Embrace The Real.
We hide. We hide behind our pretend smiles. We hide behind our big sunglasses and our Starbucks cups. We edit. We edit like freaking crazy. We edit our photos. We crop out things that we don’t want people to see. The dirty dishes, the dog hair on black yoga pants, the spit up and food that is all over our clothes and we have no idea how long it has been there. Our mess isn’t showing. We set the angles on our cameras so our post-partum bellies aren’t showing, our skin looks flawless, and our smiles are on point. We edit our lives. We only post the good on social media – the highlights. We show everyone what we want them to see. The good things. The days our kids are actually behaving and looking all adorable, our latest elaborate vacation, our newest big purchase. We show people what we think they want to see. The smiles. The success. The joys. We only say what we think they want to hear. We sugar coat. We elaborate. We, well, we… pretend.
We are so worried about keeping up our image. Our reputation, our standards, our unrealistic expectations. Our insane made up ideas of what we think everyone else expects of us. About everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
We put so much pressure on ourselves trying to maintain these crazy made up expectations. Expectations on what we wear & what we feed our children. How we discipline. Where we buy our groceries. How we parent. What time we go to bed. What time the kids go to bed. How often we exercise. What we do for a living. If we volunteer or not. How involved or uninvolved we are in our kids classrooms. How quickly we lose the “baby weight”. How long we stay in maternity clothes. Where we shop. How often we clean our house. How much screen time we allow. How many date nights we have with our spouse. How many promotions we have had at work. How many hours a week we spend working. If we stay home with our kids or if we send them to daycare. What kind of car we drive. How many cups a coffee we drink a day. How our cooking tastes. Whether our food is organic or not. How impressive our meals are. If we are a morning person. If we are always on time. How organized we are. How our relationships are with our spouse. Our kids. Our family. Our friends. In every area of life we have these crazy expectations that we put on ourselves. Expectations that we put there because we think it is what is expected of us.
While striving for these ridiculous expectations we end up spending so much time only showing the people in our lives the good, the highs, that we never let them see the lows.
Because surely nobody has lows. Right.
The days we feel like giant failures of parents. The days we have given them hot dogs for the sixth day in a row and let them sit in front of a screen for far too long – who cares. The days we screw up at work. The days where nothing seems to go right & you lock yourself in the bathroom and eat peanut butter m&ms. The days we feel insecure. The days we just don’t feel quite good enough. The days we get bad news and suddenly the world falls out from beneath us. The days we are uncertain about what the future holds. The days we just want a freaking shot of tequila. When we hit rock bottom. When life is just hard. When the bills keep coming and everything starts breaking all at once. When we’ve had our hundredth fight of the day with our spouse & our marriages feel like they are hanging on by a thread. The days we just can’t seem to get out of bed. The days we mess up. The days where we feel like all we are doing is apologizing… because we are human. We screw up. The days we love just a little too late. The what if’s. The hard days.
We don’t like to talk about those. We don’t like anyone to know that we have days, even seasons, like that. We don’t like anyone to know that we are imperfectly human. But the thing is – we all have days and seasons like that. So why do we hide and pretend that everything is fine when sometimes it just isn’t fine? Why do we worry so much about maintaining our portrayed image to everyone around us that we have our crap together when we just don’t? Why do we only let people in far enough to see the good? Why do we put up this facade to people that we don’t even know? Why can’t we just go of all of these crazy expectations a little and just be real? With everyone.
Let people see the bad days. Life is too short to not be genuine. Stop pretending & half-ass’ing your relationships and let people in. When life is hard it is better to have people in your corner that you can just let down and be real with. You might not be an over sharer like yours truly, but find one or two people that you can fully let in. Find people that you can show both the good and the bad. Embrace the mess. Embrace the hard. Embrace the real.