Live for the Bloopers
Her perfect hair, flawless in the pictures she takes standing beside her Calvin Klein model of a husband, and her two beautiful children. She always has the most family-fun weekends, with every single detail planned down to the T, even the matching outfits and embroidered shirts. She has a fantastic job, and a beautiful home, and the most perfect life, and she tells you all about it every chance she gets on social media.
I didn’t mention a name, but I guarantee someone came to mind as you read that. We all know them. The “perfect” mom. The one that makes us question our own natural parenting abilities. They just waltz right into motherhood and make it look so easy. Too easy. Sickening.
I rolled my eyes and laid my phone back down on the table that still had dishes from breakfast laying on it. As I scooped up the 347th load of laundry for the day, I felt a sense of insecurity start to creep in. Sure, my kids were fed & watered regularly but some days even that was a struggle. But she went above and beyond for her kids, leaving the rest of us dumbfounded and wondering what she had that we didn’t. She monitors screen time? I do that too. Sort of. She feeds them balanced meals? I do that. When it’s not a game night. Or church night. Or the weekend. Matching shirts? Teaching Sunday school? Leading worship? Volunteering for PTO at her child’s high dollar private school where they are sure to get the best academic opportunities available? HOW? Tonight I applauded myself for managing to brush out my little girl’s hair with detangler instead of actually washing it. “But I could be her, if I wanted.” I tell myself as I toss the paper plates we just ate off of into the trash. After about 30 minutes of house chores, I decide to punish myself again and pick up my phone, click the Facebook icon and scroll the timeline. It doesn’t take long before another one pops up. This one is different though. I know her. And she’s not fooling anyone, especially me. I saw her go through one of the messiest divorces this year. The Facebook posts were anything but perfect 6 months ago. And yet, here she is, posting beach vacation pictures of her beautiful children in their matching shirts with the biggest smiles on their faces, pretending she isn’t a total trainwreck. And then it hits me. Because I know her, I can ground my thoughts in the reality that is a messy life. I can read her posts and not feel bad about myself because I know she isn’t picture perfect. But really, who is?
Comparison is the thief of joy and jealousy is comparison’s best friend. They go hand in hand when it comes to putting you in a bad mood. Every day as I scroll through social media, I look around at the things I have and I am sometimes bitter because they aren’t “good enough.” If this is you, let me stop you right now and tell you that just because the things you have aren’t the “best” doesn’t mean you can’t make the best of them. I see farmhouses and single-wide trailers that both serve the same purpose: shelter. I see brand new vehicles and hand-me-down cars that still carry people from point A to point B. My point is, we can spend our time being bitter or we can spend our time being better.
Being better means rising above the mindset that someone has a “perfect” life just because they make all the right posts on social media. Social media is a highlight reel. We take our best moments and plaster them all over for the world to see, “Look what I did.” “Look what I have.” “Look how great my life is.” Meanwhile we are taking antidepressants because sometimes the days are just too much to bare and we would much rather spend them crying in a bathtub than being the “perfect” mom to beautiful children. Can I tell you something friends? That’s okay. Post your perfect pictures, and live your messy life. But, don’t get so caught up in someone’s highlight reel that you forget we all have bloopers that we edit out of the final production.
I hope you take a step back today and realize that we are all guilty of comparing ourselves to someone else, whether we mean to or not. Slow down and appreciate your messy, chaotic, spur of the moment, crazy life. Embrace it. Live for the bloopers that nobody else gets to see but you. Those are the moments that make us. Nobody’s life is perfect, even if their social media posts say otherwise.
Peace, love, & blessings, friends.