Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Real life behind Instagram

I've been wanting to post for a while now about real life. When I say real life, I mean the real life that happens in between the instagram posts and the status updates.

I'm talking about real life that happens in all of our homes, but we don't dare post about those times because then someone may think we don't have it all together. I am not saying in the slightest that I am not one of those people, because I am. But I'm here blogging tonight in hopes to get an amen from a lot of mommas out there, and maybe just help a few of you feel a little more sane. 

(Why am I always sitting down to blog with a glass of wine, I'm not sure, but it seems to be a habit of mine.)

Anyways, so here I was having a day of all days last week. 

I woke up and within 15 minutes was already cleaning up Sawyer's spilled bowl of cereal followed by his entire smoothie. How he could spill both items in such a short period of time I'll never know. I'm not sure if I was more irritated by the clean up or the fact that I was watching my organic fruits and veggies that I had just whipped up lay strewn across the floor. For some reason I have become and absolute freak when it comes to wasting food. This is a total tangent, I'll get back to my bad day, I promise, but seriously I hope someone can relate. Since spending the money to buy things organic and since spending the time to actually prepare meals, such as smoothies, I now for some reason feel that this food is like rare gems and not a bite should be wasted. I would save and refeed the kids' almond milk from their cereal if I could! I'm a freak, I know. 
Okay, so after cleaning up the spills I proceeded to chase the kids upstairs to throw us all together to get out of the house and get Addy to school on time. It was one of those mornings where I was on repeat. Get dressed, get your shoes on, brush your teeth, brush your teeth, brush your teeth. While trying to feed baby girl on my bed I did what any other mom in my place would do and covered baby's ears with my hands and proceeded to yell, "BRUSH YOUR TEETH!" 
Ugh, I feel horrible telling this story, but I'll go on. 

So then I marched into the bathroom where Addy and Sawyer were messing around and I swatted her bottom to get her moving a little harder than I intended. Instant tears. Her big blue eyes just so upset. Instantly I felt so much shame. I acted out of my own frustration and in doing so ruined her morning. Not to mention that it happened to be "water day" at school where all the kids go in bathing suits. I was convinced that the teachers were going to notice a red mark on her bottom and most certainly call CPS on me. These were the same sweet teachers that I had to apologize for a couple weeks prior for picking up Addy from school with mascara flowing down my face. I actually had absolutely no idea I had mascara flowing down my face, but had been cutting onions all morning, threw on my sunglasses and ran out the door to pick her up and didn't realize until I got home the condition that my face was in. I am sure they thought I made up the onion story, I mean, that would be anyone's cover up wouldn't it? lol. 

So I was just humiliated and took Addy in my arms and hugged her and begged her for forgiveness. I told her that I made a mistake. She instantly forgave me and was ready to take on the day. I on the other hand, had not let myself off the hook that easy. I proceeded to call my husband and tell him what a horrible excuse of a mom I was. 

Funny how easily Addy was to forgive me when I asked, yet I still held myself captive to this mistake and couldn't get past it. I think so many of us do that with the Lord. Although he forgives us when we ask, we still beat ourselves up, sometimes far too long.

As we drove to school we sang songs, but I still couldn't shake the morning. I was so irritable. 

Then on our way back to pick up Addy a few hours later, my desperate attempt to keep Sawyer awake so that he would still nap at home failed and I knew in that moment it was going to be a long afternoon. And it was. Cranky toddlers that only have a 20 min nap in the car, turn into kids that fight about every toy, refuse what I make for dinner, and then cry through the bathtime routine. We all know our kids the best and usually we are pretty good at predicting these things by now. 
I knew at the end of the day of course it could have been worse, but I just felt exhausted. The moment my husband walked in the door to help relieve me couldn't come fast enough. 

That day I didn't have cute pictures uploaded on instagram or fun meals I had made. It would have been pictures of whining kids, a quesadilla, and a mom so utterly exhausted, covered in spit up with no make up on and my hair in a messy bun on my head. 
That was reality. Yet no one saw it. 
If it weren't for me posting on Facebook that I had a hard day with 3 kids 4 and under, that day would have gone by and no one would have noticed. Tomorrow I would have a cute picture of us all at the park and a new vegan meal I made and no one would even think that life may not be as hunky dory as it seems. 
Crazy huh? Not so much.
Looking back at every one of my instagram pictures I post I could tell you a story that you would never believe. 
But it's real life. 
Like the one of Capri peacefully sleeping on a lawn chair while we were at the pool wearing her Hurley onsie. Little did you all know that I got home and my baby was so badly sun burned that I had to skip church the next morning and rush her to urgent care. Despite being a third time mom, she still got burned, but no one would have known. (I still am mad at myself for this one!)

 How about the picture of me and the three kids. I think this was one photo that got more "likes" than any other I've posted. Little did everyone know that I had not yet showered that day, was wearing sunglasses to hide my tired eyes and was about to lose my mind in the house that day so a walk was my therapy which was when I snapped that pic. I can't even recall if I brushed my teeth that morning. I sure hope so.

Or the photo of John and I before our date night. We were actually in a 7-11 parking lot in front of a bush. Romantic huh? That was where we were meeting my parents to swap the kids and figured we better take a picture to actually remember that we did indeed get out for an evening sometime in the first 6 months of Capri's life.

What about the photo of Addy & Sawyer on our way to picture day at school. Well, that day I woke up and was about to load the kids to find that our lovely cats had peed all over Capri's carseat. So bad that I couldn't just "throw a towel over it." I actually called my sister who lives in the neighborhood, thank the Lord, and at a moment's notice she actually drove her carseat over to me so I could use it and then she proceeded to walk with her baby and stroller home. It was an absolutely ridiculous morning. 

Or this awesome picture of Addy holding a beautiful butterfly.. bet you wouldn't have guessed that this butterfly died only moments later and we had to have a talk about heaven. 

It's so crazy to me. I could go through all of my pictures and tell a story. I'm sure we all could. There's so much more than what we all see in tiny frames of each others lives. 
And guess what. It's okay. It's okay that we don't have it all together because in these moments are when I feel myself grow. I feel myself turn to my friends and family and most importantly I turn to God. 
We are all striving to do our best. We are all striving to have it all together.  
And some days we are going to fail. 
Real life. 
"Let us not grow weary while doing good, in due season we shall reap if we don't lose heart." Galations 6:9
It's so true. 

So I have a dare for you this week..
 I dare you to post a picture like this one on Instagram.

My house with not one clean room to be found.
I'm sure if nothing else it will give someone else a laugh or a sigh of relief knowing that they aren't alone. 

Real life. 


  1. You are wonderful, Heather -- no kids yet, but I can still relate! Thank you for this post!

  2. I loved this post! My son is only 6 months old and I already feel like that!! I love real life and that we can share our real life stories!!

  3. You are definitely not alone. I swear those could be pictures of my house at this very moment!!

  4. yyou're amazing. this is so real and so true. we don't post about days like this, but we definitely have them. i love that you shared this and let us all mommies know we aren't alone on days like this. xoxo

  5. I love your perspective on the world. Yes And amen. Cute pictures too :)

  6. thank you! i do posts on my blog called "according to instagram" and post pics to recap the month, i should start calling it "in the perfect world of instagram". time to show the true colors of the tormey house! haha! ;)

  7. I know what you mean about kids being so easy to forgive but yet our actions can keep us up at night. I know I feel instantly guilty when I act out of frustration but with God's grace we make it through and get another day to try again. :)

  8. I love the honesty and reality in this post. I too feel the same, but have another thought. I am hoping one day that they will let you print a book of all your Facebook and Instagram posts. My thought is I only want to post stuff I want to remember. But thats just me. I totally agree that we can be fooled into thinking everyone's life is so perfect and ours aren't, and I am for sure going to start posting the not so perfect things too. love your heart!!!

  9. Oh my goodness I cannot tell you how much I love this post! It's so honest & absolutely relatable for all the mommies out there!!

  10. So true Heather! Social Media give such a false picture of what life really looks like, and while I don't feel guilty about posting cute pictures on FB it's usually not really what the majority of our day looks like either. I usually have to pray out loud to my kids once we finally make it in the car for my attitude to change and for obedience for Jack or I might fly off the handle some days ;) thanks for this post. We did have a good day yesterday though!... ha!

  11. Love this post, it contains so much truth! Your little family is so adorable, thanks for sharing momma!

  12. Your kids are BEAUTIFUL!!!! Found you via Casey Wiegand!


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