This isn’t a new thing. It’s been happening for generations… but I’ve noticed the impact of social media – on parenting pressures.
Any mom or dad will probably tell you parenting is one of the hardest things they’ve done, and as a mother, I know I feel guilty often about the challenges of parenting and often feeling “alone” in the struggle. Yes, my husband knows about the feelings I face – the “I cant figure this out” or “man, this is so frustrating” or “seriously, another sleepless night?!” But often when you check your facebook or twitter feeds… most of the updates are – “loving this cuddle bug in my lap” or “wow, what a great sleeper – 15 hours straight last night from my 2 week old!” Most posts aren’t – “I want to send my kids to boarding school…tomorrow.” or “If I hear the word NO! one more time, I might sew my childs mouth shut!”
Maybe it’s just me (however I dont think I’m alone in this), but I think social media often gives this distorted perspective of parenting where only the glamorous and good side of parenting is shown. And I can be found guilty of this… I usually put up the cute or funny pics of my kids and I don’t post too many “updates” – but when I do, it’s usually to commemorate a milestone or something that made me smile. Maybe it’s because I want to seem like the great and perfect mom, the one who knows the magical tricks to get her kids to sleep (which I don’t) or can do 12 things at once – with no help (P.S. I always am asking my husband for help!).
There is so much pressure on moms to do it all and be the best and it’s almost like we use social media posting to validate that we are doing a good job.
“My kid walked down the street and back – at 6 months” – waiting for the 15 ‘like’s’ to validate that our kid is awesome.
So for all you mothers out there… who are frustrated that you can’t figure out all of your baby’s tics or your toddler continues to act up despite your best parenting efforts, please know that despite my occasional happy posts, I feel you. I’m there too.
And some days, after the big tantrum or the 2 hour screamfest, I just hide away in the closet – taking a 5 minute breather to remind myself – “You’re not the only one who needed a five minute breather today. You can do this”.