Trying to be a mother in our modern day culture can be so overwhelming sometimes. We scroll the feeds all day to see articles about how iPads are ruining our children, Quaker oatmeal is filled with Monsanto and Americans are all going to die an early death from cancer and obesity.
Making decisions as a millennial mother can be difficult sometimes because we have the world right at our finger tips. We have the world peeking in and telling us what we should do, what we can do better and what we are failing at. We are letting strangers in our homes in the forms of media affect us in ways that aren’t healthy.
Suddenly we question everything we believe in. Vaccines. Organic Foods. Homeschool. Extra curricula sports. Oatmeal. Wheat Bread. iPads. Television. Sleepovers. Apple Juice and so much more. It’s a never ending list of news and articles and commentary thrown at us daily on electronic devices that makes us conflicted, scared, overwhelmed, exhausted and more.
Even for the most grounded and balanced of moms, internal turmoil can still happen. There’s the comparison game, the I am not a enough game and the I suck at this shit game. Now everything that we thought we was getting right becomes foggy and confusing, like an afternoon crash where all you just want to do is nap it off.
So how do we overcome this? How do we break through the fog that holds us down from experiencing the joys of motherhood? You may think that I will say that we should just turn off the electronics; that would for sure do the trick. But who are we fooling? We love sharing and we like being nosey. And besides, there’s a lot of inspiration and support found within the cyber space of social media. Whether we want to admit it or not, that mom group we are in has helped us out a time or two.
So how do we stop the internal turmoil that social media, electronics and just your basic news can tell us?
We continually stand for what we believe in. There are certain things that I believe in that I am very vocal about on social media. There are other decisions and parenting concepts that I believe in as well, but choose to keep to myself. I find that taking part in discussing these controversial topics results in negativity and then confusion on my part as well. I then start to question my decision just because someone else doesn’t agree with me.
Stay out of debates. Mom debates on topics, whether controversial or not, just isn’t worth it. Debating and disagreeing leads to frustration and negativity.
Save articles that you want to read, especially if now isn’t the right time to read them. If your baby didn’t sleep a wink last night, don’t read some article right now that came across your feed on how to get your baby to sleep, you’ll likely just feel flustered because in your mind you have tried it all. Just save the Facebook link in your saved files (you can do this on Facebook by clicking the top right three dots of the post) and then read the article when the time is right for you.
Remove yourself. Remove yourself from negative groups or block their posts from your feed. Unfriend people who bring you down or simply unfollow their posts. Even if the friend is harmless but her perfect life is too much for you while you’re struggling in life, unfollow her feed.
Don’t bring up sticky topics. There are certain topics that I’ve learned not to talk about with anyone really because I don’t feel like hearing age old advice. I do my research and know what I believe in, stick to that.
DO YOUR RESEARCH. This is where the Internet is a blessing. We have a world of information at our fingertips, use it. Use it to help guide you when you’re unsure of yourself and your beliefs. Use it when the breastfeeding gets hard and when the toddler tantrums are out of control.
Unplug. Unplug from social media for a few days, mostly the weekends. You’ll feel somewhat refreshed to not be connected to it.
Remember that photos can lie. One square photo can’t tell everyone’s photo. You never know the story that really takes place behind the filter. Remember that some people heavily “filter” their life for social media, so don’t think that everything is always as beautiful as it seems.
Find inspiration. I love finding inspiration from mothers on social media, even if it’s because I feel like they have their crap together better than I do. I use it to motivate me to make the changes that I need to make in order to have a better handle on things.
FIND YOUR GRACE. I talk about this time and time again. But when you’re a mother, you have to find your grace. You have to find the grace to except the things that make you imperfect. You have to give yourself grace when you fail, when you stumble and when you fall short. You have to give yourself grace to pick the pieces back up and keep on going. You have to give yourself grace when it looks like some other mom on Instagram has a better handle on life than you.
Be the best you that you can be. Not the mom that social media or some article tells you that you have to be. Just be you and stick to that.