It is easy to make our lives look beautiful in today’s web based world. It’s easy to tease out the 1% of perfect that happened in our day and offer it up as if that is the whole story. And it’s equally as easy for us to consume that offering with little to no discernment, allowing ourselves to believe the lie that what was offered for us to see, is really the whole picture.
I’ve noticed that when I’ve posted pictures of good things that have happened either to me or my family, that it’s easy for others to leap to the conclusion that the experience is representative of a whole. For example, a fun day with my kids must mean I always have fun with my kids. Or because I’m smiling in a picture with my family then that must mean my day was drama free.
I find these assumptions bizarre to say the least. We all have issues. We all have struggles. Nobody’s day or life is perfect. And anyone with kids knows that if you managed to get them to smile for the photo, then you can guarantee they were crying/yelling/whining/wandering away the very next second.
On the whole, I really enjoy my life. I enjoy my kids. I love being married. I love what I get to wake up and do every day. That doesn’t mean I always have good days. That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work incredibly hard in every aspect of my life. It doesn’t mean things just come naturally to me. It also doesn’t mean I’m insecurity free, or wonder (constantly) if I’m not messing this whole thing up.
We all have that balance of good things and hard things in our life. I’m no different. You can count on there always being a hard story to go with the good, and a laugh to go with the cry. And behind every cute picture of my kids in the tub, is a momma cringing at the soaked bathroom floor, worrying about what to make for dinner, and frustrated at the hundreds of ways she had hoped she would have been a better mom that day.
What I do know is this: I’ve learned to be content. Becoming a mother wasn’t second nature to me. It didn’t just “happen.” I didn’t come home with a baby and immediately know what to do as “mom.” Four years in and I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing. But I’m learning. And I’m learning that knowing what to do can be overrated. I’m learning that we will never have all our ducks in a row, or have it all figured out, or manage everything will skill and grace. All we can do is manage our response to those deficiencies.
So when I share fun or cute pictures of my life,it’s not because my life is perfect. It’s simply an offering of me – of who I am, of what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with. I don’t have everything figured out, but I’m actually starting to be ok with that. And I don’t think anyone is going to award me “Mother of the Year” anytime soon, and they certainly aren’t going to award my kids’ any accolades for stellar behavior (sigh), but that’s ok too.
There is a lot to learn and enjoy, right here and right now. Right in this moment.