Instagram is perfect.
It allows me to capture cool pictures and crop out and filter the parts of my life that aren’t so…precious.
From the looks of my Instagram feed, I make raising kids look pretty great and pretty clean. There is no photographic evidence of my children fighting. I don’t capture the ugly moments where I lose my mind. I don’t post a shot of the chicken nuggets and ranch dressing my kids are eating for dinner. For the third night in a row.
Raising kids is the greatest, most awesome, most fun thing I’ve ever done in my life. I adore my kids more than I could ever express. They are hilarious, and we have lots of great moments.
But not every moment is great. It’s easy to browse through Instagram, see everyone’s filtered life, and rehearse the ways in which you don’t measure up.
So I thought I would give you a glimpse of what my life looks like when it’s unfiltered and uncropped. Let’s call it InstaReal. (None of these photos have been staged or altered.)
Because if anyone knows anything about keeping stuff out of sight in the living room, it’s me.
Those aren’t Infinity characters; they’re my really small house guests eating Goldfish (don’t worry, organic friends, I only feed my small guests Goldfish. I read your Facebook post; I’m obviously not feeding these deadly orange things to my kids.)
(Organic friends, you know I love you.)
While we’re outside, let’s check out everything I have to offer.
I’ve watched enough crime dramas to know I don’t want to be murdered by a florist WHO ISN’T ACTUALLY A FLORIST, so I kindly ask serial killers not to solicit.
Also my husband can’t tell salespeople no, so this is really for his benefit. Me not getting murdered is also for his benefit.
This girl isn’t even a teen yet. I wonder what I have to look forward to.
(Cuteness alert: the green basket on the right is a gift Chloe made to give her sister when we adopt her. A process we haven’t actually started.)
This is what you call a child who is annoyed with his little siblings. Who also doesn’t ever wear matching clothes.
That’s a ten year old PSP that doesn’t work that we’re charging in the background. Good use of power, I’d say.
And to finish out this tour of my house, you should check out the amazing laminate floors we had installed. These unique floors come with a spattering of googly eyes. These are especially perfect if you have young children in your home.
There is no shame in only posting highlights of your life on Instagram. I endure enough messes and enough sibling fighting without having to see yours. I love clicking over to IG and seeing cute pictures of kids, snapshots of fun nights out, delicious looking food, and gorgeous sunsets.
But as you’re scrolling through the best of people’s days, be kind to yourself. We all have ugly parts of our life we don’t want anyone to see and think no one else struggles with. You’re just looking at the unfiltered version of yourself. You are not alone. And you are not the only one with a house full of crazy and an emotional tank running on empty.
But you are still the best mama there is for your kids. And you’re doing a much better job than you think.