The Not So Facebook Life

As the saying goes, a picture says a 1,000 words. The picture below needs no caption; the story lies in our laughter and playful demeanor perfectly captured for the glorious Facebook post. Fun was had by all, but the moment was fleeting.

In the same day, I captured this moment: “Dad of the Year” cuddling with our 4 sons watching a movie. Again, so sweet…no words really needed, but what you can’t see from these pictures is reality: the not so Facebook life. The truth is parenthood got the best of us today; we were desperate to quiet the beasts. A movie seemed only fitting. We watched The Lego Movie for the millionth time…”Everything is Awesome”…well, not really.

These shots of our day don’t tell you how hard the day really was. According to Facebook, it was a perfect day with our perfect little, or not so little, family, but let’s gaze behind the curtains for a moment. The day beat us to shreds from the moment we stumbled from our warm beds.

The clock read 5:14 a.m., and 3 of our 4 kids were awake and eager for the day. My husband wiped the crust from his half-opened eyes and generously gave me the gift of more sleep. After all, I had been up with one of our boys during the night; well, he was up as well with another son. No one seems to sleep around here!

Add exhaustion to my raw nerves and depleted patience from Christmas break, no schedule and no school for 15 days straight…it was a recipe for a bad day! Plus, all day I could literally feel my anxiety building for the week ahead.

My mom and husband were leaving town at the same time…the thoughts: lack of sleep, lack of patience, and lack of break swarmed my head like frenzied sharks ripping apart any sanity I still had.

To top it off, we were prisoners in our own home as my husband was working on my car. All while, Charlie was giving me and his therapist a run for our money. Meltdown after meltdown knocked me off what little game I had left. After a long drawn out meltdown or a dozen meltdowns with tiny breaks between, however you look at it, I lost it.

The screaming and thrashing wore me down, but the hits and kicks pushed me over the edge. “Why can’t you…I don’t understand you…” The horrible words echoed loudly through our living room. They shot out my mouth like tiny bullets breaking my fragile little guy’s heart along with my own.

His lips began to quiver and point towards the tile forming a perfectly beautiful frown, a face he’s perfected since he was a baby. Sadness that breaks my heart every time. I apologized while dodging shoves as I attempted to hug him.

Within minutes, another meltdown came fast and furious. Desperate to end the current cycle of meltdowns, I grabbed Charlie, squeezed him despite his protests, and rocked him softly as I quietly whispered comforting words. His breathing slowed, and his screams diminished…until his therapist leaned closer.

His screams escalated again; impulsively, I yelled at his therapist: “Just leave him alone for 10 minutes!” I regretted the words as quickly as they were uttered, but he needed the space. As per the current trend, I had to eat my words and apologize. I didn’t explain myself just a simple I’m sorry.

Finally, after the storm settled, we drove 20 minutes to this new, amazing park. The 6 of us jumped in the mud, laughed, and played happily, thus the perfect picture. After a very short amount of time, we were ushered back to our car by the whines and tears of our now “freezing” older boys.

The first two “Facebook worthy” pictures don’t tell any of the background story that makes up every day, real life. We all live it, so don’t be fooled by the amazing pictures you see of your friends with their “perfect” lives. There is no such thing. Life is messy! It is a wonderful heap of messes, but it is still messy nonetheless. Don’t forget about the real back story when you are feeling down after being bombarded by your friends’ perfect Facebook lives! Remember, in reality, we all live the not so Facebook life!