I have a love hate relationship with social media.
I LOVE staying connected with friends across the country. I love seeing their cute kids getting miraculously bigger over night. I love that we don’t lose touch with moves and job changes.
And then there’s the other side.
A few years ago my 2 year old was having a hard time understanding birthdays. The day after my birthday, he REALLY thought it should be his birthday! He cried when I told him it wasn’t and rather than try to explain that he had to wait 4 months for his birthday, we just gave him a piece of leftover cake and sang happy birthday to him. He was as happy as could be. I posted it on social media thinking it was a cute memory we would laugh about some day.
And then the feedback rolled in. I was spoiling my child. He needed to learn to be grateful. And I was going to raise a child who threw fits every time he didn’t get what he wanted.
Another time I posted that I was trying to decide if I could handle signing 3 of my kids up for soccer. My husband was working nights and in school. I was working full time and pregnant. If I was going to sign them up, that meant it would be me taking them to every single activity. And I really didn’t know if I had the physical and emotional capacity at the time. In my moment of indecision, (and back in the day when we were all about the stream of consciousness posts and talking about ourselves in the 3rd person), I posted, “Amy is… trying to decide if she can handle signing her kids up for soccer.” I got comments about how critical social interaction is for kids. How playing sports is such an enriching option. And how, as mothers, that’s what we do. We sacrifice for our kids.
When you give unsolicited advice on social media, all you are doing is what you are currently doing. That’s it! It’s rarely helpful, and often harmful. We have enough pressure as mom’s without worrying about what everyone else thinks of our parenting skills.
It’s time for a new Mom Code!
Let’s keep it simple. When you see a mom on social media doing something you disagree with, just keep scrolling! Or, better yet, give her encouragement! “I love that you are such a dedicated mom!” or “Parenting can be full of hard choices, but I hope you make the right one for your family.”
And if she asks for advice, feel free to give yours… WITHOUT judgement!
Let’s create a new season of support. If you see another mom struggling, smile at her. If she’s posting about something you wouldn’t do with your family, remember, her family is not your family. Love each other! And just because we post our entire lives in a social space, still doesn’t make everything everyone else’s business! (Trust me, I get how confusing and convoluted this one is. But seriously! Just cause I share my life, doesn’t mean you get to criticize it!) Who is with me? Mom code anyone?