The Real World vs. Highlight Reels

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin shared an article online about how moms compare ourselves to others, and how we compare our insides, with other people's outsides. I started to think about it more and I came to realize this is a huge deal for me when it comes to still struggling with anxiety. In fact, now having a good twenty months to over-analyze my anxiety (its just what I do), I'm pretty sure its one of the biggest factors.

First let's take a step back in time. Remember when I posted about Perceived Perfectionism? Yup, the article was a big reminder of perceived perfectionism. Ack. It was almost a year ago exactly, when I wrote this...
One of the things that causes me a high level of anxiety, despite fully knowing that it's ridiculous, is getting ready to take the kids to any type of party/gathering. I'm not talking about the usual chaos that ensues when you have a two and half year old and eight month old anytime you try to leave the house. I'm talking about my NEED to have it look like I have the perfect little family with nicely dressed, recently bathed babies. I can not force myself to leave the house after nap time (even when we are late) without having given both babies a bath right after nap time. In my head, I think, you big dummy, just give the kids a bath BEFORE nap time, because that's one less thing that you have to do when trying to leave the house because its crazy enough. Nope. No can do. The thought of giving them a bath then putting them down for a nap drives me crazy because kids get sweaty when they sleep. Their hair gets messed up. What if I take my babies to a party with messy hair?!?! The world might actually end. Obviously, that's an exaggeration and my brain knows that's not true, but that's not what my body tells me.
I didn't really realize how long its been going on until a recent weekend when we were heading out to a Birthday party after nap time. Yup, I woke the kids up to give them a bath first. Although I have to say that it was mostly because they didn't take a bath the night before. I feel like I am to the point now where I can at least leave without the bath thing (although they were just extra dirty and stinky this time). After bath, I was getting Emma dressed and she really wanted pig tails because I always tell her how much her Mimi and Pop love pig tails. She was pumped. We get dressed and Mommy can only find one of the two bows that match her shirt. Yikes. As crazy as it sounds, the panic totally set in. What makes it hard is that Wes will see me running around the house like a crazy person all because I can't find two matching bows. He doesn't understand that although it seems insignificant in the scheme of things, it's not insignificant in my head. The thought of putting two different bows in her hair, or putting two of the same bows in her hair that didn't match her shirt made me feel ill.

Okay, okay, I know....where the heck are we going with this? Here is how it all ties together....

You know how you hear so much about the pressure that magazines and TV and models put on young girls to look rail thin and how it's society that we have to change and embrace "real" women? Yup, same thing here just with moms and the Internet.

It’s natural to make comparisons, I think especially for females. Us moms compare ourselves to every other mom we meet. It's just what we do. Any mom out there that says they don't do it is lying. But now-a-days (I always feel old when I say that) a lot of what we have to go on and compare ourselves to is what we see on the Internet. We compare ourselves to what we see on Facebook. We compare ourselves to what we see on Pinterst. We compare ourselves to what we see on blogs. We rarely get to compare our reality, to other's reality. We look around at the women and moms online and we see perfect houses impeccably decorated that the mom of four young kids did it all herself. We see amazing crafts and recipes that moms just whip up at the drop of a hat. We see the pictures of a perfectly put together family on Facebook.

Whenever I have a bad anxiety day, I start to question why "life" is so hard for me to handle and not for others? Why doesn't my house look like what I see online? Why did my kid go to school that day with half his breakfast stuck to his pants? Why did my kids have to eat mac and cheese for dinner and do nothing but scream and whine the entire night? My house is a mess, there is dog hair on the floor, stuff is everywhere despite the fact that I cleaned the kitchen three times the day before. I spend half my weekends cleaning, never get the entire house clean, and the parts that I do get cleaned, are messed up before I even go to bed that night. There are home projects half done everywhere. My bedroom still looks like it did the day we moved into our house in 2005. Why doesn't my kitchen look like this? Heck, even if it was decorated like that, where's the dog hair? Where are the shoes and toys and ripped books and hats and lunch boxes and dirty dishes?

It's because we don't see what "reality" is for all these other people. We see their "highlight reel". I'm starting to try to remind myself that life isn't always sunshine and rainbows for everyone. But sometimes that hard to do when all you see if perfection. I bet that if we all posted about what life is really like, we wouldn't feel so bad about our in ability to keep up with the Jones's.

Don't get me wrong. I love looking around the Internet for DIY project ideas or inspiration pictures and I always love what I see. But find myself with the same feeling when I'm done that you get after walking through a model home and then coming back to your own house. Ugh.

I better sum this up because who knows how long I could ramble on! I don't even really know what the point of this post is. Maybe its just to help convince myself that it's okay for Emma to go to a party with two different bows in her hair. Maybe its to make myself feel better that my house is a wreck seven days a week. Maybe deep down I hope some of the famous bloggers out there see it and start to post what "real life" is really like for them as well, as opposed to the staged pictures. Maybe its just in the hopes that one other person who is struggling with the same thing sees it and just knows that there is someone else out there who has a love/hate relationship with the Internet. Who knows, but whatever the point is, it makes me feel better just writing it all down, so I guess it was worth it. And in the end, I suppose none of it really even matters. What matters is that my babies are happy, and healthy and having fun.

Next time I post about a room makeover or a DIY project, I'm going to post the picture you would normally see online (cleaned and staged) and then what it looks like in the real world.

Yup, that would be The Squishy checking out what is across the creek at my parents house through his binoculars. Backwards. Every time he looks through them, he yells "Cheese!!" God love that little manly.

Happy Friday! Love, The Squishy

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Squishy wanted to wish everyone a Happy Friday!

The Squishy's "Say Cheese!" Face

One of these days...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm going to get a decent picture of the two crazies together. Unfortunately, that day is not yet upon us.

We decided to take advantage of some of the nice weather the other day and head out for some playtime in the backyard. It was pretty chilly, but warm enough to let the babies get out and burn off some steam. I've been back to dreaming in La La Land where I can actually afford to buy the new camera that I would love, but it at least inspired me to break out the one I have now since it's been a while.

One of the games that the babies like to play outside is chase. Where Emma takes off sprinting and The Squishy isn't far behind. At least for the first three or four feet when he then starts tripping and falling all over the place. God love that little man! He just eats some dirt and goes on about his business like it didn't even slow him down. Eventually, The Squishy decides to go off on his own and falls sprints his way to the fence in the back. Emma gets wind of this and then follows. Mommy then gets wind of it, and then proceeds to try to bribe the little ones to stand still for just ten seconds to snap a picture. Below is the little monsters version of "standing still".

Disclaimer: These aren't the best quality pictures but they sure do make me laugh when I look at them. :)

This is what happens when Mommy tries to take a picture one handed, while raising her other hand above her head and snapping and making a fool out of herself to get the kids to look towards the camera. Yeah. They raise their hands, make a fool out of themselves and refuse to look towards the camera. Guess I have to change my technique.

There must be something really important behind Mommy! I actually love this picture of The Squishy. Blown up, its crisp and clear and his eyes are amazing. I'm not sure what Emma is doing here though and how her glove got stuck to the side of her coat. :)

This is what happens when Mommy tells the babies to say "Cheese!" One of them usually does a great job, which causes the other one to stop looking at the camera and look at the crazy person next to them yelling about dairy products. Maybe I should clarify to the kids, that when I tell them to "say cheese", I also don't mean "stop looking at the camera like you were a half of a second ago and look somewhere else."

One of these days it's going to work. And work while they are awake. What are the chances it will magically happen just in time for Christmas cards this year?

Yeah, I don't think so either.

Halloween Fail

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You know, I'm starting to think that we are Holiday cursed a bit. We were extremely lucky when it came to Hurricane Sandy though so I can't really complain about not having the perfect Halloween given what a lot of families are going through now. There just seems to always be something that happens on holidays around here. Here's a good example: Easter 2012. Another FAIL. We spent most of the holiday stuck in a McDonald's parking lot because our car broke down on the way to Easter dinner with the babies in the back, dressed to the nines. Luckily, we were at a good place to pull off the road since our car completely died and if the babies got hungry after the 4,000 Cheerios that Mommy had packed, we were in a good spot. My Dad came to the rescue, we swooped into Auto Zone and got enough Juice to get us home that night after the quickest Easter dinner known to man. With nothing else to do stranded in the parking lot, I broke out the camera and started snapping.

The Squishy was not impressed and did not appreciate being stuck in his car seat while in a parking lot that smells like nothing but french fries and chicken nuggets. Even when he is all saucy he is friggin adorable.

However, his Pop swooped in to help, and The Squishy immediately turned that frown upside down. This was the first time that I had seen him clap his hands. EVER. Emma on the other hand was happy as a clam most of the time thanks to Mommy's iPhone. #thanksappleforsavingtheday

We did escape Halloween with no automobile issues thankfully, but got hit by a whopper of a stomach bug leading up to the big day. Emma's costume had been set for a while but I was still trying to figure out The Squishy. Emma was Snow White, so I was really hoping I could make Jack one of the seven dwarfs. There was no question he would have been "Grumpy". However, Mommy's plans were foiled by the dreaded stomach virus.

Jack woke up bright and early Saturday morning, covered in throw up. ::: barfs ::: He then proceeds to get sick that morning, take a four hour nap, only to wake up and sleep for another two hours in the middle of the family room floor.

Sunday, Daddy is bed ridden with a fever and aches.

Monday, we are all home because of hurricane Sandy, all feeling a bit "off".

Tuesday, Mommy gets the virus. Emma gets the virus.

Wednesday, Mommy is feeling a bit better, Emma is still having a rough day. We all perk up just enough to go trick or treating to a handful of houses.

Wednesday night, it strikes Daddy yet again. 

Thursday, our house turns into the start of the zombie apocalypse.

So needless to say, Trick or Treating was very short, pictures are limited and Jackson was in his Lion costume from last year (which was pretty tight so I just cut the feet off the bottom). So that's why he looks like a lion wearing Capri pants. I'm not even sure I got any pictures of their faces.

It was pretty cute though. Emma was really shy and certainly not 100% so she wouldn't say anything when she got to the doors. But as soon as we turned to walk down the steps, she would yell out "Mommy! I'm going to say Happy Halloween next time!" Then she would go silent again at the door. She did that probably 10 times and finally, on the last house, said Trick or Treat.

The Squishy on the other hand wasn't shy. I know, go figure. He also didn't say "Trick or Treat" either, as he thought the use of "more" was more appropriate. Once he got the hang of things, as soon as someone would open the door, he would yell "MORE!" and stick his chunky little hand right in the bowl of candy.

We may not have had the dream Halloween that I was picturing in my head (where Snow White and Grumpy skip hand in hand to each house saying please and thank you while perfect strangers compliment Wes and I on how adorable our babies are and how we look way to young to have two kids of our own - okay, so that may be a bit much) but once we were home, the babies did nothing but sort through and throw around their Halloween loot. It didn't matter to them that we were only out for 20 minutes and Emma had just as much fun giving out the candy at home. The Halloween candy has provided hours of entertainment already, so it was all worth it.

Even the lion Capri-pants costume circa 2011....

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