Life doesn’t always live up to Instagram…

June 25, 2012  

As I sit here and type the sun is beaming through our lounge window pouring light over the wild and rugged terrain of Northam Burrows in beautiful North Devon where I live. I am very blessed – it’s almost picture perfect…so perfect I am tempted to actually take a picture…and share it – yet there’s a problem…

In order to capture this stunning view to ‘share’ with my Instagram friends I’d need to re-set the scene, as I’d hate other people to catch a glimpse of the soggy muslin square strewn over the back of the sofa that’s now covering the wet patch where my son decided to projectile vomit over earlier this afternoon. Nor would I like to share the mass of tabby cat hairs stuck to the bottom of our white curtains – and all this is irrespective of the fact that the view is actually muffled by gas caught between our double glazing, so I’d have to hang out of the open window to really get a good shot!

What I’m getting at is that life isn’t always what it seems. I’ve become a little addicted to Instagram of late and it’s easy to see why – a wonderful way to connect with friends, colleagues and like minded people, it offers us all the opportunity to get creative with our camera phones and produce beautiful images of day-to-day ‘goings-ons’ that can be treasured forever – but in the last couple of days I’ve also noticed a downside to this fabulous app; seeing life through a soft-filter lens can sometimes make you feel down-right crap.

My days at the moment consist of nappy changes and feeds. My baby boy, although gorgeous, isn’t always as cute as his Instagram persona, in fact he’s down right devilish at times. I make no attempt to feature in photo’s at present, as I’m sporting nearly two inches of mousy blonde roots, my hands are dry, nails chipped and my favourite item of clothing is an M&S night shirt that I pass off as day wear as it drowns the extra stone and a half of post-baby weight I’m carrying. Our house looks like a bomb site – we’ve yet to fully unpack after moving here just ahead of Dylan’s birth, there’s baby stuff everywhere and I’ve an ironing pile the size of Everest…it’s all far from picture perfect – so when I see images of designer shoes adorning perfectly pedicured feet and home interiors that would give the finest boutique hotels a run for their money I sometimes want to throw my phone across my not-so-tidy front room.

I appreciate that the creative types I know, like, respect and follow all have an eye for the finer details and that the reason why I connect with them is in part because I’m in awe of their talents; so I expect and want them to take pictures of things that inspire – but what I’m getting at is that sometimes - for your own sanity, perhaps it’s worth stepping away from it all, instead taking stock of and enjoying the delightfully messy everyday happenings of ‘real life’.

I know I need to, because my marriage, family, life in general won’t stand up to my own scrutiny if I continue to compare it to those I gaze at through a rose-tinted lens. I am otherwise in danger of missing the fleeting moments that might happen whilst I reach for my camera in order to take a shot of a gummy smile from our baby boy, or a funny turn from our cats…or the warm glow of dawn light that fills our bedroom and lights up the dust fairies dancing over our bed…no filter can beat that kind of wonderment or beauty.

Happy Monday!

With Love,

Sarah, Boho Bride xx


19 Responses to “Life doesn’t always live up to Instagram…”
  1. Lucy says:

    Sarah you are brilliant! I love you and your honesty and agree with you 100% on this one xx I am totally to blame for creating and sharing those more picture perfect moments with others x your an inspiration as always:) Your house may not always be picture perfect, but the love you have for Dylan is perfect and it is evident in all you do. I was starting to edit the pictures from our photo shoot and there is one, where Dyl’s is smiling at you when you were singing him that gorgeous song. The look in his eyes is pure love, it made me quite tearful x Keep real and lovely you do it so well xxxx

  2. admin says:

    Oh thanks Lu – that’s the lovelies comment ever!!! Amazing how a lack of time puts so many things into perspective. Love you heaps & can’t wait to see the results of our Mamatoto photo shoot xxx

  3. Maryanne says:

    Ahh what a really lovely blog post. I read various blogs and feel slightly inadequate seeing their perfect lives… its nice to read an honest one!

  4. admin says:

    Thanks Maryanne – was really nervous about posting it but it’s so nice to hear I’m not alone! x

  5. Jay Mountford says:

    That’s a great post, and well done you for being honest. Funny thing is, everyone KNOWS life isn’t all sweetness and light, yet many choose to ignore it. Without sounding cheesy, “keeping it real” is the way forward. I blog (on a personal blog) about all my inadequacies, and it’s oddly therapeutic!

    All the best. x

  6. Kate says:

    I think I’ve just fallen in love you that bit more, what a beautiful, wonderful and honest post. I’m so sorry about your dad though, but this photo will be something you come to treasure, finding the happiness in such things rather than the sadness is hard but so worth it xxx

  7. Faerie Wishes says:

    In a week where I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to evaluate my life, what I want and how it feels like I am never going to get there, your honesty has truly made me smile.

    I am constantly reading on how people in this industry started their business’s and had huge success within a relatively short amount of time, I have been working on Faerie Wishes for 2 and a half years now and crave for the success, satisfaction and joy of finally being able to give Faerie Wishes my full attention.

    I was starting to doubt myself and my business but your blog has given me the push to keep going and realise that its not as glamorous and easy as it may appear.

    Thank you for my 1st smile today! x

  8. admin says:

    Thanks ladies – so lovely to hear from you all ♥
    Jay – is the blog open to the public to read – if so, let us know…I’d love to have a gander – bet it’s very cathartic to write xx

    Kate, thank you and yes I really will treasure that photo – was a lovely tender moment xx

    Faerie Wishes I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a tough time but things are never what they seem & in a creative industries especially, there’s a lot of ‘smoke & mirrors’ I’m sure. There are also a great many ‘success story’s’ of late who’ve only recently managed to give up other jobs in order to concentrate on their blog/design/planning business – so it sounds like you’re on the right track! So glad I made you smile – everyone’s comments have made me feel so much better too! xx

  9. LucyTurnbull says:

    Ah, yes! Salt and lavender oil baths.
    I had a similar number a stitches and spent the next month or so lugging around a cushion I made myself out of big-bubbled bubble wrap.
    The bubble wrap didn’t make it into any baby pictures either ;)

  10. Rebecca Matthews says:

    Brilliant post Sarah! I heartily agree! It sometimes make me smile to think how people probably perceive my life running a wedding magazine as oh-so glamorous, when the reality is, I spend much of my time in a hoodie and my oldest pair jeans staring vacantly at a computer screen (on a very messy desk) – maybe taking the odd break to keep the mould at bay on our office walls and eye the antics of the seagulls dropping stones on our roof! Life certainly isn’t always what it seems. Keep up the fabulous work!xxx

  11. admin says:

    Oh Lucy – a bubble wrap cushion is a genius idea *runs off to fashion one together* xx

    Rebecca, I’ve been guilty of thinking it’s all glitz and glamour for you, but the more I see of you the more I realise you work so damn hard & don’t actually get to switch off that much…hoodie or not – you always look fab though! xx

  12. Annabel, Love My Dress Wedding Blog says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad :(

    Things will get better, I had TERRIBLE cracked nipples, mastitis {sp??} and horrible stitching and staples too, plus my babba arrived a whole month early and I was so looking forward to that last month, I felt emotional and robbed.

    Keep at it love, it will get easier. You have the best thing in the world now, but sometimes it IS hard to see past the daily grind.

    I lvoe Instagram and use it to take only lovey shots too. However, some weeks I rarely take any shots at all {like last week, and so far this week} as I’m too busy, tired, working through to 5.30am, have a baby who is grumpy and actually can’t be arsed.

    Real life is about being at home and spinning all the plates being a Mum, Wife and keepyour home in order. Step away from the Instagram & Twitter feed when you start to feel everyone elses ‘perfect’ lives are causing you distress if you are tired and stressed – have had to do this many times myself.

    Lots and lots of love,
    Annabel xXx

    ps – I have previously shared some of my ‘what it’s really like’ instagram shots on my blog – give me a shoult and I’ll share the piles of dirty plates, untidy bedrooms, washing hanging out in the rain and piles of ironing if you care to see!! ;) ))

  13. Annabel, Love My Dress Wedding Blog says:

    So sorry for all the typos! I’m half chasing a real MONKEY of a 22 month old around the room whilst trying to work – she is causing havoc!!

  14. mrssilverymoon says:

    Only just found you on Twitter and now a follower/stalker :) This blog really moved me, I love your honesty and pictures, as you rightly point out, do lie. It’s so sad about your Dad, I too know how very cruel cancer is and my heart breaks for you all. These are precious times, thank you for sharing xXx

  15. BohoBride says:

    Thanks Annabel – it’s so nice to hear from other Mum’s (and fellow bloggers) struggling to find enough hrs in the day…I honestly don’t know how you sustain such a high standard on LMD…Well I guess you probably don’t get much sleep! Thanks for sending such love xxx

  16. BohoBride says:

    Haha…erm my posts are littered with typos! x

  17. BohoBride says:

    Thank you so much – what a lovely message! Just had a nose at your site…we have a shared love of such simple things…tea, toast and clean sheets – there’s nothing better! xxx

  18. Fiona says:

    Ahh this post comes at a great time for me – I was a blog addict in the run up to my wedding in April and then enjoyed the photos from friends and family trickling in afterwards and then eventually the professional photos too. And then I felt a bit flat. I had an amazing wedding day, loved every minute of it, felt a million dollars, laughed cried and loved having everyone I cared about in one room celebrating enthusiastically with us. But when I looked at all the photos I realised I was still just me – the photos were of me, I looked like myself albeit a glowy overexcited coiffed and made up version of me in the best dress I’ve ever owned, but i didn’t look like any of the girls in the blogs I’d been so obsessed with. I wasn’t PERFECT. Logic tells me that those beautiful brides probably look pretty normal in real life too, and I know that’s the case but it’s hard to remind yourself of that at times.

    Our photographer was great and we had a lot of friends take fantastic shots too – the photos are all fantastic records of the day we had. I hadn’t felt any pressure to be the perfect version of myself on that day until the aftermath, but I wouldn’t have changed anything about our wedding given the choice. It’s great to have one of the blogs on whose pages I trawled a million times say ‘hey it’s ok to be normal’. HURRAH! Thanks Sarah… this is the first time I’ve posted anything but it just hit such a nerve xxxx

  19. BohoBride says:

    Oh Fiona, I’m sorry to hear you felt that way – us women are so tough on ourselves…as individuals we rarely live up to our own scrutiny! And don’t forget that when a wedding is submitted it’s perhaps only 20 of the best shots that get used, when hundreds have been taken – I bet an observer would see far more beauty in you and your photo’s than you do…at least at this point in time. I have similar feelings all the time and as I mentioned in the piece – the best remedy is to step away from it all for a while.

    As a stylist I probably should take some responsibility for Bride’s scrutinising their days {and themselves} in such a way, as I’m always ready to and love posting highly staged inspiration, but when I’m working with a couple I always try to explain that they should only include details they really love – that they connect to in some way, rather than shoe-horning in the details they believe they should have. It’s all about confidence I guess – trusting that having the day you want will be enough – that the enjoyment of your guests and the love of the couple will be what shines through in the end. Props and styling should merely compliment that.

    I am so glad you found the post and that it helped in some small way…and chuffed to bits that you took the time to comment!

    Much love, Sarah xx

    ps – I’d love to see a couple of your snaps – bet they’re gorgeous! x

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