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Prior to motherhood, I didn’t understand why so many mums were constantly posting things on social media about their kids and their day to day lives. I thought to myself surely they know that other people couldn’t care less?
My social media was flooded with photos of babies sleeping, of kids at the park, of mums venting, of mums praising their kids… the list goes on.
I was determined to not be one of those mums.
I didn’t ever want to post photos of my baby or of myself. I didn’t see the need to and I didn’t understand why so many other mums did. I only wanted to share my family life with those that are closest to me, and I wanted to do that in person.
Fast forward a year or so and I totally understand why mums engage so much on social media…and I myself am doing it!
For me, it’s because motherhood is a completely different experience to what I thought it would be. In many ways, it’s better than I imagined. However, it can also feel like the loneliest job in the world… and that’s something I didn’t expect.
I remember talking with people during pregnancy and saying “I can’t wait to see you all the time!” I thought I’d be out of the house all day catching up with friends, family and other mums. I thought I’d be going to a new place every day, adventuring with my baby for hours on end. I thought I’d be able to run errands whenever I wanted. I was wrong. So wrong!
The reality when you’re a mum is that life revolves around nap times and feed times. The windows you have for catching up with other mums is short, especially when your children sleep at different times. You can’t visit other mums when you or your child are sick, and vice versa (and kids are always bloody sick!). There are only so many paid activities you can do in a week because money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s also only so much time you can handle being at the park. You get the gist.
Social media is something that can alleviate the loneliness of motherhood. Sharing photos and a caption to go with it allows mums to connect with other mums at the press of a button, from wherever they are. The caption is used as an indicator for how that mum is feeling and what she wants, whether it's encouragement, help, conversation or otherwise.
I’ve always understood that social media helps people to connect. What I didn’t understand until now though is why mums would even want to connect with other mums they’ve never met before (and probably never will).
Mums want to connect with other mums because mums are the only people who get what it’s like to be one. Other mums get the loneliness. Other mums get the mum-guilt. Other mums get the need to vent. Other mums get the fears and the worries. They get the pressure.
Other mums get the need to speak kind words to each other. They get the importance of sharing resources. They get the need to connect with people going through the same thing. They get the power of rallying together to support the mums who are struggling. They get the desire to celebrate with each other and for each other.
Social media can be brutal. It’s not immune from the jerks in the world. But it can also be a meaningful space where the power of community, positivity and motivation can be harnessed.
Use social media for good. Be you. Choose kind.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
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I'm married to Sam and I'm a mother to Henry.