I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from clients, “Other mom’s don’t seem to have this problem.” This statement could be about depression, anxiety, panic, marital issues, kid issues, trouble balancing or a myriad of other topics. When I ask why they think no one else struggles, social media is inevitably part of the answer.
Social media tells moms no one else struggles. No one else has a really ugly Tuesday afternoon with kids crying, messy living rooms and break downs in the bathroom. It’s only you.
You log into Facebook and you see everyone’s picture perfect world. You feel alone in your perception.
Facebook and social media is more of a “fakebook.” People present the best version of their reality rather than what daily life actually looks like.
Many mothers experience a “Pinterest stress.” They feel they can’t compete with the picture perfect lives they see online of other mothers. Through social media you can quickly feel inadequate.
Keep reading to learn how to deal with these feelings!
Own Your Decisions!
When I was thinking about planning my daughter’s one-year birthday party, people asked me what kind of party I was going to have. I had not thought about that.
I soon became aware of the vast and wild world of a first birthday. I came in contact with multiple moms who talked about the pressure of holding a “perfect” first birthday for their child.
I started to wonder, “Perfect for who?” Stress can consume an event like this. It has to look a certain way. It has to be held in a certain place.
Where did we get these ideas? Social media of course! You’ve most likely experienced this a million times. You saw an idea on someone else’s Instagram and now you HAVE to do it.
And if you want to do that. Go for it. Own it. And if you don’t want to do it. Don’t go for it. And own that.
Don’t let social media dictate what you decide. If crafting and planning is your thing, be proud of it. Have fun with it. If it’s not your thing, you can be proud of that too. Do something that fits for you.
Social media doesn’t get to tell you what fits. You decide.
Have Some Healthy Skepticism
No one’s life is perfect, no matter how it looks on social media. We all have struggles. We all have bad days. Know that when you look at someone’s life online, it only tells a piece of the story. If you aren’t able to keep that perspective, it might be time for a social media break.
Take a Social Media Break
If you are becoming anxious, depressed and struggling with constant comparison to the online lives you see, it’s time for a social media break. Even if you aren’t struggling with these issues, taking a break from social media is not a bad idea.
Delete the apps from your phone and carry around a book or magazine with you instead. You will be amazed at how much time you save by not checking social media. There might be some surprising habits you have of instinctively checking your phone for updates or automatically going on Facebook whenever you open a computer.
If you find yourself on automatic pilot trying to check your social media profile, you know you’ve taken a break for a good reason. Taking a break helps you gain perspective. You make real connections with the people around you. Your life becomes your own instead of what you want your online friends to think it is.
The people I have worked with who have taken a break have come out feeling refreshed, spending their time more mindfully and enjoying life more. If and when they do get back on social media, they know to limit their time on it and work on living their own life.
Be Real With Someone
A lot of moms have shared their struggles, their beautiful mess of a life. That sharing can be so powerful and help others see they are not alone.
It does not, however, replace the sharing that happens in conversations. If you are struggling with comparison, talk to someone about it. Chances are they feel or have felt the same way.
If you are struggling with this so much you are feeling anxious or depressed, this is the time to talk to a therapist. He or she can help you reclaim your life.
You might also be interested in our Social Media Dependency Therapy!