The social village…
I belong to so many Facebook groups these days it’s actually a bit out of control, and reading them might sound like we all belong to some kind of secret society with all the bloody acronyms.
Generic mummy group: My 11m LO is BF and my DH wants to travel to Bali end of year. Thoughts on how to manage with feeds etc. TIA
Selling/buying kiddie stuff: BNIB size 10 Nike Free Sneaker. LOOP and LOOS.
Working mums: NBR. I’m looking at going back to work 3 days a week when my DD is 6mo. What days do you suggest?
Family outings: 2 kids under 5 and it’s raining all day. Any suggestions of where to go?
Kids meals (I opted out of that one quick smart) Whipped up these organic pear, hand picked raspberry spelt muffins for my kids today…
Nannies and babysitters: Looking for a babysitter/nanny with WWC and police check who can look after my 6 month old twins once a week.
At one point I was trying to decide which pram to buy and got invited to a Facebook group dedicated to pram lovers! Like for real.
It got me thinking.
How in GD’s name did our parents manage before social media told them what to do, what to think and what to buy.
And does all this access to opinion and information help or cripple us?
Do we really need the opinion of 300 people to make an informed choice on what tog sleeping bag is best suitable for winter nights? And it’s pretty frightening when we assume that the role of a social community is to diagnose our kids rash.
Seriously people, anything medical / dental/ physical, psychological etc, go seek professional medical advice. Please.
And for the husband / partner /mother in law/ friend bashers, get that you’re not happy, but again, best to seek professional advice or deal with discreetly, rather than tell the world. It’s smaller than you think.
But of course it’s also a place to forge friendships, connect with other mums on common topics and feel less isolated.
I’ve seen some mums become “experts” on certain topics giving them a real voice in the community.
But that all said, I’ve also seen and personally been at the other end of real nastiness when mums use the screen as their shield and the keyboard as their weapon to attack others. It’s pretty awful and saddening and the very opposite of what these communities are all about.
Reality vs Perception
Then there’s the perception and reality of social media and the way we use (read: manipulate) it to express who we are. It’s a reflection of our ideal self. Where the babies are always peaceful, the kids are always smiling / clean and the partners are alway loving.
But we know that it’s not always like that. And the truth is not always pretty.
And though I’m generally self deprecating and painfully honest, I too fell into this trap when my beautiful little boy was 2 weeks old. He got this hideous facial rash and his once perfect little face was covered in disgusting pimples and blisters.
And for the 2 weeks it took for his face to re-emerge again I did not share a single pic of him on social media. After all, who wants to see an ugly baby?
Sad, but true.
Over to you..
So here are my 2 challenges to you.
Post one photo, comment, status update, whatever that is 100% real.
You’ll be surprised at how much other mums will relate and feel a little less pressure to always be perfect.
And to kick it off, below is a picture of my son, having a tantrum because, well, I made the mistake of offering him grapes, when he clearly did not want any. Bad mum.
Next time you respond to a question on Facebook, think about the person on the other end.
Be kind. They are just another mum, just like you.
Do you get involved on social media? SHARE with us in the comments below.
Main image source: Shutterstock