Social media (blogs included) have been such a wonderful addition into my life. I remember life pre facebook, twitter, instagram. Hell, I remember life before digital cameras and cell phones too. I’m glad I lived life in an era before all of these modern day marvels. But I also appreciate how much these products enrich and brighten my day. Um, pinterest… hello! My whole family thanks you for many many delicious dinner ideas pinterest. But there is one bottom line that these outlets really do us all a disservice with. And that is “honesty”. With the way the world works now, you take one good photo of one good moment in your life, slap a pretty filter on it, come up with a cute catch phrase and post it. And there it sits – reaching out to the world showing everyone you know how awesome your day, life, evening, job, relationship, etc, etc, etc are. But how honest is it really?
I am so guilty of this. So guilty. Even on this very blog. I don’t always spell it out like I really feel, because to be honest… people I know and love follow along and read this blog. Sometimes I might have a really bad time at an event, but I’m not going to say that because the person I went with might read this. And life might be really hard, but I don’t want to air all my dirty laundry so I keep it light and fluffy. So, the other day I posted on Instagram a photo of Carter playing in the grass. To anyone who I don’t talk to on a normal basis, which is basically almost everyone, they probably look at that and think that every day must be filled with sunshine and grass and cute drooly babes. But the people I do talk to every day know that I have been going through a terrible time and have been incredibly ill for almost 2 weeks. Those people also know that Carter has been scarily ill. So bad in fact that he has been in and out of the pediatrician’s office all week and was diagnosed with Reactive Breathing Disease and was put on a breathing machine. A breathing machine that we now own and have to hook him up to 4x a day to give him breathing treatments to help him breathe with ease. This is not something we will have to do daily forever, but is a problem that will surface now and again, forever. People I talk to on a regular basis know the hell I have been going through and know that I sit up at night holding my baby up to an oxygen mask while he fights to breathe. People I don’t talk to every day just see a sweet picture of him and probably just think he is the cutest darn kid ever, which he is.
In this said picture, I kind of got called out. I got called out by someone I talk to everyday… my mom. She left a comment saying something along the lines of, “I assume he’s feeling better.” But the truth is, that he wasn’t. I took him to the park because I have a wild 3 year old that needs to run and be free. Otherwise I wouldn’t have taken him out of the house. The truth is that he cried the entire hour and a half that we were at the park. The truth is that he was coughing and wheezing so hard that people were looking at me like I had brought the plague to the playground and it made me feel embarrassed and protective. The truth is that he stopped crying for about 45 seconds when I sat him in the grass. He was interested in his new location, but only for a moment before he remembered he couldn’t breathe. And in that moment I snapped a photo, put a pretty filter on it and thought of something catchy to say and I posted it. Not mentioning his illness, or breathing machine, or the fact that he was crying right before and right after that picture was snapped.
When I got called out by my mom, I replied back honestly and said to not believe social media. I was misrepresenting my current situation just as I have many times before, and just as many many others do daily. A few days later I saw a friend post a beautiful photo of her baby sleeping soundly. I congratulated her on getting her baby to sleep in his crib alone (which anyone with a small babe knows that is hard to do!) And she replied back a similar response like I gave my mother. That her baby was asleep but he would be awake in 15 minutes and then basically every 15 mins after that all night long. But without her telling me that, I would never have known. I would have assumed that she figured it all out and she is leaps and bounds ahead of me in getting a baby to a healthy sleep pattern.
So, I want to open up and be honest with you. Or with anyone who has ever read my blog and perhaps thinks that I have it all together. Or thinks I am managing it all. Let me tell you, from the horse’s mouth – I am not. I haven’t had my car washed in about 6 months. A few weeks ago my dog barfed in the garage and I let it sit there til it started growing mold because I was too busy to clean it up. I just went grocery shopping today for the first time in three weeks. We ate KFC last night and pizza the night before that. I just put away a pile of laundry that had been sitting on the foot of my bed for a month. Our front yard is so overgrown with weeds and long grass that I am actually embarrassed to be seen walking into our house. Tonight neither kid got a bath. Last week I sent Sadie to school every morning without brushing her teeth first. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep because I didn’t pay enough attention to Sadie that day. Sometimes I cry for a second when I go pee because it’s my only moment alone and I feel so overwhelmed.
I see other parents out there on Instagram or on blogs that always look so put together. And they travel, and don’t seem to need naps. And don’t seem to have meltdowns. And don’t seem to stay up all night crying. And they can go out to restaurants and actually eat and not have to walk out half way through. And they all eat organic everything. Grown in their backyard. And they don’t watch TV. And they always do fun art projects that I could never think of (without pinterest). And their houses are so clean. And the mom’s hair is washed and styled. And life is so good. And so easy. And I wonder all the time… how????
But maybe they are just like me. Maybe they take a photo of the kid for the only split second while they are not crying. Maybe they kicked all the mess and clutter to the side and cropped the rest out with a fancy instagram filter. I’m just so sick of constantly seeing other’s lives from various social media platforms and wondering why they can figure it all out, but I can’t for the life of me seem to be able to get a handle of it. And I want to make sure that I never make anyone else feel that way by my photos. And if things ever seem light and fluffy in my posts, feel free to straight up ask me about the nitty gritty. Because I am 200% positive there is always some nitty gritty, even if I don’t openly disclose it.
As a disclaimer: these photos were taken at 4 different places.
Napa Valley – while visiting friends. The ugly truth: it was super hot that day. I thought it would be cold and dressed Sadie in a sweatshirt with nothing under and jeans. She was so hot her entire face turned red. She also wouldn’t eat that day. So all she had all day was a milkshake and I was terrified she was going to faint.
Zoo – Carter and I were both very sick and Sadie had a fever the day before. Carter also had blow out and had some poop on the back of his shirt the entire day.
Beach – Sadie kept throwing sand on the blanket and very near Carter’s eyes. I yelled at her so many times. The people next to us were flying a kite dangerously low right over our heads and we were super uncomfortable in the situation the entire afternoon.
Home – in Sadie’s bed. I was soooooo sick. Feeling like death. Carter was in between breathing treatments, coughing fits, diarrhea episodes and hysteria. But there was some good light in the room!