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Challenge: Reflecting on a Year of Pandemic Parenting

Let Go of the Perfect Picture Already!

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Friend, in this season, you must let go of the picture you are clutching in your hand.

The picture of what you thought life should look like right now. You know the one.

The one of the immaculate house. The sink isn't piled high with dishes the very second you put the clean ones away. The kids are getting along and hugging each other and being all adorable instead of driving each other crazy and slamming doors. The dogs aren't pooping on the carpet and your cat doesn't need insulin. The homework is neatly and immediately finished. The carpets don't have hair all over them and God-knows-what spilled on them. The garage is spotless and the cars are shiny.

The one of the attentive spouse who knows your needs without you having to spell them out in Sharpie on his forehead. You are greeted at the door with a kiss every day and your sex life is on point. There are not facial hairs left all over the sink and dirty sock are immediately thrown down the laundry shoot. He never gets annoyed by your spending or is grumpy after a long nap. You agree with how the house should be decorated and you both sleep soundly all night.

The picture of your parents in perfect health who don't bicker relentlessly about the most minuscule things. Your sibling isn't addicted to drugs or pills or alcohol and isn't ruining holidays. Your friends aren't toxic and unbearably negative. The weight just falls off even when you eat whatever you want. One glass of wine never leads to a drunken binge or 3-day hangover.

The picture of you vacationing whenever you choose and your car is always brand new and your soul doesn't ache for no reason at all. You always fit in, say the right things, are the best hostess, ooze confidence, and roll out of bed without a new wrinkle, gray hair, or sore muscle appearing out of thin air.

The picture of you looking effortlessly joyful and never having to plaster on a smile because you are screaming on the inside.

The perfect picture of you, never altered, never secretly wondering what is wrong with you.

THAT picture.

Put it down! Tear it up! Light it on fire!

Because my picture is never that perfect. Ever.

No matter how many filters I add.




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Faith in the Mess - Melissa Neeb, Writer

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