During our recent vacation to Oak Island, I posted this picture on Facebook and Instagram:
My caption was: “We put the kid down early.” I think it was around 6:30.
I mean look at us! Don’t we look like the absolute picture of beachy calmness? Big smiles, beachy waves in my hair. We got a lot of comments on this picture – a lot of nice, positive comments about how great we look, what a great time we must be having – even some people expressing jealousy that Beckett was in bed so early.
There’s a quote floating around from pastor Steven Furtick that I felt compelled to share after reading through the comments on the picture.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
So here’s my truth telling for the day:
Beckett at the beach was EXHAUSTING. He never stopped, never sat, never played in the sand. He ran everywhere. He runs FAST. He had no fear of the ocean and was very ticked off to be told he had to hold our hands in the water. He threw a lot of tantrums. He didn’t nap that day. I can’t fully remember, BUT I imagine the reason we put him to bed early that night was not only because he was overtired but probably because we were snapping at each other.
If you could walk into the house behind us in the picture, you would hear a screaming toddler none too pleased to be in a Pack n Play bed, in a strange bedroom, in a strange house, in a strange city.
We were exhausted in this picture. And crabby.
But it was vacation, and we had saved and planned since last year for this vacation and by gosh, we were going to enjoy it. And besides, what person has the nerve to get on Facebook and complain about being at the beach? I certainly wasn’t about to. Because I knew we actually were blessed to be able to be there, despite the overwhelming amount of days that included temper tantrums and exhausting beach outings.
However, the perception of this picture is completely and utterly different than the reality.
It was a learning lesson for me – not that I felt like I shouldn’t have posted the picture, or that I should have posted a picture of Beckett screaming…but it made me realize how easy it is for us to feel badly about ourselves, our lives, and our kids if we just look at pretty social media pictures.
I believe that social media IS a place for uplifting posts and happy pictures – honestly most of us don’t want to see negativity every time we scroll through our news feed. But it’s so easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to other people’s highlight reels.