I love social media and I’m sure that will never change. They way it connects people, the insightful things I learn, the funny memes … seriously, it’s one of the greatest inventions of all time. But, too much of a good thing can be bad. Very, very bad. And I almost let social media take me down a dark road that few ever recover from. Ha! Sorry for the dramatics, it wasn’t that bad, but I do feel like it was affecting the way I was parenting in a less than positive way.
So, here’s what happened and how I found my way back to the “light”…
I must start by saying I’m not one to typically stunt for da ‘Gram. Let’s be honest, my body is too basic to try and keep up with the gorgeous IG models (wahhhhh!). Plus, I’m not rolling around in a Phantom, flossing the latest luxury brands — That’s not my life and I feel no need to act like it is on social media. But, I did find myself trying to make it seem like my child was keeping up with the proverbial “Jones” (or are we supposed to say Kardashians now. Uh, hell no) . That was dumb and embarrassing. Why was I posting every pair of Freshly Picked moccasins she got? Who cares about her baby fur coat? Seriously, another Janie & Jack outfit? Furthermore, I always wanted everyone to know every activity Charlie was enrolled in, every new thing she learned and every milestone she reached (especially if it was ahead of time). But, why? To brag? To “keep up”?? To prove something??? I had no clue, but I knew it was pathetic and unfair to CB.
I also found myself not being very truthful in the captions of our “perfect pictures”. If you see a pic of Charlie smiling, just know it took about 146 shots to get it. She hates the camera, although she does love video. At home Charlie is a ball of fun and excitement, but in front of others (and the camera) she’s shy and serious. I used to feel the need to prove that she wasn’t always like that … trying desperately to show the world the CB we get to see everyday. But, then I realized the unfair pressure I was putting on a 2-year-old to perform for strangers. She doesn’t even know what Instagram is, but yet I had her dancing for the double tap. I had to realize, not every moment needs to be captured. It’s ok to post somethings, but I’ve learn to live in the moment and forego the snapshot in order to appreciate the experience. And now some snapshots I just keep for myself 🙂 It’s OK if it’s an organic moment (who doesn’t like a cute video every now and then), but I had to stop with the Joe Jackson-ish behavior and just let my baby live.
I also realized my post weren’t exactly showing the full balance of motherhood. It was so easy to post photos about our outings or fun events, but I would never post when I was too tired to play with CB, or when I was lazy and just grabbed a pizza for dinner … for the third time in a month. Nor did I post when I would hide in the bathroom and let the shower run for an extra 10 minutes just for a mini-break (even though Charlie would eventually tire of waiting for me and just burst in anyway). I wasn’t posting my lows and that wasn’t fair. I didn’t post my insecurities and that wasn’t fair either. To be quite honest, I have a mommy blog and on most days I don’t feel like I’m that great of a mommy, but I tried hard to conceal it. Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to follow a feed full of negativity, but if you only post the happy times it can be a bit mis-leading and inauthentic. I found that sharing the real experience of motherhood encourages other women to live in their truths, thus creating a strong and necessary support network — and really, shouldn’t that be the point?
There’s nothing wrong with sharing your life on social media, but if that’s what you really want to do try showcasing the full, mistake-filled, unedited version, not just the CliffsNotes. I know I won’t stop posting and will probably still fight the urge to only post the magazine-worthy moments, but I love sharing our life and documenting our journey on “Stilettos & Sippy Cups” and that’s ok. But, I will actively try to make sure the reality I post is the reality I’m living. Some days are better than others and my timeline should reflect that.