There’s been some talk amongst The Facebook recently about how people only post the good parts of their lives, how deceiving this is, and how hurtful it can be.
I have tried, for the most part, to always be pretty real on social media, and on my blog (this one, and the one I had for 8+ years at Blogger). I have confessed to not being able to zip my jeans, I have confessed to not being able to get my completely overwhelmed self out of bed, and then the time I confessed to having to poop in a plastic bag when we lived in a semi (that’s a good story), I’ve shared about that one time Josh and I filed for divorce. I’ve tried to keep things real.
I had a friend tell me awhile back that to others my life looks perfect. That hurt my heart. My life? Perfect?
I never want to portray that my life is perfect. My life is good, I’ll give it that. But I don’t think it’s fair to assume it’s perfect just because I don’t post a picture of my husband and caption it, “I nearly left him tonight.” I don’t post pictures of my girls while I’m in the middle of a huge heart issue with them captioned, “I’m not sure I’m cut out to mother this girl, I think maybe leaving would be the best option for us both.”
I don’t post those hardships (even though, I sorta did right now) because it’s a one-sided deal. Josh wouldn’t get his piece in, about how sure, I may wanna leave, but heck he does, too. I’m a crappy wife, who sucks at laundry, and has a sharp tongue. My girls can’t tell their side, either.
It’s not that my life is perfect, I just try, sometimes, to be respectful. (This is where, if Josh should ever read this, he would laugh. Sarah? Respectful? Bahahahaha)
I’ve told this story before, and I’ll tell it again. We’d not been married much more than a year when we bought our first house. It had no dishwasher, and it’s no secret how much I hate washing dishes. So I wouldn’t wash them, I’d pack them up, and take them to my sister-in-law’s house across town and fill her dishwasher, chat with her til they were done, and then load them back in my car and head home. FOR REAL. Why she didn’t send me packing, I don’t know. Maybe she liked my company (I really am a good time, what can I say?) or maybe she knew I was too fragile to say anything to? Or maybe, just maybe it was to help a sista out?
Back in the days of yore (Friends, anyone?) families either lived together, or near each other. The life load was not all on a mama’s shoulders. She had her mama, her sisters, aunts, and maybe friends to come alongside and do the life load together. Times were hard, for sure, they didn’t have our modern conveniences, but they did hard together. That’s a beautiful picture to me.
Recently, as in two days ago recently, my friend Candee was supposed to come over with her kiddos for the afternoon. But the morning they were to come over I found out one of our favorite friends was coming to stay the night and well, the room said friend was to sleep in was covered in tools and laundry and toys and laundry. I called Candee and explained that I wasn’t gonna be able to hang out because I wanted to get the room ready for our guest.
I sent this picture to her. And instead of rescheduling, what did my beautiful friend do? She loaded her four small kids up, brought me lunch, and helped me fold an endless amount of laundry. She listened to me talk about life: fostering, mothering, wife-ing, farming, all while folding my clothes.
It was a great afternoon.
The picture above, of my laundry, is atrocious, and I’m embarrassed of it, but Candee’s friendship is the most beautiful picture of how to do this life load together.
We put up pretty squares, and people say we only show our good sides, but if we always put up the squares of the hard stuff of life, we’d be called Debbie Downers. There’s really no pleasing the Internets.
Instead of assuming people’s lives are perfect, find out where it’s not perfect, and offer help. It may be in the form of folding laundry; watching someone’s kiddo; buying a coffee, giving a hug and smile (I had a friend do this last one quite awhile ago. I had one of the worst days of my life and then there she was, with a coffee, and a hug and then off she went, sometimes we don’t need to do words to let someone know we love them).
Also, be willing to share where life is hard, and accept help. I coulda told Candee, “nah, I’m fine. I can fold laundry on my own.” But what good does being prideful do? We aren’t supposed to shoulder every burden alone. Let’s accept help and just say thank you.
And let’s be realistic and know that behind every pretty picture square, is an equally un-pretty picture. Let’s not assume everyone else has their shiz together and we do not.
Let us not compare our picture squares with another’s.