Someone said to me the other day, "Oh, I thought you had your crap all together by looking at your Facebook posts." Cue a water-coming-out-of-my-nose laugh snort.
Me? Well, I suppose if you judge me on my newsfeed, then I'm rocking this parenting thing pretty hard. It made me think about how we compare our own lives with other people's highlight reels. So I thought I'd share some of the things that I do not currently post on my social media pages (but maybe should).
1. Pictures of anything but a pristine house
I will admit it: I've tried to take a picture of my children, only to realize that there are toys on the floor in the background. I will then reposition the child until I have a strip of clean, pristine house behind them. From my pictures you may assume that you can drop by at any time and see a beautifully tidy house — but please call, first, so I can shove some stuff in the closets.
2. A profile picture taken on any day other than when I've had my hair done
I know it's time to change my profile picture when the six weeks between hair appointments is up. Yep, I'm not likely to take a picture and post it any other time, because what's the point? I might as well wait until a professional has had a whack at my hair.
My secret is out. If my hair looks all salon-ready in the picture, that's probably because it is. In reality, I'm sitting at home with a baseball cap on.
I very rarely just take a picture of us going on about our daily lives and post it.
3. Any "before" or "during" renovation pictures — unless there's also an "after"
I don't really want people to see pictures of how ugly my house used to be, nor pictures of my house during the renovation process (along with all the chaos and dust). I'm sure you would rather not see a picture of when my refrigerator, stove and table were all crammed into our dining room (or maybe you would?). But that's how we lived for six months. Bet you couldn't tell from my beautiful "after" pictures.
4. Any picture of my children where they are not having the time of their lives
When I do post pictures of my kids, it's often to chronicle something we don't normally do. I very rarely just take a picture of us going on about our daily lives and post it. So when you are thinking that I'm doing something exciting all of the time, think again. For some reason I don't post the "chilling at home photo," but maybe I should.
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5. Pictures of the inside of my car
This is a no-brainer for me. When you have kids, the first promise you make to yourself is "my kids will never eat in my car." Ha! Well, that goes out the window in about two seconds. Once that goes out the window, then in come the crumbs and wrappers. My children also like to bring toys and books into the car, but do not exhibit the same enthusiasm for taking them out. I don't post pictures of my car, but maybe I should...
6. Pictures of my kids on their tablets
I will take pictures of my kids playing outside, going on day trips, reading — doing anything, really — but I won't post pictures of them playing on their tablets. What kind of mom does that make me look like? I'll tell you my shameful little secret: my kids do play on their tablets. More than they should, probably. I don't share photos of them doing that, but maybe I should.
7. Pictures of baskets of folded laundry, still waiting to be put away
This one is also about angling the camera a certain way so as not to get the laundry basket in the photo that I'm about to post. Putting clean laundry away is somehow low on my priority list. It's clean, isn't it? Rest assured there are baskets of folded laundry floating around, and I don't post pictures of them. But maybe I should.
8. Duck-lip selfies
They're just plain wrong!
Let's please all remember that we only see a part of people's lives on social media.
Putting your best foot forward on social media is all about camera angles — cropping out the laundry basket, the messy room, the kids on their tablet. Let's please all remember that we only see a part of people's lives on social media. The angled parts. The part everyone chooses to share with the world. The edited and cropped pictures. The ones where everyone is smiling.
But what if we started posting pictures of our normal, everyday lives? If I were to do that, maybe I'd post a random picture of our house (pre-tidying), or a picture of my girls playing on their tablets. Maybe I'd post a photo of the inside of my car (gulp), or a photo of myself with Saturday hair (the non-straightened, slightly curly, frizzy style). And maybe, just maybe, if you're lucky... I'd post a duck-lip selfie, too.
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