Somewhere along the line I suppose most of us resign ourselves to the fact that we will never be famous and plastered on magazine covers. Which of course, we'll admit, is not actually a bad thing. Still- I sort of secretly want to be known at some level- and better still if I get to paint my own careful version of my life for my "public". Enter Facebook. Here I can post all things wonderful about myself- only the most adorable pictures of me and the kiddos- only the greatest things I've done. And unlike the rich and famous, no one is hunting me down trying to shock the world with my latest unsightly weight gain picture, or a candid photo of me yelling at my kids with a caption that reads, "Her latest breakdown: Friends say she needs help."
I mean, it's not like I "lie" to people on facebook- I have no reason to mislead you into believing that I own a beach house in Fiji, or that I had a brief stint as an extra on "That 70's Show" as a teen. Still, I tend to slant things in my favor whenever possible. This means I'm going to post about:
- my fabulously successful craft experiment while watching five children
- The best picture of my latest haircut, from just the right angle so as to minimize your view of hair frizz
- Picture of my kids at various fun places (library, picturesque pumpkin picking outings, museum, etc)...to I prove that I not only have cute kids, but am a terrific mom. Bravo, self.
- Doting comments about my husband- his love, his over-the-top help with the cleaning, or his endless and angelic devotion to our children (so you would never suspect he's actually human or that I ever get mad at him)
- Pithy sayings and quotes that reveal the deep things of life I'm considering, and imply that perhaps I'm making significant progress at being a better human being
-A list of the last 24 non-fiction books I read with a disclaimer that I have "such a hard time reading fiction because it feels unproductive"
- My latest food creation- whether a beautiful and healthy meal, or a 5 layer birthday cake
-How, "Oh look, I can fit into my skinny jeans again!"
- A comment of thankfulness for all my amazing friends
(Reminds me of this hysterical farce article about "Facebragging"- but I digress:
"Facebragging Woman Builds Friends Character)
Even when I post seemingly negative things about myself, I pick and choose what to put based on which of my "flaws" might actually make me seem more endearing, or even just to get affirmation from others. Which is why I might still post about:
- Running around through my house for days singing "Let it Go" from Frozen
- ONLY staying outside to play with my kids in the freezing weather for 15 minutes (because hopefully what you will take away is "She took her kid outside for 15 whole minutes!")
- How "I'm OK with being messy", (which, though true, sounds a whole lot better than "I'm OK being lazy.")
- How my kids are being absolutely grumps (emphasis not on THEM, of course)
-How I'm just feeling depressed (Because I know everyone will come out of the woodworks to cheer me up.)
But what you won't usually see me post at all is:
- "Yelled at the kids during craft because they spilled the glue- even though I'm the one who left it right in front of their curious little face."
-The fact that sometimes I just lose it and yell at my kids- even though they may just be acting out because they are tired, need my attention, or I'm not listening to what they are saying.
- The awkward picture that my kid took of me which, from his vantage point, accentuates my gut while also showing off the inside of my nostrils.
- Pictures of my kids being babysat by the TV
- "Giving my husband the silent treatment! Serves him right for...well, whatever it was he did!!"
- A list of the times that I've chosen to ignore good advice and sound wisdom, or have dismally fallen short of God's heart for my life
-How I was sad to put my pants in the dryer knowing they would shrink and induce a muffin top
- My latest culinary failure- blackened pancakes, the omelette that ended up as a hash, or the more common daily making of convenience foods. Nobody wants to see daily posts about PB & J.
-A comment about how easily judgmental I can be towards my friends, or the times that I feel pretty lonely despite having so many great friends.
And within the last few days I've hit a couple of really not-awesome Mom moments in my life. Moments when I realize I rushed the kids too much, literally yanked them out of the store, tried to put too much into the day, and didn't stop to really think about what they needed most. And geesh, I'm confronted lately with how hard so many people work and how I just need to be more disciplined in life and stop making so many dang excuses for myself- for my own health and to live the fullest life God wants for me.
I think my point is that we are all imperfect but want to seem perfect to be better liked. But do you know what? I actually get mad at perfect people. Somehow, even though we know that we aren't putting out the full picture of ourselves, I think we buy into the idea that other people really are THAT amazing. I end up comparing myself- or judging others out of my own insecurities. Do you know that it is actually a genuine relief to talk to other moms who are just so human as to believe that they are probably going to scar their children for life in some way? That I want to be around people who, say, admit things about themselves that aren't "lovable"? I think the more honest we are, the more we bring honesty out in each other. And honesty leads to real relationships. And that- well, that is better than having 500 "friends" who think you are perfect.
(And in an effort to be more open, I will post this picture my son took of me. Yes, I am dancing. No, it was not graceful. Enjoy.)