Photos-The Half Truth Edition

For the past year I have seen many blogs about how the pictures we post on social media show a skewed view of life. And while I have always fundamentally agreed that yes, rarely do people show pictures on Instagram where they add a filter over their bulging anger face veins in a true-to-this-moment selfie. But I’ve also said that those picture moments are JUST AS REAL as the moments right before or after. They show one part of the story.

My opinions fundamentally haven’t changed on that opinion, but I have had two experiences in the past week that have caused me to be frustrated with my own portrayal of my life and emotions on social media. Because I have posted pictures of cool things, or times when I am smiling for the camera but am seething on the inside because all of my introverted faculties are being bombarded by an overwhelm of stimuli and I want to punch somebody in the face. In real life, I am a terrible faker. People know how I’m feeling from about 100 yards away, and those who can’t quite figure out my emotions usually assume it’s bad and steer clear of me unless I’m obviously putting out happy-clappy vibes. But on social media…that’s where I am good at faking.

For example…this sweet moment:

At the Park

The reason we’re at this super sweet park is because my parent’s pissed me off at YET ANOTHER Christmas get together. They told me to “watch my tone” when I was frustrated about the noise level and the fact that Potamus was melting down and we still had three hours to go until the party was over. So while I snapped this adorable picture, I was actually standing outside in the cold without a coat or a sweater, and was trying to calm myself down. Potamus hadn’t napped, was way over stimulated, and we clearly both needed a little fresh air to cool off. But this pic got slapped up to Instagram and Facebook and it looks so sweet, and truthfully the moment WAS sweet, but inside I was seething.

Sister Christmas

Then there’s this moment, where I’m snuggled up with my sister…who actually turns out to have had a 102.5 fever. We’re mugging for the camera, and all is going well with us, but I am completely overhwelmed by the noise and heat and stimulation happening in my aunt’s house at this point. I’m holding it together for the pciture, but can you see the way I’m gripping the table and my sister’s arm like please keep me sane.

And all those adorable pictures from MOHAI? Reason that nobody else was in them was because my in-laws were clearly in a pissy mood, and so I decided to do the tour by myself. I enjoyed myself, truly, but was also freaking annoyed at yet another family function that turned into a shit storm because there are too many opinionated people trying to run the show.

I know that my photos tell a truth. They might not tell the WHOLE truth, which is what’s going on in my head, versus what’s happening around me, versus what I want to be happening. But I still stand by them, even those these last few interactions I’ve taken have actually felt cruddier than others. I know I’ll look back and know that there were sweet moments where I have seen Potamus grow, but I hate that there’s a discrepancy between what I sometimes feel, and what I look like in a photo…though who wants to look like a bitter uncomfortable hag in every photo? Haha!

What’s your thoughts/opinions on photos posted to social media? Photos in general?

Reflections on Transitisons: Stay-at-home daddio goes back to work

saying goodbye to the year of the stay-at-home dad

saying goodbye to the year of the stay-at-home dad

5:30 came early to our household. Potamus had been up aproximately 167 times in the night, and we alternated nursing and bouncing, like always. But something was different this time; Boof wouldn’t be able to sleep in once I got Potamus out the door for daycare. The transition from stay-at-home dad, for the past year, has come to a close, and we will all be up bright and early starting our day before the sun (which never shines here in Seattle).

I made sure to tell Boof I wanted a picture of the two of them before he left for the day. There’s something about a man in a suit and tie that brings back memories of my own childhood, and I wanted to document the end of a great era. While this job is temporary for tax season, we’re hoping it turns into a full-time gig later in the Spring. Boof’s worked so hard to overcome the shitty experience in his last job, go back to school, hold down a few part-time gigs and be the primary caregiver to our sweet Potamus. And while it’s been hard for all of us, I am so thankful that we got to experience it (I’m also thankful for in-laws who helped keep us afloat for the last few months).

I don’t know what Boof learned during the time as Daddio Numero Uno, but I have enjoyed seeing the bond that he and Potamus have. He was worried when Potamus was born that he wouldn’t feel like a dad until he was 8 and could throw a baseball, so it’s nice to see this relationship and ease in how they interact. There’s a rhythm and routine that our future children won’t get to have with their daddio, but it’s okay, it’ll be different then anyway. I’ve learned that our roles are fluid and that our kid handles transitions much better than either of us adults. It’s been sweet, even when it’s been hard.

I’m trying to remember that this transition will be like all the others, hard and then not-so-hard as we get in a new routine and rhythm. I worry that Potamus will miss Boof terribly, but then get excited thinking about how he’ll probably be all smiles when daddio comes home right before bedtime. I worry that I’ll have to pick up the cooking/cleaning slack and that will make me tired, but know I am also kinda excited and up for a challenge. I see that just in 1 month of daycare Potamus has gone from sad to happy(ish) when I leave him and happy(!) when I pick him up. We will all adapt.

So on his way out the door, to catch the light-rail into the city, I snapped that photo, on my cell-phone, in one try. No wriggling or reaching for the camera or funky red-eye. Just a beautiful smile and a snuggle up into his daddio. A picture to capture the 1,000 memories of the year of stay-at-home dadness. It’s beautiful, really.