The Highlight Reel

I had the honor and pleasure and all the other good words of spending a few days with my best friend last week. It’s no small feat for us to get together. We live states away and have 6 kids between us. But we pulled our resources and spent 3 glorious kid free days together (except for Charlie Mac, my little breast feeding sidekick).

What did we do? Well, we talked. We talked non-stop. From 7am-11pm, we talked. We talked while we shopped, while we ate, while we strolled Middleton Place and kayaked in the Charleston Harbor. And the truth is, we could have talked for WEEKS. It was fantastic. Since she left, I’ve been wondering what I normally do with all those words. I guess, I write them.

A topic that came up several times was the difficulty we have as adults navigating the internet and social media. We are both concerned for our children as they will one day have the same struggle. In a highlight reel culture it can be hard to keep perspective. Between blogs and social media accounts focusing on perfect bodies, clothes, homes, and  lives, it’s a lot to navigate.

This is something that we all struggle with to some degree, right?

At 36, I’m not old, but I’m not young either. I know that behind those perfect pictures are mama’s jumping around and acting crazy to make those little ones smile. I know that to get that stunning living room shot, all the mess is shoved into a corner somewhere. I know that those perfect looking bodies are often just perfectly posed. But I have to remind myself of this whenever I start to want what others have. I didn’t grow up in the age of Facebook and Instgram. I was well into my 20’s and had already experienced some life changing events (travel, loss, college, marriage) before I became active on social media . . . remember myspace? I can’t imagine if social media had been around when I was a teenager still trying to find my place in the world.

I worry that these images will be very tough for my kids to process. Depression and suicide rates among teens are terrifying right now and they seem to be rising. To think that they might feel less because they perceive that others have/are more is scary and heartbreaking.

All that being said . . .

I’m starting with me.

I want my blog and my social media accounts to represent my life as it truly is. I want to show the ugly and the beautiful because I think that is important for my kids. How can I expect them to see both sides in others if I don’t model it myself?

I hope to represent motherhood, womanhood and humanity in all of it’s messy glory.

So friends, if it ever appears that I have it all together or that things are perfect, if I ever make having 4 kids look easy, I apologize. It’s my goal to show the truth and the truth is that my life is amazing, unbelievably amazing but it’s also unbelievably hard. It’s SO ugly and challenging and exhausting some days that I want to curl up into a ball in the far corners of my tiny closet and cry. It’s SO beautiful and fulfilling and purely magical that is makes me want to drop to my knees in humility and gratitude.

I want my kids to celebrate the highlight reel moments in their lives and in others. I want them to recognize and show up for the behind the scenes mess as well. I want them to know that perfect pictures don’t mean a perfect life because there is no such thing. I want them to be grateful for what they have. I want them to see the goodness in their hearts. I want them to know that they are enough, even more than enough, just as they are.

And so I am going to tell my story as it truly is, maintain perspective on other’s stories and hope that helps my kids do the same.

A few moments from the “not” highlight reel . . .

Cannot get this boy to just smile!

It looks like he’s pretending to throw back a shot of whiskey or something? And Fleet in the background? I don’t even know what’s wrong with him!

Her face is always like this. I don’t know why but I NEVER wipe it.

The boys room 90% of the time.

My sleepy kitty cat.

This one is actually pretty awesome.

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