I’m human. My life is messy. My kids aren’t perfect. My house isn’t always clean. Sometimes I’m late. Sometimes I yell (and I hate that part). I deal with anxiety. I am a single mom. Sometimes I worry about money. Sometimes I wish I had the utopian looking life.
But you might not see that. You might not at all.
You might see me and think that I have it all together.
But just so you all know, I don’t.
My pictures aren’t always the reality of my life.
I know you know that already. I know you deep down get it. But I also know that sometimes it can be hard to look at snippets of lives and then to look at the snippet at your life at the same time. If you’re like me, most time they don’t match up. In fact, most of the time I will look at the utopian picture of someone else, or the update on Facebook, right when it is at utmost chaos in my own house.
Happy family picture on Facebook? My kids will be fighting over who has more space on the couch.
Workout picture? I will see it while I’m eating the ice-cream I scraped out of the container.
School rewards? I’ll see it after I log into the online portal for school only to discover late work.
Organized pantry? My counters, my kitchen will look like they’ve exploded.
Motivated and uplifting post of hope? I’ll read it when I’m overwhelmed and feeling lost.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Get that? The picture? (That was a pun….)
But here, listen, as this is important – you see, this morning I put this picture up of my living room when it was clean. And I wrote on Instagram (you can find me here) about how that picture is not the truth about me. In fact, you may actually think that my living room always looks that way. You may look at it and wonder why you don’t have it together (because that’s what I do when I see pictures like that) and think poorly of you.
Don’t do that.
You know why?
My living room RARELY looks like this.
I repeat it does not.
It does when my kids are at school. Or at 5:48 in the morning.
But the second they wake, it becomes a house that is lived in.
Not perfect, but a house where there is life. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like order and things clean (read just do the dishes for proof) but I have also learned that kids need to be kids. So most of the time it looks like this:
So just so you know, don’t ever judge yourself by a picture or a status update of someone else. Because that picture might be at the very second that they are on the top of the world. And our timelines rarely coincide with regards to things shared on social.
So with that I also would like you to all know that you cannot judge my life (or the life of others) by the pictures. Because most times they aren’t the truth. And get this – you want to know something funny aboutyou that picture? All I see in it, besides the awesome clean moment that I love but my kids don’t care about, is that the paint is chipped away above my fireplace.
Did you see that?
If you did, then we should meet at Lowe’s and discuss paint options.
But, if you didn’t until now, here’s the point — so often we are harder on ourselves and see the things that we think are bad and yet everyone else sees the wonderful stuff. The other day I was standing inside Starbucks (imagine that) waiting for my drink and there was a gal at the drive thru waiting for hers. I was looking at her and she was adjusting what appeared to be three hairs on her head. She kept moving them and I didn’t know what she was doing, because to me she looked great and the same even if they were moved, but she was intent on moving them.
Then I thought to myself about all the times I do the same thing.
I see the things I don’t like, versus just enjoying life.
So just so you know, there is a chance that your pictures might not be perfect in your eyes, but to everyone else they are wonderful. Isn’t that the irony of today’s world? We judge ourselves too harshly in our own pictures and yet others look at our pictures and compare. What if, instead, instead we just all learned to breathe deep and love the stories.
Like I love that sometimes I eat ice-cream out of the container after the kids go to bed. It means I’m a mom. I have freedom. And sometimes I love the clean living room and then there are other times where I’ll look around and realize the years go fast. Sometimes I run and other days I don’t.
I can love your story, your pictures without having to judge myself.
And that’s where the freedom comes in for all of us.
There is freedom, sweet sister, when you exhale the expectations and inhale the beauty of your own story.
Just so you know…
Your story, your pictures, your journey – it’s beautiful.
Umm…your “messy” photo is closer to how my house looks at its cleanest! There’s like one pillow on the floor and everything else looks fine:) Oh well!
That’s only because I don’t have little ones anymore. Holy moly….I need to find a photo from then. 🙂
As a mom of ten, I am often put up on an unwanted pedestal. People assume we moms of many have it all together; that we are organized and neat and patient and kind as Jesus himself. I fall short every single day, but mostly with the keeping-the-house clean & tidy part. A few years back, I did a blog post just with pictures of what my house looked like “right now” — it was my most popular post back then, LOL. People really like when we keep it real.