I read an article the other day in which the author declared, “I’m not a liar. But Facebook is.” She went on to say that the image of her life, as created by her Facebook comments and photos, was much rosier than her actual life. In a way, she was creating a lie about herself.
This is probably true of most of us. We use social media mostly to share happy moments, to revel in our small (and large) successes, to announce good news. We occasionally gripe or vent or complain, but despite that, most of us unintentionally post an incomplete picture of our lives, and one that paints us as happier, more successful, and more fulfilled than we actually are.
So today, I am going to admit some truths that aren’t always seen on my Facebook or my blog pages.
I love my kids, but some days they drive me crazy. Like, crying in the bathroom crazy. Like, sending them to their room so I can calm down crazy. Like, meeting my husband at the door with my car keys in my hand at the end of the day crazy.
It took me years – literally years to potty train my kids. I fake my way through a lot of parenting. I act like I know what I’m doing, but I’m totally flying by the seat of my pants. I let my kids watch TV and play with their Kindles a lot more hours of the day than I should. Sometimes I don’t take them outside to play because I don’t feel like going outside. I don’t offer them vegetables as often as I should.
I love my husband – a LOT – but there are times when I really, really want to punch him in the nose. Or at least Gibbs-slap him for being clueless. Sometimes we yell at each other, usually about stupid stuff. When I get mad at him, I do stupid, childish, passive-aggressive things like making him get his own dinner plate, even though I bring everyone else’s to them. Or I bring everyone’s clean laundry upstairs and leave his in the laundry room or on the stairs. (I strongly suspect he has never noticed either of these things, but it makes me feel better, in a petty, vindictive kind of way.)
I am terrified of home schooling. Even though part of me knows I am perfectly qualified to do it, at least for a few years, another part of me is sure that I’ll leave him unprepared for life and he’ll end up in some boring, dead-end job because I didn’t teach him to use a ten frame properly.
I make it a joke on Facebook, but I really do let my kids run around without pants on a lot of the time. And there are still a lot of days when we don’t change out of our pajamas until after lunch. Sometimes we don’t brush our hair or teeth till then either. And sometimes not even then.
I let them do stuff they probably shouldn’t, like climbing up the stairs on the other side of the bannister, or sliding down the bannister, or going outside with bare feet or no coat when it’s only 45 degrees out, or riding their bikes in the driveway without a helmet.
So my life’s not quite as perfect as it probably seems on Facebook. But it’s still pretty good. And that’s the truth.