Picture perfect

Arthritis / General


As Christmas approaches and the mayhem descends, its a time to reflect, to be excited and to look to the future. Its also a time to flood social media with our various Christmas traditions and activities. I love this time of year, Christmas has always been a very big deal in my house, from I was tiny I remember being so excited and listening for Santa’s sleigh landing on the roof. Now as we approach Christmas we know all about everyone’s traditions and that’s something I love, I’m not ashamed to say that sometimes I even steal other peoples Christmas ideas and we do them with our family now too. However it seems with the sharing of pictures and idea comes the critics.

I saw last week a picture that a mum had posted on social media of her Christmas tree completely surrounded by Christmas presents, I’m sure most of you saw it and the comments that went with it and I also saw it pointed out in reality the cost of those presents amounted to three I pads and if that had been under the tree for her three children there wouldn’t have been half the outcry. In an interview she said she had been shopping all year and especially in sales, she had worked hard and saved and she wanted to treat her children. Yet because people could see the picture they felt they had the right to make an assumption on what her life is like and what her motivation for posting the picture was.

The truth is with every picture posted with every comment we make on social media or face to face , people make assumptions. Iv said it before and I will say it again my life looks nothing like my Facebook page. I post the nice bits like everyone else. I like to remember the nice bits and the not so nice stuff we just battle on through. That’s ok and its normal to do that, nobody needs to know the ins and outs of our every day lives, most of it would be far too boring and we wouldn’t have time to get anything done if we posted every little detail. The problems arise when we forget how we post on Facebook and we start to believe and compare with everything we see. The picture you see at the top of this post took at least 20 attempts to get a good picture. Eli kicked and pushed Megan until she would swap sides of the chair and he screamed when she tried to stand up by the tree – what you see is two angelic children, what I see is ten minutes of hard work and a very lucky shot!

If your my Facebook friend you will have seen my Christmassy check ins to different events – I love to check in it annoys my husband so I always check in everywhere!! One of our Christmas outings this year was to see the good dinosaur. On that Saturday we decided to go to my kids school Christmas fair, and then go to the cinema to watch the film we had all been looking forward to for months. Eli had been so excited for the fair, he had made crafts that we could go along and buy and he had pocket money to spend, last year he loved this fair, this year he melted down the second we walked through the door, he wouldn’t look a anyone, couldn’t speak and couldn’t even show us the craft he had made, we left after 15minuets. After going home to let him calm down we headed off to the cinema, at which point Megan decided that this film was for babies so for the 30mins in the car she complained she didn’t want to go, she had to be carried into the cinema and when we where waiting she stood huffing that she wanted to go home, at this point Eli realised this was a different cinema and he was worried about the noise, he spotted a speaker on the roof and refused to take his hands off his ears for the 20mins before the film started (I forgot his ear defenders because he has been ok on our last two cinema trips). This also seemed to be the day everyone had decided to go to the cinema and while eli was sitting on my knee I could see lots of parents taking selfies with their children and on my Facebook there where lots of cinema pics, I asked Eli would he like to do a selfie and you can see in the pic below what it looked like. Needless to say once the film started both children where fine and they both loved it = lots of good dino merch added to Christmas lists. Ben and I as their parents knew they would enjoy it and although we cant always predict Eli’s behaviour we have a fair idea of how things usually pan out. It was a long day and it was fun but It was not the way we had planned the day and that’s ok. What Facebook saw, was a happy little family day.


Very rarely in life is anything ever what it seems, we all have faces we put up, we all have different motivation for things. Sometimes we want to post our Christmas pictures for family, sometimes we post them for ourselves. Sometimes yea maybe some people want to show off or compare, I truly believe those people that is few and far between. I personally post my pictures for my friends and family to enjoys seeing what my kids are up to in the same way I love looking at my friends pictures. Christmas in our house will always be massive – how can it not be, with both my mum and dads birthdays also on Christmas day. It is never about the money spent its about the experience, the excitement and the memories that will last a life time, whatever way we all do Christmas that’s what it is about for all of us and because my Christmas doesn’t look like yours you don’t need to judge me nor I judge you. remember while my son was playing joseph he came off the stage and threw up the second he got in the door, while my daughters present looks too big, it was 75% off in January or given by a grandparent, while my big family sits round the Christmas table while you have a quiet one, there’s a delicate balance of choosing joy in a broken family and that situation didn’t happen on its own.

The picture might look it but it isn’t always perfect, sometime there are tears behind smiles and fear behind laughter and sometimes there is simply a happy picture.
whatever you do, don’t base your reality on someone elses fantasy.

And from my crazy, happy, aspie, neuro-typical, upside down, messy, funny house to yours have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed and healthy New year x


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