Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Highlight Reel

I've seen many blog posts recently about how we mamas need to be careful about how closely we pay attention to all of the Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds, and Instagram posts we follow. It is so easy to get caught up in comparing your "negatives" to others' "highlight reel". I mean, let's be real. Very few people are posting pictures on Instagram of their toddler laying in the floor at Target throwing a fit to buy a new princess dress, or of their laundry that has overflowed out of the hamper because they've been too busy with said toddler to actually move the dirty clothes to the washer, let alone finish a wash cycle and put them away. No one posts pictures of crying babies waking at all hours of the night, or kids being talked to, lectured, spanked, put into time-out, for being disrespectful. Again. We don't see that the same mama who posted her beautiful baby eating breakfast at a pristine table with vintage linens has a mess of toys and mis-matched socks strewn all over her living room, and another child running around the room in his underwear refusing to get dressed.

But we do see the highlight reel. And yes, it is very important to keep a good perspective while looking at all of these posts and notes from friends and online acquaintances. Don't think they aren't having a day just like yours, because with little ones in the house, unless they have a team of nannies, they most likely are. There is food being refused by picky eaters, there are tantrums being thrown, arms being crossed, and kids being sent to their rooms.


There is also laughter. Dancing and pretending to push the baby stroller to the park, purse-in-hand, as if it's the most important thing in life (and one might argue - it is). There are peaceful moments, even if they only seem to come when the 3-year-old's favorite cartoon is on. There are little cuddles, and hugs and kisses for boo-boo's. There are unprompted "I love you mama"'s. Time spent listening to little ones learn how to pray. Meals during which your baby just wants to be held, and you have to eat a cold meal once again.

I'd like to argue that you won't remember the cold meal, but you will remember and relish the baby-holding.

I've recently gotten into the habit of scrolling through my iPhone's camera roll before I fall asleep at night. I take pictures of my kids most days, and it's just fun to do a little re-cap before I go to sleep. I'm learning that this is cultivating such gratefulness in me. Even in the photos of screaming children I've sent to my husband at work. (Yes. Real life. I've done this. "Help, he won't stop crying. See?")

It's my highlight reel. It's real life. It's blurry smiles and perfectly posed Instagram posts, but every single picture is evidence of goodness and grace God has poured into my life that day. Time with my kids. Time with my husband. Screenshots of texts between friends and siblings. Things I want to hold on to from my "normal" days during this season.

What if we really chose to view our days as highlight reels? We will in a few years. My babies are still so little, and we hope to add to our family, but I know one day, we will have grown-up babies, and I will long for days that I could pull them into my lap and love on them, even in a dirty, toy-filled living room. The highlight reels are what we will remember. Not the craziness. Not the tantrums (well, maybe some), not the fight to eat just two bites of peas. We'll remember the cuddles. The kisses goodnight. The pajama parties before bed. The highlights.

Whatever season of life you are in, strive to see in it the things you will miss 5 years from now, 10 years from now. Practice hindsight in the present. Cultivate thankfulness for God's graces in your life today.


Kevin and Christie said...

Great post! Thank you for reminding us to enjoy each and every moment:)

Bon&Bud said...

Love this! Thanks for sharing your heart!

The Lushers said...

Just now finding your blog. What a blessing!

Kat said...

Wow Tori I love to read your blog! You are a very well spoken "Mama"! Love it!

Michelle said...

This is a wonderful post and so true! Thanks for being real on here! :-)