Honesty (And a cure for Insomnia)

Lately I've been thinking a lot about Motherhood, Authenticity and Social Media.

We've all had those days where we go about our day, happily resting in what we have, who we are, and where we live etc. That is, until nap time. Somewhere in the midst of our daily moments with the computer, our brief interlude with facebook and pinterest throws us into an internal tailspin of discontent and "comparison-itis."

I really wish I was on vacation this week like that family instead of battling a stomach bug with my kids. Sure would be nice to be at Cinderella's castle instead of holding a vomit bucket for my 5 yr. old... 

If only I could lose my last bit of baby weight, all those style tips would look cute on me too. I will never look that cute in shorts...

Look at her, painting her living room while her kids are napping AND cooking a gourmet meal. My spaghetti doesn't sound so exciting anymore. 

WOW! She did all that for her kid's birthday party??!!!??? I thought all I had planned for this weekend was enough. But maybe I could fit in one more trip to the store....

They just bought another new______?!?!?! I wish we could afford a date night every now and then. 

And so begins the malestrom of unhappiness brought on by others' apparent good fortune.

Why do we do that to ourselves??? 
More importantly, why do we allow ourselves the sin of ungratefulness in the midst of so many blessings? 

I have read ALOT of helpful (in the stick their finger in your eye way) articles and posts lately about the dangers of social media as it can cause us to be fake, discontent and constantly "performing." This is something I've been thinking about a lot because I do love to cook. I do love to be crafty. I do love to do projects with the kids and get them dressed up for playdates. And let's be honest. I'm far more likely to post pictures of that then the pile of dust and cheerios I just swept off my floor. But who am I doing it for, really? It's a daily struggle for sure.

However, I am making a REAL, CONCERTED EFFORT to do the following-- Won't you join me?

 1. to not "apply a filter" to every detail of my life. I.E. pick the BEST parts of my day to share, document, etc. and leave out anything that anyone might critique. For example, the other day I posted a few pictures from Lucy's ballet performance. Here's one I didn't post that I wanted to.

I love this picture... I think it's such a cute "glimpse" into what it is like to be her mommy. But look behind me. (GASP!!!!!) I know. The filth that is my closet. I could tell you that Lu likes to play with my shoes and they all end up in a pile. I could tell you I'm in the process of taking out winter things. All of which are true. But what's MOST accurate is that my closet is just. a. mess. And yes, I'm embarrassed. And yes, after posting this, I'm going to go clean it up. But, hey. Keeping it Real.

 2. And to PUT DOWN THE CAMERA. I know, we all want to document every little detail. And we should. But, I'm really serious about being able to see my memories while they are happening...with BOTH of my eyes. In Lucy's performance the other night, cameras were forbidden. And I enjoyed so much just drinking in the moment and taking a mental image. Because no photo, ever will compare of the feeling of watching her dance in front of all those people. No photo would express the way my breath caught in my throat when she came out; or the way Lance and I were holding hands so tightly, blood flow was becoming an issue. I will never forget that.

Earlier this year we went to Disney World for one day. It was Abby's first visit and 12 minutes after arriving, my camera just quit working. I could have cried. (Literally.) I could have bought one at the gift shop. Instead, I stuck it in the bottom of our bag and saw the entire day with both my hands (and eyes) free. It was so liberating. (To be fair, we did purchase a few Disney Pass photos, but only 4 and they were enough.) It was money well spent to be able to forget about being the designated photo taker for the day.

All that to say, I'm guilty of doing too much documenting and not enough living. That has to stop.

And finally, 3. Am I self-promoting in the way I'm sharing "our life?" I have an acquaintance on FB. She is a very sweet girl, but she often posts pictures of food, whether it's her breakfast, her child's lunch, whatever. In every single description, it's as though she tries to fit the word "Organic" in as many times as possible. Literally labeling every already healthy food as "Organic" even if it means saying "Organic" 12 times on one photo. Now, she probably has no clue how it comes across. Of course at first I thought, "Wow. That's kind of annoying. We get it, you only buy organic for your family and the conventional strawberries I bought this morning aren't healthy at all but should be fed to the dog...." But then I thought (with a sinking feeling) "Have I done that?!?!" Because I am one of those people that loves food photography. I don't post pictures so you just covet my iced coffee, but I do love to "share" those kinds of things. All in all, I've been re-considering my sharing. If I want to cook a yummy meal and share a photo, fine. But if I need for everyone to know that we are eating Grain-Fed Bison on a homemade Bun with a side of vegetables which we grew in our own dirt and I purposely don't include the pile of Cheez-Its just because some might not think it's "chic" then I have a problem that is way bigger than snack foods. I feel that it is my DUTY to care for my family's physical and nutritional needs. But since the Lord sees my heart, I better make SURE I'm doing it for them and unto HIM instead of trying to impress people by my ultra Proverbs31-ness.

Let's take care of our families for the Glory of Christ and not for our Instagram followers.

Oh, if you were hoping for the cure for Insomnia.... Read this ridiculously long post a few more times and be sleeping in no time.


Linda said...

Some very heartful thoughts Cynthia...points well taken that we all need to consider more these days. In an age when so many women already struggle with feelings of inferiority, FB, Instagram, Pinterest and blogging can add fuel to the fire. Thanks for keeping it real and reminding all of us to do the same. Leah just did that when she wrote about her recent "fails"(lest anyone think every project goes smoothly). Tips well taken here!

HappyascanB said...

Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!!!!!! I. Love. this. Post.

Preach on, sister!!!