I read a quote the other day that said something like "Instagram is just some one's highlight reel". Wow. That gave me pause. Is my Instagram my highlight reel? Some days yes. Some days no. I have been known to complain or bitch on Instagram about what are most likely first world problems. I have been known to post selfies without make up or dirty hair on Instagram. I've bragged or been shameless about boasting about my kids, my new bag, my Starbucks red cup on Instagram. Does that make Instagram my highlight reel?
My first inclination is to say no. No. Like a hard NO.
Because I made a promise to myself years ago when I started this blog that I was going to be real. In life and on social media. I couldn't be part of that "perfect mothers" club. I couldn't fight that war anymore. I decided all those years ago that I would put myself out there, even when it hurt, even when it was embarrassing. Sometimes I share too much, but, and here is the issue at hand, sometimes I share too little. Sometimes I hide. Sometimes I don't want to be that one person on Instagram that has nothing nice to say. That doesn't happen often, but it still happens. Does that make Instagram my highlight reel?
Yes. Because sometimes I'm a fraud. Most days I feel like a fraud.
I'm never going to be the perfect mother. Never. I've let that one go. It's okay. I'm okay with that now. Do I want to be a good mother? Yes. Good feels real. Good feels attainable. Good feels right. Does that mean that I still yell in the morning? Yes. I'm a good mother if you overlook the fact that sometimes I get real grouchy about making lunches. The same sandwiches with the crusts cut off after I swore to the Almighty that I would never ever cut off the damn crusts. I'm a good mother if you overlook the fact that my kids wear leggings that have stained knees and that sometimes their shirts have little holes in the stitching. I'm a good mother if you forget that sometimes dinner is McDonald's or Fro-Yo because it's school fundraiser night and dinner and fundraisers can't ever happen on the same night. It's just not possible, in fact I think it's a scientific fact. I'm a good mother if you never ask what time my kids go to bed at night, what kind of vitamins they take, or how much milk we go through in a week. Other than that I'm a good mother.
I'd bet that you are a pretty good mother too. As long as I don't look too closely at your base boards and ignore that one chair in your bedroom covered in laundry that never gets folded. And let's be honest with each other, if you are interested in my base boards, then this will never work.
So sometimes I'm a fraud on Instagram. Those selfies when my hair is done and I'm rocking sunglasses mean that I skipped the make up. If you ever see me with make up, my hair probably looks tore up. If you see me ready for work, outfit of the day rocking, kids dropped off, and taking selfies,: chances are my house is a disaster, my legs haven't been shaved in weeks, and both kids cried this morning when I lost my shit about toaster waffles. Because I'm smiling and taking that selfie through the self doubt, the guilt, and the terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'll never be as good as I want to be. And that the kids will notice. That you will notice. That everyone will notice.
Thank God you can't see that in a selfie. Thank God that Instagram hides the anxiety your daughter has about school performances. That it hides the fact that your five year old will only eat chicken nuggets, bagels with cream cheese, or hamburger buns with Kraft singles in rotation on the daily. Thank you God, that Instagram hides that fight you had with your husband last night about the damn trash being stacked higher than you, that he put your cup away on the highest shelf, that I was snippy about making lunches that I said I would make though he offered. Thank God for that.
So yeah. Sometimes Instagram is my highlight reel. Sometimes I need a damn highlight reel to get through the day. I need to focus on those little faces covered in chocolate, ruining their dinner with Target Icees. Some days I need to take a selfie with no make up, dirty hair, and a great pair of sunnies to remember that I'm a good mother. I'm a damn good mother, regardless of the yelling. Regardless of the piles of unfolded laundry. Regardless of the pit in my stomach that tells me otherwise.
Some days you have to own it. All of it. Even the fake and fraudulent. Even the highlight reel.
Especially the highlight reel.
Always own the highlight reel.