Instagram is the thief of joy. Isn’t that how the saying goes? No?
Social media dominates our world. It’s how people keep in touch, how we get the latest news, and even how brands reach their audience. We’re constantly checking Facebook to see what our high school friends are up to, or if you’re like my husband you wake up each morning and scroll through Twitter to get the recap on every single NBA game played the night before. Everywhere you turn there are hashtags or “@” signs.
What began as a way to keep in touch with friends became a platform to showcase our “highlight reel”, how amazing your husband is, how cute those kiddos are, how perfectly decorated your house is. Is there anything wrong with this? In theory, no. Great Aunt Linda loves to see how much your kids have grown, or maybe even what you made for supper (maybe). The problem comes when we let envy and comparison into the picture.
It’s all too easy to start comparing yourself to the people you see on social media. You fall in to the hole of “why don’t I look like her” or “she has way nicer things than me”. I realized how much I was letting this affect me after Camden was born. I saw a post about someone fitting in to their pre baby jeans just two weeks after giving birth – while I’m sitting at home in my husbands t-shirt. All of the sudden I felt horrible. I felt like I was failing, like I was doing something wrong because I didn’t snap back to a size 6 in less than a month. Chalk it up to postpartum hormones if you will, but when I should have been over the moon in love with my sweet little babe (and I was) I was more focused on the fact that my jeans wouldn’t go above my knees. I’m sure (at least I hope) this person didn’t post that with the intention of making anyone feel horrible, but it’s so easy to fall into that trap and end up in a downward spiral.
Recently I’ve tried to focus on more on not letting myself fall into that spiral. I realized that if I constantly compared myself to others, I would never live up to those expectations. I would always be chasing what I didn’t have. It’s okay that I still have baby weight to lose. It’s okay that our house isn’t always put together (or never really..). Your worth doesn’t come from what car you drive, your jean size, or even what others think about you. It comes from your Creator – your worth is found in Christ.
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
I still struggle with this, and I’m sure I always will. We are human. But now when I feel myself struggling, I can pull myself back. I love my little life, I adore my family, I have everything I need and then some. I am fortunate. And I have found my worth and my place in my Savior.
Just FYI – I still don’t fit in to all of my jeans again, but that’s okay. I grew a human and that’s worth more than my old jeans. So for all you mamas who didn’t “bounce back” – you are beautiful!