had snack, or they haven't done their memory verse yet, etc.)
but it was a sweet time with my boy.
 A time that I need to make happen more often. 
Especially in the busy seasons where I feel like there just isn't time to do it. 

The other day I was scrolling through my Instagram profile page (where you can see all of your recent pics) and I laughed. 
Because from the outside in it looks like I have it all together (ha!).
It totally seems like I'm always taking my kids out on fun adventures, doing crafts, planning Christmas traditions, taking perfect pics with my family, and sewing for my kids. 
What you don't see are all the meltdowns in between, the dirty dishes in the sink, the 50 pictures it took to get the one of all of us smiling at the same time, the loss of patience, the sibling rivalry, the poopy diapers and everything else that goes on in daily life.
Life is hard. 
Parenting is hard.
Good but hard and messy and rarely picture perfect. 

Yesterday my friend posted this on Facebook. 
to which I replied
"Peppermint Jojo's. everyday."

This is real life people. 
We all sneak Oreos in the kitchen.
And we all need grace. 
On ourselves and on others. 
And thankfully Jesus gives it out freely and generously.
To me and to you. 
All we need to do is to come to Him to get it. Frequently.

So next time you see a picture on Instagram that leads you to compare or be discouraged
just remember it's only one second of time and there is always a story behind the picture. 


Kathy said...

This is a beautiful post and so very true. I tend to compare myself to others, but what is just out of the picture? My house is a mess, but in my pictures it looks just fine. You gave me a lot to think about. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I LOVE this girlfriend! From the parents-raising-teens standpoint, it goes from 0 to 60 in a instant...not unlike raising little ones :) Keepin' it real, and I so appreciate the challenge to do just that. Life is messy, and I with you am so grateful for Jesus and His great grace. So this is why I see pics of dirty laundry today on FB and Insta. Cause we all got it! Love you sister <3

Caroline said...

My dear friend Kristin,
So many true in your words... I ate ice cream just right now, while the little are sleeping... my kids fight each other, I do lost patience... and need grace all day long!
Thanks for sharing!

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