Today, my 2 year old had half of a granola bar for breakfast and then part of a cookie. I also let her cry for a few minutes in her room while I finished getting myself ready for the day. It was OK.
My oldest, who is 6, played soccer for the first time this year. She only actually kicked the ball once throughout the whole season. That was OK, too.
I don’t wear make up often, I love hanging out in my pajamas and most days, I order food delivery because I spoil myself that way.
My husband and I argue about the silliest of things and some days I ponder if I can donate him and my children to the zoo. (Side note: the zoo probably couldn’t handle them).
However, if you were to look at my Facebook page, you’d see several pictures of myself on my best makeup and hair days, fun family outings, hilarious jokes (I’m quite funny, as are my kids!), and love quotes. Sure, I toss in some honest-truth about our lives with ADHD, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, anxiety and depression. But for the most part, it’s filled with happy, feel-good, types of posts.
The majority of people publicly share only the good, or the happy parts of their lives. I’m guilty of that myself most times.
But why? Why are we so hesitant to share the raw, truthful parts too?
Most of us want to be seen as successful and thriving, which is great. Triumphs are meant to be celebrated. Except think about the last time you experienced something difficult, or hard, or painful. Would it have eased your mind a bit to know someone else had been there? And that you weren’t quite as alone as you might have felt? What if we shared MORE of the real-life, maybe not-so-picture perfect moments?
I recently experienced a mental-health breakdown that also caused some physical problems. At the beginning of my breakdown, I felt so alone. So scared. I felt like there was NO way that anyone else could have possibly felt this way before. Then, I started talking to my friends who had experience with anxiety and depression, and the psycho-somatic symptoms that can accompany them. After opening myself up, and having a few heart to heart conversations, I realized that I wasn’t experiencing something rare or unique — in fact, it was quite normal.
I made a vow to myself that I would start sharing more of the REAL aspects of my life, and I have. And what I’ve noticed is that while my selfies might get a lot of “likes,” and the cute pictures of my kids might get a lot of “awww!” comments, what people really seem drawn to are the “Hey, today I wasn’t a great mom. And I also snapped at my husband about 30 times (most of them unnecessarily) today.” THOSE posts are relatable and they make people feel a little less crazy.
Yes, I have a multitude of beautiful moments and yes, I love sharing those with my little world. But I also recognize that life in general is so much deeper than that. My life is certainly not always sunshine and rainbows — there are clouds and downright STORMS mixed in.
Internet, and social media are wonderful tools that have brought a lot of good to society, but it’s so easy to scroll through someone’s Facebook or Instagram and think, “Man, I wish my life was as perfect as theirs.” I want everyone who sees my posts though to think, “Wow, she really struggled parenting her toddler today; so did I” or “Huh… her husband forgets things just as often as mine!” Because while those instances may seem insignificant, they can give subtle support to someone who might just need it that day.
Staying positive is great and all, but the truth is, everyone’s life sucks at one point or another.
OK To Be OK
We’re so immersed in the wonderful and amazing moments that our friends are having, that we forget it’s OK to just be OK—or even to NOT be OK sometimes.