This was our day today, exactly as it appeared on Instagram. Or rather, exactly as it would have appeared on Instagram, IF I could have been bothered to post all of it.
We had such a great day! We played with stamps and ink, we painted, we got a wonderful harvest of delicious 'lemon raindrop tomatoes' as Jacob calls them, from the garden. We planted out the peas, sweet peas and the spaghetti squash. We got to taste the very first raspberries from the canes that we planted in spring. We went to the park and climbed and swung and laughed with friends. We built train tracks and marble runs. We baked a delicious pumpkin bread and indulged in a bit of art and crafts with a cup of tea.
We had a great old time today. Today was FANTASTIC! Wasn't it? Well, yes and no. There really were some lovely moments, but the Instagram photos don't really tell the whole picture. They don't show you the moment where Jacob wet himself for the second time because he didn't want to stop playing and go to the toilet and I got cross because our washing machine is broken and the laundry pile has reached a ridiculous height. They don't show you the kids melting down in tears when it was time to leave the park. They don't show you the 15 minutes that I spent trying to comb the knots out of Ella's wild hair. They don't show you the 100th time that I had to tell them to "STOP SWINGING THOSE STICKS AROUND - YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE SOMEBODY'S EYE OUT". They don't really give you much insight into what our day was actually like. Sometimes I think that this is a problem. I am being fraudulent. I am deceiving you. I am editing my life. Removing the ugly bits and painting a false picture.
That's one way to look at it anyway. Do you want to see the tantrums? The wet undies? The mess? I'm not sure you do; not all of it anyway. You're smart enough to know that this Instagram feed is not the whole story. That of course there are times when we are all grumpy, times when the kids cry and whine and drive me crazy, times when I loose my cool, when I yell and whole weeks where the house looks like it has been hit by a particularly violent tornado.
The photos that I put on Instagram aren't an attempt to con you into thinking that my life and my children are perfect. They are my attempt to find and recognise the beautiful moments in the most ordinary of days. A way of focusing on the positive and taking pleasure in the smallest things. Of practicing mindfulness and noticing all the tiny things.
At the end of the day, my Instagram photos make me forget all the crap. They are a reflections of the things that I choose to remember. They make me smile at the world and I hope they make you smile too.