I’ve been thinking a lot about my last status update on facebook
Sometimes the re-entry after vacation is brutal! Monday I ran Friends of Scouting at Boy Scouts, today was a little league board meeting, tomorrow is a day camp board meeting, Thursday is a cub scout event, Friday is small group (at our house), Saturday is Pinewood Derby and Sunday I teach Sunday School at church. Throw in there 5 baseball practices, coop, homeschooling, an orthodontist appointment and a girls night. I’m exhausting just thinking about my calendar
There were a smattering of comments, one of my friends from high school said, “What a great mom!!!” Though it was a nice comment, it made me feel incredibly terrible. I felt like a liar. She doesn’t know what my every day looks like. I didn’t post:
Just spent the last two hours on the phone with the insurance company, followed by the last twenty five minutes on the phone with my husband where I finally blew my top at my 6-year-old and yelled “WHAT IS THIS THING ATTACHED TO MY HEAD?!!!?? OH THAT’S RIGHT, ITS A PHONE!!! I WILL TALK TO YOU WHEN I’M DONE!” Where my husband gently rebuked me and said, “That’s not very nice.” And I quickly retorted in self defense, “You’ve missed the last billion times when I’ve quietly signed I’m on the phone to him and made crazy eyes at him to underline the point that I’m busy and mouthed the answers to a million stupid questions”
Not only did I feel like a big old faker, but I felt terrible, like a co-conspirator with Satan, helping to make all of my “friends” on facebook feel a little bit inadequate or not up to par. Not that I’m the bar that everyone should hold themselves to, because I am definelty not.
When we see these little snippets of all of our “friends” lives everyone seems so awesome. Everyone is always smiling, with perfectly clean houses in the back ground when I don’t even remember the last time I’ve washed my kitchen floor and it’s going to take a week to catch up on my laundry and the only smiling I’ve seen on my rag-a-muffin kids is when they’ve succeeded in teasing their brother into tears. Or people with less money than us are taking awesome vacations in warm tropical climates with their perfectly toned bikini ready bodies in the middle of winter, when I of course am still trying (in the very loosest term) to shed this baby weight from 6 year’s ago and its 32 degrees and raining outside. Or Moms who are showing these amazing breakfasts that they’ve whipped up for their kids hours before I’ve even considered being up and even though I could make pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head with a side of bacon and freshly squeezed orange juice, I’m just going to set the cereal on the table and feel at least smug that their is no high fructose corn syrup in it. Or maybe they’ve posted these amazing pictures all dolled up out to dinner with their best friends and I’ve lived here for three years and still haven’t found my Washington BFF yet.
I know how inadequate facebook can make you feel.
I remember distinctly last year when a friend had been rather prolific on facebook for about a week. She was witty and funny. She was posting links to tons of blogs, which I never get to read because I’m too freaking busy to catch up on blogs. I remember thinking, how the heck can she find time to be on facebook when she homeschools her two girls (who seemingly could run academic laps around my kids)?!? Then later I found out she wasn’t really doing very well physically. I did feel bad for her because I do love her, but mostly, I felt relieved. Her struggle made me feel better, because I was feeling a little bit jealous and rather like I sucked tremendously at this whole work/life/homeschool balance thing reading her news feed and thinking how the heck does she do such a great job homeschooling her kids *and* be able to read so many blogs. I private messaged her and she sent me back the sweetest response ever.
Okay, it’s been 30 minutes, and I’m still laughing at the idea that I live some sort of “balanced” life. Seriously, you’ve got no idea how funny that is (and here I’ve been all…where does Chanel find time to travel to see friends and knit and play board games and have house guests and drink wine)!!!
Then I went through my newsfeed and looked at all of things that I have shared. According to my timeline, I live an awesome life where I have it all together all the time. According to my timeline, I’m awesome. I’m a prolific crocheter, a philanthropist, I have witty kids who are amazing, a loving husband, best friends, and I love God.
And I do.
Think about that for a second.
All of those wonderful great things that you share on facebook are who you are.
I am sorry if I made your week seem inadequate to my busy schedule.
I’m sorry if you went to kids school and proceeded to feel like crap when they asked someone to head the teacher appreciate week and in the back of your head you felt a little bit of pressure from me.
If it makes you feel better, I can’t quite remember the last time my twins got a bath. We ordered pizza last night because my refrigerator contains condiments, beer, rotting lettuce and a jar of pickles. At 11:03 am, I still haven’t showered. I fed my kids cold pizza for breakfast (and I’ll probably do the same for lunch). I just put away the Christmas decorations yesterday, almost a full week after the Epiphany. I finished making my extended family and friends’ Christmas presents well before Christmas but haven’t mailed them out yet.
Please know that I, most assuredly, do not have it all together.
Also know that I really don’t want to see all the nitty gritty of your life. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I want to know that you’re normal, but I mostly want to see the good stuff. I want to see your adorable kids, I want to know all the awesome stuff you do, because I want to know that I can be better at some of those things that I struggle with.
I found this gem this week, and I am weaving it into my heart, may this burrow itself into your heart too.
“You deserve better than to define yourself by your own interpretations of secondhand lies, spoken by the Accuser through the mouths of others. Know that I [God] love you. You were wonderfully and fearfully made, planned out from the beginning, assigned a special place in Creation and in the story of salvation. You are not a failure; you are part of My success. You will stand, for I am able to make you stand. You are an instrument in My hands; a vessel formed by the Potter, a branch grafted in by the Master Gardener. You deserve better than the things you tell yourself so often, simply because of the One who created and redeemed and is refining you.”