What we're craving on social media...

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

When I decided to share an image of my sleep deprived-self breastfeeding my newborn twins, I would have never have imagined the flood of encouragement I’d get.

 

So much: “I FEEL YOU”, “Oh, I remember those days”, “How did you do it?”.  My responses, “Ugh, thank you!”, “I know! <3”, and “I have no idea.”

 

As I mentioned in my very vulnerable post, “I was giving my all…” My husband captured an image of me sleeping, working, healing, resting, giving. I never knew he snapped this picture of me until a few months ago when we were looking through pictures of the twin’s birth, and those first few weeks, on his phone.  It’s kind of funny because he rarely takes candid photos of me and the kids, doing our everyday thing. If he showed me this pic when I woke up from my power-snooze, I don’t remember it.  (Well, really, most of that first year with the twins is a blur.) But, as I looked back and swiped past this pic recently, it struck me how exquisitely the image captured this season in our lives. I felt my heart bursting with love for my two healthy babies. I felt the exhaustion in my bones. I felt my body aching to heal from my vaginal and cesarean “double-birth” as I was in the fresh postpartum stage. I felt the fatigue and hunger that is part of making milk for two growing babies. I felt depleted and fulfilled at the same time. ‘Tis motherhood.

 

I could have looked at this pic and thought - Oh no, I’ll never share that. It feels so unflattering. I’m wearing my husband’s shirt because that (and maternity clothes) was the only thing that fit. I mean, this pic was not fitting the bill to grace any magazine cover! Maybe that’s part of my hangup with social media, it feels like most of what I see is so gorgeous, polished and magazine worthy. [I guess, it’s what I’m working on with my own perceptions of what I see lately.]  But, I saw so much more that needed to be shared.  And, as we approach the twin’s 3rd birthday in a few more weeks, I was damn PROUD of our journey and how far we’ve come!

 

I never thought this unfiltered image would receive the response that it did. I thought something glitchy was going on at my IG account when I started to received hundreds, then thousands, of those little hearts “liked” on the post. Then, @womenirl shared the post, then @scarymommy shared the post, with hundreds then thousands of comments. What?! I was awestruck.

 

It's funny, I was nervous about clicking that button to initally post it, I took a deep breath and encouraged myself to step into vulnerability, to just be me, without worrying that it felt like a terrible angle, bad lighting, really bad wardrobe selection! The heart of the message was true and I wanted to share my slice of real life. 

 

The overwhelming response made me realize, people want more real life. It feels like we’re craving it!  We strive so much for the perfect this-or-that, in the end, we waste precious time attempting to fit a mold. I’m often reminding myself of the quote, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”. And, it’s seems redundant but true – There is only one, glorious, YOU. Your light is beautiful and meant to be shared.  I hope this message encourages you to compare less and share from the heart. Share YOUR story. It’s fun to receive inspiration from the land of socials, but don’t fall into the trap that there’s only one way to be, filtered/polished/put together.  We’ve all got mess and stress behind the scenes and just outside of those little squares.

 

I’m not saying we shouldn’t share the beautiful bits. Happy families and aesthetically pleasing pics from so many creatives brings joy (and goodness knows we need more of that in this world)! I think we should consider filtering in more of the unfiltered. Ask yourself, what’s your default? Maybe this shift begins with an honest response when someone asks you “How’s it going?” instead of the usual, “We’re great!” when what you really want to say is, “I’m trying my best, but I’m struggling with this new transition.”  Maybe you explore not tidying up before a friend comes over. And then not apologizing for the lived-in clutter. (oh yeah, no apologies) Be authentic and vulnerable. Be transparent. Own your story. Be gentler with yourself without always expecting to have your sh*t together. It’s beautiful, refreshing and liberating! We’re all craving it and, personally, I want to see more!

 

Here’s to embracing ourselves as we are, where we are,

xoxo, Amy

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