The other day, I found myself suffering from Instagram envy -- that insidious belief that people's lives really are as beautiful and perfect as they look in that little square. This week I went back to work and I haven't been able to catch up on sleep very well. In addition, it was really my first week alone at home with the kids after being with friends and family for weeks, and juggling the needs of these two sweet but demanding children was wearing me down.
I found myself disappearing into my phone rather than being present with my family. In particular, I kept going back to these photos of a lovely friend of mine who just welcomed two long-awaited babies into her home. Her pictures were absolutely radiant with happiness. I felt the opposite of radiant -- spit-up in my hair, 30 pounds above my pre-baby weight, snapping irritably at my 3-year old, and stress-eating spoonfuls of Nutella.
Then it hit me -- my life could be someone else's perfect little square. Maybe this isn't too earth-shattering -- I feel like the discussion about how real life isn't as lovely as those filtered snapshots has been done before. But I realized that my friends with their sweet new babies are at least as sleep-deprived as I am, that my friends with adorable outfits and perfect makeup also have to go without showers sometimes, that the friends posting about their exciting weekend still had to go back to work the next day. I thought about my most recent picture, of Nolan in this adorable Yoda towel with bright eyes and a smile, and I realized I am living the dream. I can focus on my exhaustion and Cal's whining, or I can focus on the sweet, soft little baby that I get to snuggle with around the clock and Cal's funny comments (seriously, that kid is hilarious).
So yes, I need to focus a little less on the apparently perfect lives of my friends, and remember that for them, there is life outside the square. However, I also need to remember my life inside the square, that despite the fact that life has its stresses and isn't easy, there are these perfect, shining moments that can propel me through.