I love my Instagram feed.
I know that for many moms, Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook can take a toll. All those perfectly serene scenes of home life, those beautiful rooms, those smiling children, those wonderfully plated meals. Too much scrolling of this kind at the end of a day of spilled milk and fighting siblings, dog pee on the carpet and missed deadlines, overflowing laundry baskets and the fact that you forgot to clean the toilet before your small group came over, and suddenly that little gremlin I imagine, the one called Comparison, also known as I Don’t Measure Up, clambers up onto your shoulder and starts whispering mean things into your ear.
Believe me, I have plenty of those moments of dismay, the spilled milk kind. (Minus the dog pee, but I have kids who pee on the couch, so there you go.) But that gremlin? I kicked him to the curb long ago. My Instagram feed helped me do it.
See, I don’t Instagram to compete or keep up appearances or garner praise. I Instagram for me. At the end of an interminably chaotic, crappy day when everyone was cranky and I yelled too many times and gave up on the dishes because I just could not do one. more. thing.–well, those are the days when my Instagram feed saves me.
Because Instagram is where I keep the good moments.
Instagram is my collection of the moments I need to remember. The saving graces of our collective life. The laughs. The precious times. The one moment in a week when H wasn’t whaling on L with a hard plastic object because L was hogging the couch and wouldn’t let her climb up. And let’s be honest: we all need to hang on to the preciousness because so much of the everyday is decidedly not precious. You’re with me, right?
On Kraft dinner nights, I need to remember that last weekend I made spaghetti with homemade meatballs. At the end of a week when we didn’t manage even one trip to the park, I need to remember that L spent half an hour on her swing set the day before, belting out “Jesus Loves the Little Children” while she tried to kick the sky; that we filled the bird feeder and sat motionless in the dining room window, watching the pair of cardinals who live in our neighbor’s hedge take turns eating from it; that we stepped out onto the front porch at sunrise every morning to “take the air” and listen to the birdsong.
Friends, sometimes weeks go by when I have nothing Instagram-worthy, and even my weekly #donutday picture is a feat to accomplish because someone is throwing a fit or the donuts are gone before I even have a chance to pull out my phone. That’s just real life. I shrug it off and move on, looking for the next bit of beauty I can capture so I can save it for later, because I know I’ll need it.
So the next time you’re tempted to be annoyed by that one mom’s always-perfect stream of photos, remember that she’s probably just trying to capture the best moments. She’s probably just trying to hold on to the little bits of beauty that flash into being for three seconds between the pulled out rolls of toilet paper and the muddy footprints on the just-washed floor.
And isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?