Social Media Mommy Guilt

9 Jan

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“I wanted to make my own baby food, but I just couldn’t find the time.”

“Breastfeeding was just really hard and my milk supply never came in.  Will my baby be OK?”

“The cloth diapers were just too much trouble.  I just couldn’t keep enough clean.”

These are all statements that were made to me in clinic over the last few weeks by moms with dejected, self-dissapointed looks on their faces.  There are so many places to get advice about raising your children today: books, websites, your friends/family, and now my blog (I guess I just thought I should add another), the message can get really messy.

I just want to send a message out to my readers that says, “You are doing great.”

If you read your friends’ Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and pins on Pinterest, you would be led to believe that they prepare great meals, create home-made projects, do awesome daily “school time” with their toddler, their house is always in perfect order and all the while are able to blog and make elaborate instructions for all of these activities on their Pinterest boards.

They don’t post the fact that their house was actually a wreck until just minutes before they picked up to take the pictures, their husband had to pick up dinner because they had two kids puking (and the other in time out) when they were trying to make dinner, just before (or in the middle of school time) there was a huge screaming match that ended with 10 total time out minutes and 3 spankings, the 1st four tries (of 4 hours each) of their craft were complete failures and their kids watched Toy Story twice back-to-back so they could blog about everything they did together that day…

OK, a little sarcasm and I don’t mean to only poke fun at my blogging moms and I know there are moms who post and blog in their spare time after their kids are in bed (dads too) but I want to caution you that you shouldn’t compare your every day life with what you see on your social media sites.  If you do, you are comparing yourself with the best that everyone else has to offer with your own messy junk.  This is not a fair comparison and only a cause for guilt and depression.

I recommend that you pick the things that are important to you and focus on doing them well. Don’t stress about what it appears like everyone else is doing.  Do your best.  That’s all your kids are asking for.


10 Responses to “Social Media Mommy Guilt”

  1. TYoder January 9, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    You are so right and this is so important for us moms to remember. Thanks for this post.

  2. Alison south January 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    The best post yet!!! I needed this! I was just wondering… Do any other mothers have piles of clean laundry on every empty bed in the house, how do moms prepare such healthy meals three times a day, do people really make their beds everyday??? Then I often have to remind myself that I am a full time working mom of 2 kids and my job requires nightly sporting events and weekend events. So your post definitely made me feel better 🙂

  3. Helen Neale (@KiddyCharts) January 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    An interesting post, and true some of the time, but not all of the time. I guess it depends where you hang out – I hang out where people are basically honest about how they are doing, and nobody is perfect in my social media circles! I use social media for support, rather than worry that I ain’t as good as the next mum! 😉

    • jrsmith120880 January 13, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

      Yes. It doesn’t always inspire negativity, I agree.

  4. Erin Munnerlyn February 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Dr. Smith, I am so glad you posted this. When I took Mady off breastmilk and put her on formula, I had people tell me there was no point in that and anybody could breastfeed/nurse, which is not true. I was more than happy to feed her jarred baby food, but switched to homemade foods when the preservatives kept making her constipated. I also had people completely shocked I had her in daycare by 3 weeks due to the need to be in my college classes. While I do not advocate daycare that early, she has developed amazing social skills and an immune system I would love to have (sans all the ear infections we dealt with). The only “right” parenting style is the one that fits the parent(s).

  5. Karen Howell May 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    At MomLife Bootcamp (a christian retreat for mom’s in Tyler) they say you can have a clean house when your kids are out of the house! Until then do what you can, but get the time in with the kids…..thanks for reminding us that what people show of their life isn’t the full story!

  6. Kenneth Schuessler June 14, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Thanks for posting this Justin. It is soo very true. I can’t remember who said it but I love the quote….. “Don’t compare your ‘behind the scenes’ reel to everyone’s highlight reel. Everyone has struggles. Everyone is a work in progress…. And we all crop out the stack of dirty clothes from the cute pictures of our lives. We are sad you are leaving brother.

  7. Dr. king June 15, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    so very true. Saw this back a few months and it’s just what this working mother of 4 needed to hear!


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