Social media is a part of our lives now. There is no escaping it. It does has its place and can be very useful in many ways but it also has its disadvantages, people, myself included can get sucked in to the game of compare and contrast and it can greatly impact on mental health.
Too many people paint a perfect picture of their lives. In reality this is rarely their life. Most people posting a photo of them out enjoying themselves are doing it for the ‘likes’ and are probably sitting in their pjs at home. Other people over share every little tiny aspect of their lives from the moment they get up until they go to bed and everything in between; if they go to a concert – we are right there with them only our view of the stage isn’t quite as good and our sound quality isn’t quite the same!!
Sharenting- parents who share everything from the second their child gets up including all outfits, meals, snacks, nap times. Where these people get the time to do so with a newborn baby is beyond me because I barely get to have a shower some days. I am on social media sites so it is inevitable that I will see these posts and for me it hasn’t been healthy.
Am I a bad parent because I don’t show my child off to the world, am I a bad parent that I don’t take an insta worthy picture of their meals daily, am I a bad parent that while others log when and for how long their child napped for, my child has hardly even as much as blinked or closed their eyes and I long for 30 minutes by myself, am I a bad parent because some days of maternity leave are lonely and its hard to put on a happy face all the time while everyone online is ‘living their best lives’
I asked myself these questions daily for a long long time, each time I didn’t have a definitive answer and truly did question my parenting ability and whether I was a good enough mummy.
When I have a break from social media I do realise that the answer to all the above questions is NO.
No I’m not a bad parent for not posting 100s of cute photos and milestones of my daughter. I share photos with family and friends – not the people I have on Facebook that I barely see or know anymore. Also I feel that my daughter doesn’t get a choice on whether her photo is uploaded here there and everywhere which is why we have decided to massively limit how much her image is online. I know as she gets older this will become harder but for now only her parents can make decisions as to what goes online and I am glad we have made that choice. I respect other peoples choice to post photos of their child but for us this is what is right for now.
No I’m not a bad parent for not posting what my child eats, for not making it look pretty and neglecting to do a before and after photo of everything she ate because she is HANGRY and woe betide anyone who delays giving her food for a photo opportunity. Also who cares if it looks pretty, it all goes down the one way and out the other end….and it’s not so pretty!
I don’t post about how often she naps because mostly she doesn’t and I am spending her awake time making memories, playing games, going for walks and I don’t need to share this with the world. That’s not to say it’s all sunshine and roses because it isn’t and I choose not to post the other side of the coin as well, the days when it is really really tough. These are the days that when you do check social media and someone’s perfect family life pic pops up it really destroys you. So my remedy is to call an ACTUAL person – one of my friends and we get out of the house with the babies for a few hours. That’s usually all it takes to perk me up and realise that I’m being the best parent I know how to be!
As I’ve said there is a place for social media, it’s part of our lives now and we can’t get away from it but I for one need to be mindful on how I use it. For now; with my daughter I want to live our lives without a constant phone in hand and link to the fake world of social media. She needs to make memories with her mummy not a phone!