Some days I don’t love reality. When you’re surviving on night naps not sleep. When you’ve been pinched, scratched and bitten way more than you can handle. When you’ve had to clean poop from the bath. When you’ve worn out the ‘long days, short years’ mantra by saying it so many times it no longer holds meaning. When exhausted, grumpy baby just won’t just surrender to a nap. Y’know those days… And even though you want a bit of escapism and to just zone out on social media – it makes everything so much worse. Because you just end up comparing yourself to everyone else’s perfect life.
News flash – social media isn’t a documentary. It isn’t an autobiography. It isn’t even reality TV where there is some dramatisation to garner more viewers. It’s contrived, curated, created to best highlight our perfect lives, meals, holidays, homes, hobbies… And sometimes that hurts. When you can’t see the floor for the toys and the washing; when you haven’t served a nutritious meal in the last 48 hours; when you haven’t left the house let alone contemplated a holiday, it can be really hard to celebrate other’s successes.
Let’s do something about it. What if we all posted some reality occasionally? Challenged the social media colored glasses with some authenticity and vulnerability. Surely that would contribute to actual social connectedness and real support? I don’t think there should be shame or embarrassment in the imperfect. And who gets to define perfect anyways?
I like to remind myself that there would be no good times if there weren’t bad times. If there wasn’t a contrast, the highs wouldn’t be as high. And you can’t live life to the fullest in emotional middle ground. I also think it helps to have a stockpile of memories of the ‘better’ times. A happy place you can go to to remind you of why the not so better times are worth it. One of my go to’s when the baby seems inconsolable is to remember that historically she has always stopped crying. And be present in those better moments – don’t zone out – maximise them.
There’s a heap of evidence now on how being grateful makes you happier. Do take the time to list three things you’re grateful for every day. When you wake up or before you go to bed or perhaps the best time to do that is when reality is hard.
I’m grateful I’ve only had to clean a poopy bath once.
And here is a proof that my Smiley Riley ain’t always all that: