What You’re Not Sharing on Social Media ( but maybe should be )

The other night I was up late watching Bad Moms with my oldest 2 kiddos.

( Carefully fast forwarded and muted as needed 😉 ) They kept asking if that was what it’s really like, being a mom now.  We ended up chatting for a while about the image the “perfect” moms were trying to keep up, and how it’s never what it seems from the outside. My 14 y.o. then looked at me and said:

“ I wonder if that’s what other people think of our life, when they see our pictures  of the ocean and our rv and stuff?”

That really gave me pause. One of the things I wrestle with social media about is it’s ability to feed our crazy. Perfect lives, perfect moms, perfect kids, perfect houses, perfect bodies, perfectly curated – and a load of crap.

Of course we post the pretty pics. Maybe we enjoy the dopamine rush of likes and shares ; maybe we have a cause or message we feel passionate about ; maybe we have a business we promote via social media channels. We try to learn the system to work it to our advantage, grow those followers, become an “ influencer “ ( this documentary is an interesting look at this issue ) , share our message, or support ourselves financially. None of these things are inherently bad.

The conundrum for me is if we are actually being real, for better-or-worse selves. Are we sharing the tough bits? The times our kids are total a-holes and we don’t want to look at them anymore for the day? The moments we lost it and acted like an a-hole ourselves? The times we feel insecure, uncertain, at a loss, or desperately lonely? Life is so much more than the perfect bits we share on social media.

So, here are a few of our real bits that I feel like my 14 year old would approve of.

– We sold our house to live in a 5th wheel, because we were sick of living paycheck to paycheck and couldn’t see a way to keep up with it all. It’s a learning curve of how to live affordably on the road, and we’ve made a few beginner blunders , but our Thousand Trails membership is a HUGE part of making it work.

– Yes, we are living and exploring up and down the Oregon coast – but we don’t get to hang at the beach and roast smores every day. Hello, 4 kids = lots of laundry and dishes !
– I am homeschooling our 4 kids, sure – but mostly that’s us blundering along trying to find what will work for 4 atypical kids who learn very differently, and a mom that values silence. ( Seriously, I wear headphones sometimes just to block them out.)

– There have been several come-to-Jesus type moments since we set out on this new lifestyle. All the preparation and busyness of preparing to launch, meant lots of the kids sitting around doing whatever kept them out from underfoot. Dealing with the repercussions has not been easy.

– I question if we did the best thing for us almost every day , multiple times daily when the kids are challenging. Some days, I cry in the shower from exhaustion, frustration, or just because I really, really want a hot shower and nothing is cooperating to make that happen.

– In theory, I work from the road. In reality, I attempt to work and always feel like I’m never getting anything done. In my head I know it will get easier as we find our groove, but in reality my pocketbook could really use some more padding.

Whelp, there it is. A little glimpse into the reality behind the social media posts and pictures of a fulltime rv living, traveling, working family. It is not always pretty, is often messy, with lots of tears, trials, occasional yelling and more than a little bad language. It is also beautiful, funny, exciting, hilarious, uniquely ours, and absolutely worth it.

With love –
Sarah

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