Before all the pictures of my wonderful family holiday appear in your newsfeed and you think to yourself that I have an amazing spouse, perfect kids, and a fabulous life, let me tell you a little secret – my family is not perfect!
Yes, you are going to see a lot of cheerful faces, spectacular sunsets, and beautiful beaches. And you are going to think that we had an amazing week filled with fun, laughter, and togetherness in a wonderful place. And yes, we did. But, what you need to know is that these photos only show one small part of our family holiday.
What you definitely won’t see in those pictures are my kids and spouse arguing over what restaurant we had dinner. You won’t see my kids whining in a toy shop. You won’t see my spouse complaining about how much time the kids and I spent in the bathroom in the hotel room we were accommodated in.
No, you won’t see the imperfect moments, (and trust me, we had plenty of them), since nobody stops to take a picture of the ugly parts. Nobody shares the messy parts. What we usually capture and share on social media is the breathtaking scenery, the smiles, the family harmony.
And all this is okay, except when you look at your Facebook friends’ lovely family holiday pictures and think that they have a perfect family and life.
You think their family has a happier and better life than yours.
You think their children get along better than yours.
You think their days are filled with more togetherness, laughter, fun, and excitement than yours.
And that’s how you let the life they portray on social media steal your happiness and peace. That’s how you let yourself compare your family and life to theirs.
That’s how you let yourself believe that the photos other people post on social media reflect their real lives, which is one big lie.
Because life is way more complicated than can be captured in a 300-character Facebook status or an Instagram selfie. There’s no such thing as a perfect husband/wife, perfect children, or a perfect family. We can all be messy, grouchy, ungrateful, and selfish. And that’s okay.
Because when you behave these ways, this doesn’t take away from the happiness, laughter, love, and togetherness you share with your family. It just means that your reality can sometimes be chaotic and messy like everyone else’s. It means that your family has problems like any other does.
It means that you are real. And being real is much more beautiful than pretending to be someone you’re not and letting others believe that you have a perfect family.