I open up my Instagram app and start scrolling. I see some cute kiddo’s, some clothes I would love to buy, then I try to quickly pass up this gorgeous photo of a perfect house. It is clean and decorated so well. I stare for a minute and suddenly I feel less happy with my house. There are toys everywhere. I just mopped 2 hours ago but some how there is mud or sticky juice all over it. I fluffed the couch pillows and straightened the blankets but one of my kids came in and decided it looked more like a trampoline. I had actually given up on my house looking together during the day….. until I saw that post on IG.
I was content with my life until I saw that person I follow on IG has started a new campaign to do something awesome! Now suddenly my life feels like it needs more of something. I thought I was a good mom yesterday, but today I find myself feeling like we don’t do enough fun stuff. My husband brought me a magazine home and I thought it was the sweetest thing, but then I saw that someone else’s husband surprised them with a weekend getaway full of planned surprises and gifts. I read my devotional and wanted to share some inspiration, but now after reading someone elses post, mine doesn’t seem worthy any more.
Suddenly I am wondering why everyone else’s pictures look so much better then mine and I have decided that it is probably because they have more natural light in every room of their house. I start plotting a way to take all the sheetrock out and replace it with windows so I can always have pretty light. I decide more windows is what I need and I will just carry my big girl camera around my neck all day. Baby on the hip, camera around my neck, more windows. This MUST be what they do. Then I see that they are hosting a workshop to tell me all their photography tips and secrets to perfect pictures every time. I am a photographer for goodness sake, but suddenly I am feeling like I don’t know anything about the subject, or certainly not enough.
The truth is, there is always someone I can compare myself to on social media (and in real life for that matter). There is always going to be something I see that makes me feel like I should do something different. I see what others are doing or not doing and I start second guessing myself (I should not be eating gluten, sugar, or any of the other junk I slip up and eat!). Don’t get me wrong, I think we can easily let others inspire us to do better, but we have to be careful not to let what others are doing dictate what we choose to do.
“I have compared myself to you and felt like I could never measure up” “you really are super mom, really” In the last few weeks I have been told those things. It honestly didn’t feel great. I try really hard to be honest with my life and be upfront about my shortcomings and struggles. I want to be honest because I feel like it is the only way to cultivate true relationships. Pretending or sugarcoating our lives for social media only complicates things. BUT, after reflecting on how others view me, I decided to really take a look at my posts.
I love to share and so I share moments or cute pictures that make me happy. I get all of my IG feed printed in books so I like to make sure my favorites make it into the book. I post things to encourage others and myself. I try to post trials and struggles, but I see that I only post the hard things when I am finally at a point to get to the other side of it. This is hard for me to admit but I have found myself wanting to post just because I think the picture will probably be well liked….. Why do I do that? Compliments feel good and everyone wants people to like their posts.
I’m not perfect or a supermom. I am real. I mess up all the time. I get in ruts and can’t seem to get out. I don’t post all the yuck. I don’t want to paint a picture of perfection for everyone to see. I allow my own insecurities to run my life most days. This has become very obvious to me when I look at social media. I don’t want to post things that make others feel inadequate but I also don’t want to stop sharing my life. I am trying to find a balance and figure out how to share appropriately for myself.
I have decided to try hard (I’m not perfect so don’t expect this to be either) to post intentionally. I want to make sure that the heart of the post is good. That I am not seeking attention through my post. That I am not fabricating things to make them look better then they are. I know that I am not responsible for the way others perceive me, but I can be intentional about what and how I post things. So what if my house is a complete mess in a photo, you may see it any way! I want to find that balance of being honest and open without being negative and whiney. I want to post things that bring me joy and at the same time make sure they are real.
I want to encourage you to step away from social media for a minute and evaluate how it makes you feel. What are your true motives when you post and how do you allow what you are viewing to affect you? Maybe you are like me and need to take a minute to remember that those who are posting are not perfect, even if they appear to be. Most of all, to remember no one else is walking in my shoes and no ones journey looks just like mine- so I shouldn’t expect mine to look like theirs either. I need to be able to focus on being thankful for what I have and where I am currently, and not so focused on what I am not.
Much love sweet friends!