Over 1.28 billion people use Facebook monthly. I’m part of the 1.28 billion. Having said that, as soon as I knew I was giving birth, I couldn’t wait to announce it to my friends and family. I didn’t get all fancy or creative, as you can see, but nevertheless, friends and family showed their excitement by liking my status and leaving comments. We were elated.
Fast forward to April 21, 2014, and we also announced the birth of our baby boy via social media. It was well received. To me, this is the purpose of Facebook. We can share our joyous moments and keep up with friends and family.
Facebook also has a downside, and for a mother of a colicky baby, I have had to steer clear of some social media simply because it can leave me feeling as if I’m the cause of all of my problems. So, I devised a list of 4 ways that social media can make you feel like a bad parent.
1. Everyone has a happy baby! Everyone posts pictures of how happy their baby is, meanwhile, you’re wondering what happened to yours. I know that holds true for me. Many of my Facebook friends had babies around the same time as me. My baby rarely smiles, and I work hard to grab a few smiles from him each day. They usually roll in around 7am when he first wakes up and then, we mostly get frowns for the remainder of the day. If you see a smiley post with Carter in it, I worked hard for that picture and I’m super proud of it.
2. Everyone has an opinion! Opinions about how to raise a child are everywhere. Do I breastfeed or formula feed? Do I co-sleep or does he sleep in his own crib? Do I vaccinate or not? Circumcise or not? Let him cry it out or run to his every need? Do I start solids at 6 months or is food before one just for fun? Cloth diaper or disposable? Baby wear or stroller? The list goes on an on. Needless to say, no matter what you choose, someone else has an opinion that differs from yours, and some people can be downright ruthless when stating what they feel is best. My theory is that I’m perfectly made to be the mother of my child, and that is what I’m going to do. I will educate myself on what I find to be best and then do what works. Every baby is different. My baby isn’t the happy smiley baby that everyone posts, therefore, I’ve had to try many different theories to get him to his happy place.
3. People love to brag! Who doesn’t love to brag on their kids? I mean, when they do something awesome, we want the world to know, right? I agree with that, to an extent, but there are always parents out there struggling with the same milestone another just met. I will admit, while dealing with reflux and colic, I have been jealous of the mom that boasts that her 10 week old is sleeping 10 hours straight, or I’ve been jealous of the mom that has a baby that “rarely cries” and calls their baby a “good” baby. Does that mean mine is “bad” by chance? Some women love to take full credit for their “good” baby and for a mom with a grumpy pants, it can leave me feeling like I’ve done something to cause this. I have to remind myself that I am doing my very best, and that I am a good mom even when I end many days feeling defeated.
4. Everyone shows everything they’re doing with their kids! I do a lot with my 6 year old. It has been tough having a cranky baby, but I make every effort to continue life as it was prior to his birth. It’s not my older child’s fault that he has a brother that cries a lot. Having said that, mom’s post all of their vacations, craft projects, extracurricular activities, and more. I admit, I have been that mom, but now that I can’t be that mom as much as I was, it can really leave me feeling down. It’s hard to divide time between two kids, and it’s even harder when one of them demands most of my time. I have to remember that this will pass and eventually, we will be back on track.
Social media in moderation, can be a happy place and I love using it to reconnect and keep up with everyone! I also have learned that my comment isn’t always necessary, and that no matter what anyone posts, we can truly never tell what goes on when the camera isn’t watching and the computer is off. We can’t compare ourselves to others because we are all different. We all have different styles as parents and different ways of handling things. As moms, we need to lend out a hand and be there for each other, instead of nitpicking ways that the other mom is doing it wrong. Just think, that mom could be at her wits end, and need your help instead of a list of why she may be doing things wrong. No matter the style, we’re all parents that want the best for our children.