Last week, one of my Facebook friends posted this as her status. (I shouldn't call her just my "Facebook friend". I mean the woman was my RA in college and we couldn't have lucked out with a better one... :) ) But I wanted to share this with all of you because I know we all do it. I did it today. I even highlight what was going on in my background and in my mind. I even offer up a solution to how we can become better together.
How often do you "one second snapshot" into your world? How much truth is behind that quick enhanced photo that you shared off your Instagram account? I'll show you.
I posted the picture above today on Instragram with the most adorable caption about how Harvey thinks he isn't a good reader. The kid is two!! He doesn't need to be a good reader yet so I just encouraged him to tell me what he saw in the pictures. However, what this doesn't show is WHY I was pretty much forcing him to read to himself. Because I didn't want to freakin' read to him! I wanted to finish my cup of coffee before it was ice cold. (And I look up and it's still sitting there not finished.) I wanted to read my own books, not about Bagheera attempting to bring Mowgli back to the man village. Again.
But did I tell you that part? Of course not.
Then lunch time came.
I thought I'd get all fancy today and make him a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich. What child wouldn't love a hot-off-the-griddle-homemade-goodness sandwich for lunch?! Here it is. All warm and gooey. He even granted me an obligatory photo.
He took two bites.
See what's happening here? The first picture is an insight to my world as a one second snapshot. It could be interpreted as "Oh, she's a stay at home mom with all this time to browse Pinterest and make creative lunches for her only child." When in reality, the little shit didn't eat it. He didn't eat it and in fact, it's still sitting in that same spot four hours later because I am too lazy to clean the kitchen. How's that for truth?
Let's end with this photo.
Here is where we ended up for a bit before nap time today. Looks all lovey dovey and cozy right? But let me just tell you how I really felt today.
He was up at 6:40am and talked, sang, or made some sort of verbal noise NON-STOP until 12:30pm. Yes, that's almost six hours of constant toddler chatter. The only reason I know he got quiet was because he turned the TV on himself and it happened to be on PBS so he started watching Martha Speaks. That's what I get for trying to be unplugged mom today. I clearly need that PBS break at some point during the day.
His absolute favorite song is Old McDonald. At his two year appointment the doctor warned us that kids like to repeat things at this age because that's how they learn. This is how I feel about Old McDonald right now.
His father was trying to work from home today because we had a couple repairmen stopping by in the morning. I couldn't keep him downstairs. I couldn't keep him quiet. I couldn't keep him from going, "Daddy, watch this!" a million times. Nothing! Needless to say, my hubby promptly left for his office after lunch.
I just wanted to finish something without being interrupted! I wanted to drink a cup of coffee while it was still hot. I wanted to read a book. I wanted to reply to an email. I wanted to go to the bathroom. I wanted to have a conversation without a "What are you guys talking about" question in the middle. Yes, I wanted to be selfish today.
During my pity party today a friend reminded me that one day he will be all grown up and won't talk to me at all any more. I told her to shut it. In a loving way of course. I told her that advice doesn't work for a mom who is in the trenches. I also told her that I love up on my little son enough to not feel guilty when I need a break from him. We make many amazing memories together. We giggle. We smile. He says, "I love you, Mommy". But I'd also like him to be quiet every now and then...
So let me bring this all together for you. I feel we are all one second snapshot parents in some shape or form. I enjoy one second snapshot parents! I like seeing the goodness in your homes and lives. That's why I follow you! But social media is a slippery slope and how we choose to view others' snapshots is up to us. We don't all view it the same. We all have good days and bad days. It is super easy to feel like everyone is doing a better job as a parent. We always feel like we are failing. We always feel like our own kids are driving us completely batty and never well behaved. We will always feel there's a Pinterest Mom out there making our lives hell. That's the devil's work right there. But what if...
What if you looked at someone's snapshot and thought, "Maybe this was the only highlight of their day?"
What if we praised each other for those rockstar parenting moments that we shared with each other?
What if we used their ideas in our home to see if we are equally as awesome? (Hint, you are).
What if we just took a breath, snuggled up our kids, told them we loved them, and let life happen?
Comparison is the thief of freaking joy, man. We all need a TON of grace.