Can We Stop Pretending to Be Perfect, Please?
Real life, real emotions, real homes, real struggles, real conflict and resolution… why can’t we display more of that?
Why do we try to hide behind this perception that we have to be perfect at all times?
Why do we even pretend to be?
It’s exhausting and it’s not beneficial to anyone… you or me.
In last week’s newsletter, I shared the story of how I lost my mind when it came to potty training. I shared my real emotions and vulnerability. It struck a chord because I received quite a few emails in response.
More and more when I scroll through Facebook or Instagram (which is the worst by the way), the pictures I’m seeing are beautifully staged and captioned. Our eyes are drawn to those beautiful photos.
Recently I took a blogging class on Instagram. Would you like to know the biggest take away I got from that class? – Only post beauty because no one wants to see the mess.
To be fair this class wasn’t from a Christian perspective and it was a class on growing your business but it gave me pause.
No one wants to see the mess… only post beauty?
What if the beauty is in the mess?
My camera skills are lacking at best. I don’t naturally take beautiful pictures. There is a lot of editing that takes place. Plus my house is literally the darkest house on the planet (thanks to late 50s/early 60s design) so a lot of my photos are dark, blurry and grainy.
My pictures are never going to be these beautiful, well lit, perfectly staged compositions. Try as I might, they will always be “imperfect” by some viewpoints.
But let’s get back to the notion about only posting what is beautiful.
Usually when I scroll through Instagram or read blog posts about the home, I’m seeing photos of rooms that are well staged.
Beautiful and inviting, yes, but where is the real family living there?
To make a point, I randomly picked up my camera and starting taking photos of what my house really looks like on a normal basis. Not picked up when I know someone will be coming over. Not staged when I want to make it appear look like my home is beautifully maintained.
Nope, real pictures to show that my home usually looks like a tornado blew threw (three little cute ones to be exact).
Real photos to show that even though I follow a basic cleaning routine, it’s still a cluttered mess.
Real pictures to show that my decorating skills leave A LOT to be desired.
Real photos to show that even though we have lived in our home for over 7 years, it still very much looks exactly the same way it did when we moved it (AKA no renovation projects to update our “old” house from the late 50s.)
Real photos of rooms filled with love, memories and life. Of how my children have not only invaded our home but also our hearts as well. Our house has become our imperfect home over the last few years.
So for your viewing pleasure, here is my “real” house, unperfected tour. Please don’t be jealous of my awesomeness… 😉
Toys will always be in eye sight, even when you first walk in the door.
Yep, there may be random boxes and baskets stuck in corners or under tables.
Our office is for more than just work.
I don’t have a beautifully decorated and organized desk space you might often see on Instagram. Usually there are piles … OK and crumbs.
No wall would be complete without crooked and unevenly hung photos. And no couch is complete without throw pillows tossed to and fro. We won’t even talk about my shelf decorating skills…
Yes, that is an empty Swifter in the middle of my floor. Why is there you might ask? I have no idea but I’m guessing it’s because one of my children thought it would be fun to “pretend” to clean. I wish they would stop pretending and actually clean! 😉
Our kitchen has long be replaced by baby gear and a mini-table for the kids.
What no one tells you when you become a parent is that your refrigerator will soon become a breeding ground for art projects and fingerprints and smudges. Our school/arts & crafts shelf also leaves much to be desired in the organizing department.
The coffee pot will usually sit out on the counter top all morning while I re-heat my coffee mug for the 6th time before promptly forgetting about it.
We recently moved the big kids out of the nursery into their own upstairs room but there is still evidence they were here.
Speaking of the kids upstairs bedroom, we are still in the process of decorating and setting them up, so for now their room is sparse.
Not exactly the safest setup but this is what real life sometimes looks like!
Their bathroom counter, obviously we have yet to discover the wonder of the cabinets and drawers below the counter.
Eventually this will be my son’s room but for now it’s where we house random stuff… and a dustpan.
Our bedroom isn’t so bad, except for the new clothes that have been laying there for a few weeks waiting for me to try them on to determine if fit or if I need to wait another few weeks to return them.
Why yes, those would be snow boots on my bathroom counter and the baby boy is is convinced that what I keep in those drawers is worth more than gold.
And now for the woman behind the blog and camera… messy bun and all!
And to end the imperfect home tour, my daughter is quite proud of all the hair clips she decorated her hair with today!
So I ask, can we all please stop trying to be perfect please?
Can we remove the lense and give a glimpse into our real, unstaged, unedited, unfiltered lives?
Can we admit that we aren’t perfect but are saved through God’s grace? That we mess up, don’t have it together yet still are capable of living the abundant life Jesus says we can have?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~ John 10:10
Perfectly staged photos don’t tell the real story, the don’t show the beauty in all of the mess. And real life is perfectly filled with beautiful messes.
Amen. That’s part of the reason I am sharing about my struggle decluttering on my blog. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Robbi! I love that you’re sharing your journey too!
This is an awesome post Victoria! My house is usually clean but the clutter comes out quick 😉 Thanks for the tour of real life!
Ah… yes, the clutter is everywhere! 🙂 It’s so easy how quickly it piles up, even when everything is picked up!
Your house is beautiful, tidy and clean. Toys that your kids are playing with is not mess 🙂
We had church people round the other day, I had to spend several days cleaning up and I was praying that nobody would need to use the bathroom.
The fakeness of so much stuff on the internet bothers me a lot, along with the experts who make you feel that you’re doing it all wrong. Being real is much better 🙂
Thanks Anna, I’ve had those moments too hoping no one would look behind the closed doors! 😉 And I agree, being real is better and so much easier!
Your house looks a lot like mine, even the little girl with clips all over her hair! 🙂 I agree, we should all stop pretending to be perfect!
Yes, my daughter’s hair is something I have long stopped fighting over! 😉 Thanks for your comment Joanie!
Thanks for sharing this! My wife and I constantly feel pressure to keep up the social media facade that everything is always perfect, but that’s just silly! Then things are even a bit more complicated with me being a work from home dad.
I found your post very encouraging. Thanks so much!
Ah… but then no one would pin their pictures, no one would want to have them in a magazine, and no one would vie for advertising on their blog. That’s the honest truth, albeit with my tongue firmly in cheek. It’s what Blogland has turned into. Sad as it is.
I can’t remember how exactly I found this post, but I thought it was spot on and well said, so I took the time to say so. My two cents… You keep being you and just so you know, I think your life and your home are beautiful.
I choose authenticity over perfection any day. I am Type A so clutter gives me the itchies.Although, I do imagine from time to time. A day when there won’t be kids toys on thr floor and I can top scratching. Great post!
Love. This. Post. I a currently in the process of deep cleaning/decluttering my house (it was getting well out of control!) and was kind of feeling defeated that it still wasn’t looking ‘right’. Thanks for reminding me that we don’t have to have a spotless, perfectly decorated house in order to have a home.
I Love this! I would totally love to have a Pinterest board of cozy lived in Family homes instead of all the magazine cover type! Your home looks cozy and lived in by a sweet family! The way it should!
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