Since when has Instagram become the template for perfection?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent far too many moments scrolling through dozens of seemingly perfect pictures of immaculately clean Pottery Barn inspired homes, children reminiscent of Baby Gap models and families that seem to have a professional photographer to capture everything from breakfast to lavish European adventures.
And I’m over here with blurry Iphone pictures and a baby who spends a shocking amount of time in a diaper because her non-designer clothes are covered in puke or poop.
But luckily, one of the truths parenthood has taught me is this: Things aren’t always as they appear.
I’m just as much of a perpetrator. If you look at my Instagram feed alone, you would think I have the sweetest, most docile infant in history. While she is absolutely wonderful, there’s more to the story.
We only publish the good stuff, folks. No one wants to see diaper rash and my fourth Diet Coke of the day to pull me out of my zombie-like state.
Someone should invent the anti-Instagram that captures life’s non-photo-worthy moments.
While I’ve only been a parent for barely over a month, I’ve had my share of unpictured moments that I didn’t find newsfeed worthy.
Let’s take a look, shall we.
CAPTION: Waiting to meet our daughter.
NOT PICTURED: Violently vomiting up after an epidural.
CAPTION: One of my first, precious moments with my daughter, Bellamy.
NOT PICTURED: The sheer panic flowing through every cell in my body as I realized I was responsible for the care and nurture of this child. The panic tripled as I realized just how clueless I was (am).
CAPTION: Loving this skin-to-skin time.
NOT PICTURED: The one hour of sleep we got the night before.
CAPTION: Sweet, tender moments that feel like heaven.
NOT PICTURED: The two hours I spent sobbing as my crazy hormones tried to return to normal.
CAPTION: Milk drunk.
NOT PICTURED: The absolute nightmare of getting this girl to breast feed. And so much pain.
NOT PICTURED: Feelings of utter hopelessness. Thanks, postpartum.
CAPTION: Baby love.
NOT PICTURED: Feelings of overwhelming inadequacy.
NOT PICTURED: Bellamy peeing all over our sheepskin rug and pooping all over her father as our photographer battles ticks in the meadows of Idaho.
CAPTION: What a good husband.
CAPTION: My sweet family.
NOT PICTURED: The unflattering truth that I got dressed for the day for the sole purpose of taking this picture for Instagram. At 4:00 p.m.
CAPTION: Late night snuggles.
NOT PICTURED: Projectile pooping just moments before.
CAPTION: Finally asleep.
NOT PICTURED: The moments of agonizing worry over any harm, illness or injury happening to this sweet, perfect human.
CAPTION: Chillin’ with mom.
NOT PICTURED: The three hours of non-stop screaming, rocking and pacing to get to this state of “chillness”.
NOT PICTURED: Well, that’s actually pretty accurate.
Again, right on point.
If you’re thinking right about now “Why would anyone have kids?” I’ll help you out.
It’s moments like this.
NOT PICTURED: The absolute joy of watching your baby sleep in your arms.
CAPTION: Dad meets his girl.
NOT PICTURED: My heart bursting.
So the next time you feel the urge to fret when you’re scrolling through social media, comparing yourself to the seemingly perfect lives you see online, stop.
Instead, share in their joy as you hope they share in yours. Just remember things may not always be as picture-perfect as they appear.
But most importantly, find joy in your own journey – regardless of whether it’s photo-worthy or not.