Parenthood comes with many amazing pros, beautiful moments and heart-melting smiles. Parents all over social media are so quick to share their proudest moments and beautiful memories with friends and family; but what we don’t often hear about is what’s lacking. Let me explain a little further.
Every social media platform is full of peoples “highlight reels”. This means that we only see what people want us to see, all the good stuff, all the stuff that makes us question our own abilities to be the perfect parent or even person. People will rarely share online that their laundry room is full of clothes, or their sink is full of dishes needing to be washed, they’re struggling with money, maybe their mental or physical health is copping the blow this year or their work life is suffering.
We don’t share these things because we’re all striving to be the perfect parent and to do it all. We don’t want people to see us failing, we don’t want to see ourselves failing. The truth is though, every single person in this world is lacking in at least one area because they’re succeeding in others. So where are you lacking?
How does your social media affect others?
In more recent times, with COVID-19 and home-schooling; it’s become more apparent that we as parents are setting ourselves and each other up to fail. It might be an innocent snap chat of how much work your child has done today or an Instagram post telling the world how awesome this working from home and home-schooling gig is. You know what you’re not showing on there, you know where you’re lacking; but that Mum whose sitting in her pj’s for the fourth day in a row with crumbs hanging from her hair and a huge pile of paperwork is wondering why she can’t “just get it right like you do”. Her kitchen might be clean and home learning is going well but now she feels like she’s failing. She doesn’t know that beside your perfectly placed photo is a sink full of dishes or that you’ve just ordered pizza for dinner.
This is the downside of social media sharing, we only post the things we think will make us look good, and they do. The butterfly effect of this is that the moment you press publish, you’ve probably made 3 other people who are lacking in the area that you’ve excelled in today, feel like failures. It’s never intentional of course, it’s only human to want to share our successes and this isn’t to shame those who are celebrating them or sharing their pride with the world, because we should all celebrate things in life. Big or small, a win is a win and we all know that in life, parenting life especially; if we don’t recognise where we’ve gone right then it’s a small slope into an unhealthy mental state.
We’re our own worst enemies
With all of the things in this busy modern life that we have to juggle, it’s pretty common to feel like you’re lacking somewhere. Maybe you forgot about a doctors appointment, the house cleaning is behind, homework has been an afterthought all week, you’ve ordered takeaway more than once, your work-life is struggling. It could be that you haven’t had time to get dressed for four days or that forgot to pay a bill last week and now your have an overdue notice. The list of ways we judge and criticise ourselves is endless and it needs to stop!
Stop focusing on what’s lacking
We can’t change other peoples actions and what they choose to show (or not show) in their highlight reel but we can change the way we react to them and how they affect us.
Take 2 minutes each night to write down 3 ways you rocked it today! They can be small, they can be large; just make sure your write them down. Every. Single. Night. From “I brushed out the knots in my hair today to I completed that task for work that’s been waiting for days.
Let’s rewire our brains to not focus on where we are lacking in life (because you wouldn’t be human if you were perfect) and to recognise just how amazing we really are! Be mindful of what you’re adding to your highlight reels and remember that every person on your news feed has something they’re dealing with too.