A couple weeks ago, I read a thought provoking piece on BLUNTmoms.com from the perspective of a mom posting pics on Facebook of her family’s kite-flying outing. Anyone who saw the photos would’ve thought “oh what a great mom with her happy husband and children, spending quality time together, making wonderful memories on a Sunday, while I sit here paying bills in my bathrobe, while my husband is on the golf course again and my children are zombies, watching hour four of Dog with a Blog. I bet ‘kite-flying-mom’ never loses her cool. And every moment is special. blah, blah, blah. Where’s my wine?”
Except ‘Kite Mom’ wrote a real, behind-the-smiling-photos account of her afternoon at the park…complete with screaming kids and arguing parents.
Bravo! Honest Writer Kite Flying Mom, whoever you are.* I wish everyone was comfortable enough in their own skin to reveal their authentic selves: their gray roots, mismatched socks, Spanx body shapers, bed-wetting kids, Tuna Helper dinners and all the feelings of not being enough that plague us on an hourly basis. Exposing our vulnerabilities makes us real and relatable to others. I doubt I’m the only one who’s turned off by superficial “perfect people.”
Following Kite Mom’s lead, I decided to look back at some of my own Facebook photos, complete with the story behind the picture. (WARNING: This might send you and me both into a spiraling depression. But I’m being transparent. And that’s good. Right?)
My BFF Shawn, me and our kids at the Washington Zoo. It was hot. My nerves were completely frazzled because we’d almost been obliterated by DC traffic. The boys were fighting, whining and hungry every five minutes. Only one out of 20 shots had everyone looking in the same direction and smiling…sort of. Plus, the shorts I was wearing were two sizes too small. I’ll always remember it as the zoo trip where I got an inner-thigh rash.
This was one of Andrew’s last baseball tournaments with our FTB family before we moved to Virginia. My sweet friend Mi (white top, because she doesn’t wear colors, lol) gathered everyone to pose for this pic with me. I was so self conscious the whole time, thinking “what if they don’t want to be in a pic with me. I think a couple of them don’t even like me. Please let me just sit back down and hide behind my score book.” In spite of my neurosis, I loved the way this photo turned out.
Last Labor Day weekend. My friend Amy and I waited for like seven years to get a table at some bar/restaurant in Hilton Head. Our husbands conveniently wandered off (to another bar) leaving us in a super loud, crowded place, trying to keep up with our kids and have some semi-grown up fun. Just as we were being seated, James and Clay mysteriously reappeared.
“Woo Hoo, we’re in Puerto Vallarta and it’s raining. Again!”
“Great. I’m the only brunette and I’m the largest one in this photo. Suck it in, Angela. Hold your shoulders up. Try not to look so homely. And hope this never makes it on Facebook.”
This was when the Niners played the Falcons in the semi finals. “Not only am I rooting for the wrong team in a hostile environment. But I’m also sporting exposed, pasty-skin muffin top. Just shoot me.”
My friend Jennifer’s 40th birthday party and the first time I ever tried to wear Spanx. Several pics were taken of us all sitting down. Those damn Spanx showed up in almost every photo. (There should be a huge warning on the package that says DON’T FORGET YOU’RE WEARING SPANX WHEN YOU’RE SITTING DOWN!”)
I was so proud of my viking costume that I decided to get really drunk and do flips over the back of my friend’s couch. There’s a good reason why more vikings aren’t gymnasts.
We look like best friends, but I’d just met this gal. Laura? Kelly? Pretty sure there was alcohol involved. I do remember that I was wearing my silver sandals that the dog had chewed on the heels. I kept wondering if anyone noticed the teeth marks in my shoes.
Alright, this is enough transparency and ego abuse for one night. Now I want to hear some of the insecurities behind your happiest pics.
In writing this post, I realized that being super self-conscious about my weight is a running theme in my life. That being the case, you’d think I’d work a little harder to stay away from sweets.