When we look at social media, we’re only seeing the highlights. We see the feel-good moments. We read about the celebrations. And we compare. Then we become bitter. And we begin to lose sight that we’re all in this together.
Rarely do we see the piles of laundry. We don’t see the dishes stacked up by the sink. All the mess is strategically cropped out of the photos. People don’t share that it took 30 minutes to get just one frame-worthy family photo. All we see is the beautiful finished product on social media.
Then we do what humans do best. We start comparing our lives to the highlight reel. “Well, of course her house is spotless, she doesn’t have toddlers.” Or, “She only has time to be crafty because she doesn’t have a real job. Some of us have to work.” Or my favorite in the disability community, “Her child isn’t as disabled as mine. She can get more sleep than I can. No wonder she doesn’t have bags under eyes.” We need to STOP!
Raising a family is not for the timid. Children are a lot of work. Add disability to the mix, and it’s a whole other ballgame! But our journeys are our own. We all deal with our daily challenges differently.
Just because my child can’t walk and yours can doesn’t mean my life is any harder. My child might not have seizures, but yours does. That still doesn’t make your life harder.
Our situations are all unique. Over the years we learn to adjust to our new normal. Things that we once thought were hard become second nature. You might be able to change a catheter with your eyes closed, and I might cringe at the thought. We all do what we must do.
But when we start claiming that our life is harder, we start segregating ourselves. We need to come together and support each other through the hard times.
At the end of the day, we need to stop comparing our lives. We need to support each other and show some grace.
Our lives aren’t easy, but really, no ones’ life is truly easy. When we scroll through social media, let’s try and remember that we all have problems and obstacles. Behind every picture is a pile of laundry or a pile of dishes—and probably a super frazzled parent trying to calm a crying or screaming child!
I was surprised how parenting a kid with intensive needs affected my relationship with my older children and my extended family.
Categories: Family Support