Have you heard the expression, “don’t compare you lowlight reel to someone else’s highlight reel”? Simply put, this means don’t compare your worst moments or days to everyone else’s best moments or days. But really, I don’t need to tell you this; I need to tell myself.
This week, I saw a slew of friends suddenly start to follow @2sisters_angie on Instagram, so my curiosity naturally led me to check her out.
In case you haven’t heard the buzz about this amazing four year old, you can check out her story here: fashionbyMayhem
The short of it is this: Four year old Mayhem (nickname, not actual), makes amazing dressing out of construction paper and tape and her talented mommy snaps photos and posts them on Instagram. Her creations recently caught the eye of numerous national media outlets and now her story is all over the web.
I saw this story after two weeks of struggle, frustration, and anything but picture perfect parenting of of my two sons. In these moments, it is so, so easy to compare yourself to what everyone else is doing around you. It is easy to catch glimpses of everyone else’s “highlight reel” and to use it to beat yourself up.
We all do it. But I wanted to take this week’s post here at His Girl Friday to give you a lowlight reel to show you that you aren’t alone when things aren’t easy, to show you that what we put on Instagram is the exception, not the rule, and to hopefully make you laugh. So here goes. Here is my week’s lowlight reel. Be prepared, to not be envious:
We are currently on week three of Theo getting up anywhere from 4:45 to 6 AM, which is especially frustrating as I’m still up every three hours through the night nursing Oliver. One morning, he woke up and I told him to go play in his room. This is what I found a few moments later.
I make homemade muffins. I feel good about providing such healthy,homemade treats for my family. Theo refuses to eat homemade muffins, eating only the store-bought treats brought to him by great grandma.
Mommy and boys go grocery shopping. Theo pretends he is a puppy the whole time and will only ride on the bottom. Cue the strange looks from other customers. It is clear they think this behavior is strange, not charming.
pause. rewind. start again.
In the midst of chaos, disappointment or frustration, it is easy to focus on the negative. It is easy to assess your day as “terrible,” fixating on the bad and forgetting the good. I recently read that one of the most beneficial things you can do as you go through your day is to look for the “joy nuggets.” I know, this sounds a little cheesy, but trust me, when you are in the thick of an overwhelming situation, it won’t sound so cheesy then. When you are in the middle of frustrations or fears that threaten to overtake your day, and you choose to pause for a brief moment to look outside of the negative in front of you for something positive, it can drastically change your day. It’s not easy, and for the most part I failed at it this week. But it’s not too late. Here is a look back at my joy nuggets:
Theo conned his great-grandpa into letting him watch TV, after I told him he couldn’t watch any for destroying his room (see photo from lowlight reel). This was too cute to interrupt.
I’ve got a great husband who is as helpful as he is pleasant to be around.
Traced Theo’s foot. Cut out tracing. Took tracing to Stride Rite and bought shoes without toddler present. I can’t tell you how happy that made me.
My mom treated me to a new dress. Love it! Can’t wait to wear it.
No matter what, I have the privilege of having my family close to me, and that, is a joy nugget if I’ve ever heard of one.
That’s a Wrap.
So no matter where you are today, no matter what you are in the middle of, I want you to do two things: One, don’t compare. And two, look for joy. It is there, I promise you! And as always, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know how you found joy in the midst of your crazy day.
Want to keep up with my highlight and lowlight reels? Click the “view on Instagram” link. (In case you tried to do this in the past and found that the link wasn’t working, try it again, it should be working now!)