Jack turned two months old back on the 8th of February, and here it is, already the 3rd of March and I never blogged his stats. I kept putting it off because I wanted to whip out the DSLR & take some high quality pictures of him, all posed and looking adorable, like you see all over Pinterest. Life kept getting in the way and that mini-photoshoot just never seemed to happen. I found myself thinking about what a horrible mom I must be to let his two month birthday go by seemingly undocumented. How is it that all these other moms have it together enough to post a cute picture and stats every month, when I can hardly find time in the day to shower? I couldn't help but dwell on all the ways I seemed to be lacking compared to the rest of the world. I felt that I had failed in my role as a mother and caretaker for my sweet baby boy, and it began to eat me up inside.
Then I remembered one of the first pieces of advice I received as a new mom: "Comparison is the thief of joy."
In today's "social media" based society, it is so easy to start comparing yourself to others who post glimpses of their lives for the world to see. So-and-so's baby is a week younger than yours but is already sleeping through the night when your baby still wakes up every three hours. Your friend's uncle's sister had a baby and lost the baby weight (plus some!) a week later. Your best friend's husband brought flowers home for no reason at all. It is easy to find yourself thinking, "Am I the only one in the world who doesn't have it 100% together, 100% of the time?"
The answer to that question is NO. People naturally try and show their best selves on social media, and it ends up making everyone else feel bad about their lives when they don't meet that same quality. We could spend our entire lives comparing ourselves to what others claim their life is like and trying to be as "perfect" as them, but what good would it do? We would only be trying to emulate something that isn't real. It's not often that someone posts on Instagram their messy kitchen, or posts a status on Facebook about the argument they got in with their spouse or their past due bills.
I spend 24 hours a day with my little boy, and do everything in my power to keep him happy and healthy. Sure, some days neither of us get to take a bath, and the laundry may pile up more than I would like, but my little boy will never grow up questioning if his parents love him. I might have forgotten to take his two month pictures, but I take plenty of pictures of him on my phone every day. I am trying my hardest to be a good mom, and If I didn't live in this society that puts such an emphasis on sharing everything with both friends and strangers, I would never find myself questioning my ability to parent my child.
I wish I could remember who gave me that advice so I could thank them. If I hadn't been keeping that sweet saying in the back of my mind, there is no way I would be able to make it through this parenting thing without breaking down, because it is HARD and social media sometimes seems to just make it harder. In fact, life is hard, and all of us, not just new moms, would do well to remember that "comparison is the thief of joy" and be happy with the lives that we are living, not the ones that strangers on the internet seem to be living.
Have you ever had feelings of inadequacy due to social media? How did you deal with it? I would love to hear your stories!