Perfectly Imperfect | Long Island Family Films
I've been thinking about the concept of a "perfect life" a lot lately. I've read a lot of recent blog posts from others feeling insecure about their parenting, or their appearance, or just themselves in general because of things they have read on the internet. With sites like Pinterest, its easy to see photos of beautiful rooms in houses and happy families and wonder why your own house is such a mess and why your kid keeps throwing tantrums. The thing is - those are just pictures. They are not an accurate portrayal of a full life. You may read blog posts or follow people online and wonder what they are doing that makes it look so easy, but that's the thing - it only "looks" easy - I guarantee you that everyone struggles with something.
Someone asked me not too long ago if Lila ever cries because she always looks so happy in photos. Um, yes! Like every ten minutes! We are at the height of toddlerhood around here - she laughs one minute and screams and cries the next. But why would I want to post photos of her screaming and crying? Also, when she is screaming and crying, I'm not thinking "oh I should take a picture!", I'm comforting my kid.
I love my life and I am ever so grateful for everything in it, but it is hard work, people! My "This Week in Photo" posts mainly document my activities with Lila - what they don't show is that at the end of every day I go to work for eight hours and then come home and sleep for maybe five before I start all over again the next day. I am not complaining about this at all - I am thankful that my schedule allows me to spend a lot of time with Lila during the week (weekends are another story), and I'm willing to sacrifice sleep for that. All I'm saying is that unless you are there, you never really know the full story. So don't compare yourself or your life. It will just make you crazy.
This article that appeared in the Huffington Post recently - 23 Things Every Woman Should Stop Doing - is spot on. I am definitely guilty of doing many of those things from time to time and I am so much happier when I ignore all of that nonsense and just trust in myself. I know I am a good mom - the best mom to Lila, so why doubt myself by taking to heart things I see on the internet? Everyone is their own individual - just be you.
I also think it is important to at least think of (and even maybe write down) five things a day that you are grateful for. Yes today I am tired and have a sore throat and my cat is not eating and my kid won't nap, but you know what? I have a great job that supports me if I need to stay home for a day and take care of my family, the sun is shining, I have the latest episode of "Parenthood" queued up on my DVR, maple sandwich cookies from Trader Joe's in the pantry, and I just got some good mail. There is always some ray of sunshine if you look hard enough.
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I wanted to create something that shows a little bit of our "real" life. The idea for the blog post was already floating around in my head when I got my first assignment for Xanthe Berkeley's Time Capsules class, which was to put together a slideshow. In the same week, I also got a message in my inbox from my Now You class that this week's prompt is "Imperfect". Crazy coincidence, right? So I decided to take photos of our life over a couple of days and put them together into a slideshow. No clever compositions to crop out the clutter, no fancy photoshopping to touch up the runny noses - just real, imperfect life.
The three days I documented I was home from work because Lila and I are both working through colds, so what you see is our home and yard in all its truth and realness. Yes we have beer bottles stacked up under the grill that desperately need to be recycled. Yes Eric's dresser is a disaster area. Yes I need to vacuum like nobody's business. Yes Lila drew on the couch with crayons yesterday. That's my life - my perfectly imperfect life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I challenge you to embrace your perfectly imperfect life, too. In fact, be grateful for it.