Hey crew! Long time, no (err) see. The last month has honestly flown by in the blink of an eye, and I find myself sometimes grappling with the obligation of social media, blogging, and more. Although I love the internet as much as the next, sometimes it’s a breath of fresh air to unplug and do what we’ve set out to do—get outdoors and live our lives—without letting our passions be influenced by the magnetism of sharing it on social media. I recently joked with my husband that if Instagram suddenly died, half the “outdoors enthusiasts” would cut back or eliminate their pursuits, while the other half would amp them up. Why? Because the first half will realize that they’re only chasing after the next Insta-worthy adventure shot. What about the latter group? They’d hit the mountains ten times more often because the trails would be 50% less crowded. Sort of sad, sort of funny, but definitely true.
The more I think about that sentiment, the more I’m reminded of how selfish we are. I definitely say this with love and solidarity, because I’m just as selfish as the next. Think about your Instagram for a minute. Guarantee if I click through the current stories, I’m bound to see the following: clips of already fit women working out, pics of perfectly staged meals, at least one girl drinking a latte (usually topped with some sort of latte art) at an overpriced coffee shop, still shots of our pedicured feet up on a patio chair footstool overlooking some beautiful horizon, someone drinking a kale something rather, someone all done up with hair and makeup but in yoga pants looking totally “effortless”, someone snuggling their smiling baby who looks totally incapable of chucking her dinner halfway across the kitchen in a tantrum fit of rage.
Y’all, the truth is, most of us can relate to this, because we are or have been one to post these sorts of things. My test to you is to re-read that list above, and think about each of those images through a lens of selfishness. Who do these images benefit? Are we putting them out there for others for the purposes of inspiration, encouragement, kindness, transparency, and benevolence? Sometimes, sure, but usually, no. Usually, we’re posting because it’s all about us. We want others to see our lives, and think we’ve got it made. That our children are wonderful, and our marriages perfect, our bank accounts overflowing so much so that we have to run out and buy what we saw someone else wearing. We want to document our every workout, so that the woman at home on the couch knows that we’re badass. We take multiple selfies so that the community knows how stunning we are, and we literally keep going on and on from there.
I’ll be honest, this has been weighing on my heart for a while, but it hit home for me this weekend, and for me, it means the resolution to think before I post. I’m definitely not saying that I’m going to go dark on social media or cut out posting about some of the things I genuinely enjoy, but I’m striving to be more authentic on these channels. To share the rough moments leading up to the good ones, the outtakes before the money shot, and the reality that is being a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. I’m aiming to move away from selfishness and into selflessness, away from perfection and towards confidence in just being who I’m created to be.
While I’m itching to post more on here about this amazing world of adventuring with kids (umm, can you say hello posts about having just traveled through 6 National Parks with a toddler), I felt the nudge to get this post out first, as a reminder that authenticity matters, and that social media is a façade. We’re robbing ourselves of so much joy by buying into the lies promulgated by the desire to keep up with someone else’s selfishness. There is so much unity in humankind, and I so badly desire an openness and honesty amongst brothers and sisters so that we’re able to cut out the noise and chase truth.
My challenge is this—please, please, please, mamas (and papas), be kind to yourselves. Don’t chase after what you think is someone’s reality, but rather, know that their “reality” isn’t real at all. Don’t for a minute feel isolation in thinking that your journey (especially your parenting journey) isn’t as smooth or effortless as someone else’s. Don’t think that our pictures of grandiose hikes or breathtaking views aren’t staged, posed, edited, or forced in some way shape or form. Don’t compare your kids to ours….ours blowout diapers, beg to play games on our phones, and throw tantrums just like the rest of them. I’m energized and passionate about using this space to equip parents with the confidence they need to adventure and grow with their littles, but please realize that in crafting and curating this space, there is always a piece of reality that gets lost in translation. Be kind to yourselves. Love yourselves, but don’t forget to love others too. Kiss your littles, hold them in tight, and raise them to be confident in their identities, and their purpose. Let’s be united in parenthood.