What lies beneath: The truth behind my perfect Insta school holiday snaps

Posted in Family.

If you are someone who scrolls through your friends’ social media pics and thinks to yourself, “Everyone seems to enjoy the school holidays more than me”, then this is for you.

Instagram’s fibbing filter

Yesterday my two boys and I had a ‘memory-making’ day out with our friends. Well, at least that’s what our Instagram posts would have you believe.

The truth is a picture never really tells the whole story.

Two kids on holiday playing at the beach

Our wonderful day!

The day started with high hopes.

My friend and I had decided to give our kids (four boys ages four and six) a fun day out together in the school holidays. We were not just going to have a playdate at one of our houses, but take them on a little adventure!

We decided this would consist of a long bus ride, followed by a picnic lunch at the beach, lots of swimming, an ice cream and a play in the beach playground.

A great day!

And it was, but then it also wasn’t.

Let me explain.

What the photos don’t capture

The photos we snapped of the day are of cute smiley boys on the bus, them happily frolicking at the beach, their smiley ice-cream faces outside the surf club and them playing in the playground. There is also a selfie of us mums grinning like teenagers because we feel like we are ticking the ‘have fun in the school holidays’ box. Go us!

A perfect day.

While the photos shared on social media tell one story – the happy, carefree summer lovin’ one, there is another which they can’t.

Happy woman at beach

The whole truth

The other story, which is really just the complete story, is the one that doesn’t make it on Instagram.

I’m talking about:

The slow walk to the bus stop with four little boys collecting cicada shells off every tree, even though we kept telling them, “Quickly, the bus will go without us!”

The snapping at the older boys on the bus because they were kicking the seat in front on them, and there was an old guy sitting it it.

The long hot walk to the beach with whingey kids, because we didn’t realise the bus stopped so far away.

The sun cream complaints.

The sand in the eyes complaints.

The feeling of not being able to relax when they were in the water because the little ones can’t really swim yet.

The hot, hot, HOT sun.

The search for shade so we could eat our packed sandwiches and remind the kids to eat theirs – over and over.

The hot walk to find ice cream.

The moment when we finally sat down on the seat in the shady playground, just before the bus was due to arrive, only to have one of the big boys declare, “I need to do a poo,” so we missed it and then had to wait another 40 mins for the next one.

The motion sickness we all felt on the bus ride back because the driver was crazy and a bit of a speed demon.

The long, tired, everyone-is-a-bit-over-it walk home at the end of it all.

The realisation that we need to cook dinner after hanging up everyone’s soggy swimwear and towels when we really just felt like sitting down with a glass of wine.

But all of this is just a day out with kids, right?

The painful bits are just part of the parcel.

But let’s try and remember this the next time we see those other families living their best life on Instagram. There is always more to the story.

But thankfully, the photos only let us remember the good bits later!


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