An Insta-Perfect Life


A few days ago, while scrolling through my Instagram profile, I was struck with how beautiful it made my life seem. The things I Instagram, typically are lovely aspects of my life and the things I share that aren’t so lovely look a bit better with a filter!

I tend to just present the very best when sharing things on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even here on Intentionally Simple. It’s easier to share the lovely parts of life and just leave out those uglier aspects. While I am a positive person and prefer to focus on the positives instead of dwell on the negatives, my life is not perfect but looking at my online life, one could think it’s pretty close to perfect.

In our culture, we tend to use social media as a way to market ourselves. Our statuses and the pictures we share present ourselves in the way we want people to think about us. Honestly, I think a lot of this ‘marketing’ is done without much thought but almost everybody does it.

Scrolling through any social media outlet can quickly lead to feelings of inadequacy if you compare yourself to the image someone else has presented of themselves. You have to remember that they’re presenting their beautiful moments, just like you present the beautiful moments in your life!

With that said, I want to share a bit of reality, the details of Instagram moments.

Beautiful Mess
A ‘beautiful mess’ thanks to this filter highlighting the lovely colors of the blocks.

And the reality of the mess. It’s just not quite as lovely without being cropped and a filter. (Side note, I love blocks since they’re wonderful open ended toys but I hate them too, they explode all over my house and I step on them and can’t keep them contained in one room ever!)

Little Helpers
A beautiful moment of my boys ‘helping’ in the kitchen. Yes, this image is precious. Yes, they are eager little helpers and sometimes I’m happy to have them by my side learning with me.

The reality? They drag these chairs into the kitchen at least 20 times a day in an attempt to pull dirty dishes out of the sink, pull things off of the counters, play in the dish water and they want to help me with everything. Our kitchen is tiny and it’s nearly impossible to get things done with 2 chairs and 2 boys underfoot. So, about 18 times a day these chairs are removed from the kitchen by mama, leaving unhappy boys crying in the floor.

With my Boys
Ah, what a sweet early morning moment, all of us snuggling in our pajamas. Everybody looks so happy and the picture is cute.

Reality with Boys
Here’s one of the many attempts at getting a decent picture to share of the ‘moment’. It’s nearly impossible to get 2 small children to look into a camera.

Our Backyard
Here’s our lovely, lush backyard with our goats and a few of our chickens. What a beautiful sight!

The Whole Backyard
Here’s another shot of that same backyard. Not quite as lovely from a different angle, without the filter and with the garage (or barn as we like to refer to it as these days) in the shot.

Brothers in Sandbox
And then there is this sweet image of my two boys playing happily together in their sandbox. Yes, they enjoy their sandbox but you also don’t see Paxton dumping sand on Weston’s head, Weston eating the sand (he eats everything), fighting over toys (and heavens knows there aren’t enough toys in that sandbox) and Weston carrying shovel fulls of sand out of the sandbox and dumping them in my garden.

Remember that a picture is just a snapshot of a moment, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

None of us live the perfect lives that we seem to live according to Instagram (or Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest)!

responses to “An Insta-Perfect Life” 24

  1. Let me tell you, this is just what I needed today! We have a large family of 11 children and our moments are messy and loud and crazy! I always feel like I'm missing something or getting it wrong because in my head I think that other people and their lives aren't like mine…they have more of those lovely and quiet moments. This post has helped me see that life is what it is…LIFE! It's REAL, MESSY, and LOUD! But, we need to learn to embrace those as our lovely moments because they are just for us…and life is precious =) I have a baby the same age as Weston and she eats enough sand to fill another sandbox, It's so gross! LOL

    1. I can't imagine the craziness of 11, I'm sure you think my crazy is super calm! But, I agree, I tend to look at other people's lives and think they've got it together and it's blissful. I need to keep working on fully embracing the messiness and loudness that comes with children.

  2. This is great, Rachel! And I FEEL YA on the little chairs! I don't know how many times I've said "If I had a dollar every time I put these chairs away"… Constantly tripping over them in my kitchen. Happy (mostly) chaos!

  3. Enjoy each and every of those moments, girls, because one day you will wake up, your kids are grown and not home much at all! You will find that it's too quiet and you treasure those memories of the days when they were young, loud and dragging stuff all over the house!

  4. Honey, these are the best days of your life. They will go by all too quickly, so cherish each and every one of them. Blocks on the floor….not a problem. Don't worry about all that unimportant stuff. The kids will never remember a perfectly picked up house, but they will remember all the moments you spend with them. That's what is truly important now. My "baby" turned 27 today and I don't know where the time went. While life is good, I still miss those hectic days when I thought I would pull my hair out. You are doing such a great job with your boys……just enjoy the ride!

    1. Thank you for this reminder! I *know* I'm going to look back on these days and really cherish them and I try to remind myself of this frequently!

  5. I love it! Such a good idea for a blog post. For every cute picture of my son I post, there are 3 or 4 blurry ones of him running away or not paying attention 🙂 By the way I love your kitchen backsplash. We are buying a home and I'm looking for ways to spruce up the bland kitchen without spending a ton

    1. It is so hard to capture those 'moments' of the littles (unless they're asleep of course!) And, the backsplash was here when we purchased the house so I don't know many details other than it's just simple tile (the same is also in our bathroom) but it does look very nice!

  6. Absolutely! I wrote similarly on this topic recently and just read another article from RELEVANT tonight about our seemingly "perfect" lives. It seems to be striking a chord with many. Thanks for sharing your real moments with us.

    1. First, thanks for commenting so I could discover your blog! I just clicked over and can't wait to dive in and really read more! And, I also came across a link to the RELEVANT article in Simple Mom's weekend links this past weekend. I'm trying to remember that everybody else has messy lives when I open up Instagram, or FB, Twitter and read blogs! 🙂

  7. My children also loved the sandpit, almost until they were teenager, flooding it with the hose, building dams, castles and then destroying them with the water or using toy army men for manouevres, such fun.
    Do the little wooden chairs come with a table, perhaps the children would prefer to work on that as long as it was close to you, and near the sink. Happy motherhood.

    1. I'm also enjoying their sandbox! It's fun to just be in the sand, digging and creating! The chairs do have a table. I really need to be more intentional about including them in my cooking and cleaning in the kitchen though. They're so eager to help and I need to embrace their excitement.

  8. What a great post! So true!! Oh and I hear ya about the chair-in-the-kitchen battles! My 5 year old does this now but refuses to drag the big chair back out (being 8 months pregnant, I'm not too happy to have to constantly drag the chair back out). We have a teeny tiny Manhattan kitchen (let me just say, there isn't much room for a human being plus a chair!) so I'm constantly asking her to please stop dragging our dining chairs in. For a long while (years!), I kept the baby gate up to put an end to the arguments. I'm not sure if the boys will allow you to do that though but it might be worth a try to break the habit.

  9. Rachel I LOVE this post! It is so true! Many moments I capture are moments that not two minutes before there was a complete melt down from my son…or sometimes me.

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