I hear it semi-frequently, "I don't know how you do it all!", or "from social media your life just looks pinterest perfect". It comes from people who don't know me well and each time it comes as a surprise to me. I guess I'm better at presenting someone who appears put together than I think I do. Or more accurately, I'm better at censoring than I think I am.
But can I be honest with you? While the last two years have brought about this amazing and beautiful season of motherhood, they have also been HARD. The hormone roller coaster has made my anxiety so much worse than it's ever been. Some days have been more difficult than others to snap out of. Emotionally and mentally it's been a struggle and spiritually it's been even harder. I flat out have felt unenthusiastic and exhausted in my faith.
As a photographer, my eye is trained to capture the happy moments, the beautiful light, and the well designed. I try super hard not to capture fake, but you also don't see me trying to take photos of my screaming one year old. Or of me hyperventilating in the bathroom due to reasons I can't explain. Or of me stuffing a snack bar into my mouth because I don't have the time and/or energy to make and eat lunch.
Do you know how many times I've had to move a pile of laundry or a stack of junk in order to get a good "natural day in the life" image?? And more days than I'd like to admit I'm just praying no one swings by unannounced to see my mess.
Mamas, we see each other on social media and think, "oooh....there's the mom that reads with her kids. There's Pinterest mom....there's healthy-fit mom..." and we build up in our minds that somehow the other mom has it all together when in reality, they are showing the highlight reel of their life.
Let me tell you, the other mom's floor is probably dirty too. Her laundry never ends and I would be willing to bet she struggles in some way, be it depression, anxiety, grief, or otherwise.
So let me start the conversation by saying, Hi. I'm Chelsea. And I'm what my husband calls "a little stress nugget" who cares too much about what people think and over-commits in a failed effort to manage my anxiety. I drink too much coffee, I love my family desperately, I am a terrible joke-teller, and I believe most things can be cleaned with a clorox wipe.
And now I have to ask, who are you? And how do you battle the tendency to compare? I would love to hear your story.