As I type this, I’m watching my children swim in a blow-up pool, naked, in our new front yard. Person after person walking by, Jack yelling, “What’s your name!” and Charlie pretending he is an alligator trying to scare those walking their dogs. This scenario is something I worried about moving to a new place, that their sweet, unfiltered little souls would have to zip up a bit to fit in. I’m quickly realizing those silly boundaries I set in my head for them should be thrown out the window and watching their joy, and the smiles they bring to those walking by, is EVERYTHING.
I was trying to think about these expectations we hold for ourselves and our children. Like there is a specific personality that they should reflect in order for those around them to think they are respectable people. Who set these rules? Who decided what is and is not expected of someone? Somewhere along the way these expectations became so high that people stopped living their lives, that they feel they need a filter in order to be respected or admired and we follow accounts to better ourselves because we’re convinced that the way we do it isn’t enough.
I’ve realized recently that these filtered expectations have seriously fucked us up (sorry for the language). So much of my own inner stress and anxiety is based on what I think I should be doing, how I think I should be raising my kids or how I assume I should act or express myself in certain situations. Let me tell you, no one gets to decide who we want to be, how to behave or how we choose to parent. There is nothing in this world that should ever make you feel that your best isn’t good enough.
A reminder that who you choose to follow on social media is important. We (I) waste enough of my life scrolling through Instagram that if someone isn’t encouraging me or relating to me or cheering me on then I don’t have time. The filtered feeds, perfect feeds, constantly styled and posed feeds just don’t do it for me anymore. What use to inspire me now can sometimes make me feel less than so I’ve chosen to support those people from afar. We are all at different phases in our lives, and my content make not be super relatable to you right now either, and that’s okay! Life is short and wasting your time on wasted time isn’t going to serve you.
I’m kicking myself for trying to silence my loud, usually naked, potty talking boys with the biggest hearts, kindest eyes and sweetest dispositions. I’ve learned that life is so much more enjoyable if you let it all go. Let go of the filters, of what you think you should say or do, of the silly expectations that don’t have to apply to you. And do what you know is best. Be a kind person. Raise your kids to respect others. Build a foundation of trust and compassion and empathy within your family. And laugh! Controlling situations that don’t need to be controlled is exhausting.