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Where are all of my social media moms at? You know who you are. You’re the one who is posting pictures to Facebook of your everyday activities. Allowing your followers to have a glimpse into your life. We can count on you to keep us up-to-date. Especially if your kid has accomplished something awesome.
We can’t forget about those dinner dishes that social media moms love posting. Looking like they came straight from a 5-star chef. As well as the perfect outfits on their children every time it’s the first day of school. Then you MUST add the 100+ likes they get on that picture alone.
What about that beautiful dresser that you just refurbished?! You would find something like that, with so much detail, go for $100’s at a local shop. But, you, mama, did it in an hour with recycled material.
Then there’s moms like me. I don’t think I’ve ever snapped a picture of my kids the first day of school. Most days I can’t even find the socks they should wear that day. That’s right. I didn’t put their clothes out the day before.
Lunch boxes? It happens, sometimes. Book fair money? I try to make that happen. I believe that books are important. But, we struggle financially. It doesn’t happen every single time. Attend every school event? Nope. Doesn’t happen.
As you can tell, I am far from the ideal social media mom. In fact, you won’t see many pictures of my kids floating on my social accounts. It’s not because I don’t love them. It’s because, between all the running around trying to make sure none of them die during events, picture snapping is rare. Posting it ON social media while I’m at the event?! Forget about it!!
You’re probably thinking that I’m getting to ready to bash the, what we see as, “perfect” social media moms. But, I’m not. In fact, I WISH my life was more put together like what I believe theirs is. Being more organized probably would lessen the amount of daily panic attacks I have. But, I wouldn’t know. Because, well, I’m far from organized.
I’m not even going to tell you, if you are like me, you’re perfect the way you are. The truth is, we all have something we need or want to fix about ourselves. We all have guilty pleasures, addictions, and things that should be a “no no”.
Maybe you’re like me. You barely post on social media. But, when you do, it’s usually semi-positive. The positive part is that the post usually has your adorable kids in it. The “semi” part is that they’re doing something destructive. It’s cute to them. It will be cute to you in the future. But, right now, this is blackmail. Because you know you are the ONLY one who will spend the next hour scrubbing marker off the walls. That is, if you don’t decide to re-paint the whole living room.
You may be the complete opposite of me. If that’s the case, can you invite me over for dinner? I hate cooking.
The great thing about social media is the ability to share things with others. Social media is used for connecting with friends and families. Businesses use it to engage with future, past, and present clients. Employers use social media to spy on employees. Wives use it to see if their husband is still talking to that girl.
It’s a proven fact, social media is great for a LOT of things. At the same time, there a few things it isn’t so great for. For instance, someone like me. A mom who was diagnosed with chronic depression at 14 years old. Someone who is currently facing severe postpartum depression. Because, while I’ll proudly wear the “social media moms” title, it’s not for me right now.
There have been many times where I have sat in front of my laptop with tears. Usually, during this time, I’m scrolling through Facebook. But, I’m not crying because of a viral engagement video I just watched. I’m crying because, as I scroll, I’m comparing my life to others. People I hadn’t seen in years. Well, honestly, some people I’m not even sure I’ve ever met. Although, I’m decent at not accepting people I’m not 100% sure about. In my eyes, at the time, these perfect social media moms we’re really getting under my skin.
Some of you may be thinking this is silly. How can I possibly feel like a strong, independent bad-ass mom if I’m boo-hooing over Facebook?! It’s possible. Some days I feel like a bad-ass who can conquer anything. Even if I don’t conquer a damn thing that day. Other days I don’t even want to attempt to brush my hair.
I guess I’ve always been the type to compare my life to others. I know. It’s pure jealousy. That’s exactly what it is. I question why I don’t deserve the lavish life these other “social media moms” receive. It seems like every time I turn around they are on a vacation. My kids didn’t even get a summer vacation this year.
Finally, with a clear mind — totally lying, I had about 3 beers — I came to a conclusion. I never share anything on social media that makes my life look “devastating”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know a few people who ONLY post the bad things that happen to them. That’s their priority. But, I’m not one of them. I don’t want pity when things go wrong. My social media fam has nothing to do with my misfortunes. So, why would anyone, who is mostly a “positive poster”, post daily negative things? For the mot part, I can’t imagine they would.
The sad part about it is, this took me quite a bit to realize. I guess I thought happy people should post when their miserable. Even though that’s not something I do on a regular basis. Social media is great because we can pick and chose what we WANT to post. So, of course you want to share the happy memories.
It may seem like some individuals post more often about their amazing life. But, why come off biter about that? Shouldn’t we celebrate parents when they move to the top? I get it. Maybe there’s a parent or two you know a good bit about and you KNOW they don’t deserve this. But, c’mon, how hard is parenting?! Even if you aren’t with your children 24/7 — parenting is HARD! Because, once they are in this world, it doesn’t matter how long you are away from them. They are ALWAYS on your mind. You will worry 24/7 until you are DEAD now.
Sure, some have it easier than others. That’s just the way the world goes. I can promise you someone probably has it much worse than you. I mean, think about it for a second. If you’re not one of these glamorous “social media moms“, how much do you know about the ones who are? If you know enough to have an opinion, great. If not, you have no idea what they may have went through to get where they are at. You probably don’t know about their daily struggles either.
The same goes for moms like me. I’m super guilty of posting “woe is me” on social media. But, now I realize, the less you put out there, the better. I’m also guilty of posting vacation memories, too. How do I know that someone who sees my post isn’t a mother, who hasn’t vacationed in 10+ years, scraping up change to keep her lights on? I don’t. Because, there’s not many people I follow on social media that know me well enough to share that with me. My very own vacation picture or two may have left someone in tears. I’ll never know.
Thankfully, my days of being part of the jealous social media moms club is over. Social media was totally defining who I was. It began to show above and beyond my involvement on social media. I began discussing it with my husband. Gossiping with others who shared in my misfortunes. Because, I knew they would gossip with me. Now, I understand it more. They were suffering from the same jealousy as I was.
Finally, I said enough was enough. I gave social media a break. It was super hard. Especially when my husband would ask me if I saw a video someone posted on Facebook. I’d automatically want to go and look. But, I can say proudly, that I took a whole year off and it changed my whole perspective about life. It was like world was real again. That’s super sad, isn’t it?
Social media has reentered my life again. No choice of my own, though. My other form of communication, my cell phone, broke. I needed to be able to get in touch with people. But, thanks to my break and “detox”, I no longer use it as often. Because, I’ll have to admit, I like the way real life feels.
So, moms, if you’re out there crying over an Instagram post — back away from the keyboard. Girl, it is NOT worth it. Do not allow social media to define who you are. If you are that wrapped up, it’s time to back away before it gets worse. Allowing social media to determine who you are is not the way to go.
If your kids are happy — most of the time — you’re doing something right. You don’t have to fix 5-course meals. Pinterest doesn’t have to be bookmarked on your computer. If you do all those things, you’re doing it right, too.
You’re doing “parenthood” the way that keeps you and your family happy. Don’t we, as parents, face enough scrutiny about how we do life with our kids? It doesn’t matter if you’re that 5-star social media parent or that maybe 1/2 star parent. You’re molding little humans. That, in itself, deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.