I went to a professional conference last weekend. I happened to bump into a classmate I hadn't seen in nearly ten years. We have children the same age, obviously are the same profession. We seem to have big difference on our outlook on life though. Granted this was a brief conversation but it went something like this:
"I see all you guys doing all your running, and exercising and just don't know how you do it."
"Hmm", I say quietly. Thinking to myself, who is all you guys? And how did my running come into this conversation at all.
"I have a hard enough time getting to work, and taking care of my son. I have long hours, and a not much help."
"I can see where that would be really hard. I have a lot of support from my family."
"I have no support. Like I said I just don't how you all do it"
Luckily at that point the lecture was about to start. I said my quick good-bye, still wondering who was she talking about.
That is when I realized it was case of believing social media is reality. We may not have talked in the last ten years, but I know that she is on that darn friends list on Facebook. The group of people she was most likely talking about are the people I went to veterinary school that I do talk to on a regular basis and that also seem to work out and we may a few pictures in running events.
I really left the conversation feeling frustrated. I have a like-hate relationship with social media. I like it at times so I can keep up with friends that live far away, or to share pictures and events with relatives that we don't see all the time. Bedrest, and the NICU were a little more enjoyable with some cyber-friends to cheer us along the way. I like that it gives me a little break in the day occasionally. Mostly though I just think the whole thing could blow up and we (as in the universe) would be better off. It isn't going to happen, so because of that I feel that I just don't take it too seriously (most of the time).
I will admit on a tired night, when my house is a disaster and girls have run over me all day long I will glance at facebook and think "Geez, how are they doing all that!" "How can they look that good!" and eventually, "What is wrong with me!" Then I turn off the computer, pick up my book and realize that is just a little (slightly fake) snippet of peoples best life and it is time to relax.
I post the cute pictures of my girls. I don't post pictures of them when their hair is all a mess from waking up, and they are screaming at each other with dried food on their faces and pj's--- with my slightly filthy pet filled house in the background. I will make a status update, about a fun weekend with the family or a silly thing I have done that day. I don't tell you about my splitting head-aches or how many times I have eaten lean cuisines for lunch at work.
I am a real person, I try to present a honest picture of myself. That said, the 'mommy wars' are so silly, and I truly hope that my classmate take a bit of time for herself and realizes not to believe everything she sees.