I wasn’t always my true, authentic self and even that is still a work in progress. Some time in my early twenties I felt I started to break out of my shell and not care as much about what people “might” think of me. I have to say this has expanded tenfold through motherhood and I feel more confident in myself as a person and as a mother. Maybe it’s purpose, maybe it’s that little things don’t matter as much as they seemed to before but, whatever it is, I am embracing it! It’s not linear though. Some days are hard emotionally battling anxiety and sleep deprivation and it can be all too true in today’s ever increasing online world that comparison is often the thief of joy.
Like many things in life, social media has become a dichotomy of positive and negative. Some people love it, some hate it, some are addicted to it. There are also endless ways to use social media and more and more people are sharing an increasing amount of information about their lives. While I won’t get into my thoughts precisely on how I feel about the amount of information we offer up (myself included), I think there are many benefits to how connected we all are these days, especially in motherhood.While the world is shrinking because of technology, I also feel our individual worlds are expanding in a sense, and we are now so intimately connected with each other. Some may argue that we are more disconnected because of the amount we do online which I can also agree with but, that’s for another day.
I spend more time than I should on my phone, I mean, don’t we all….
On one hand though, the connections I have made in the last two years through social media have probably in large-part saved my sanity. For whatever you feel about mom’s groups, my experience has been pretty positive and I have met some amazing life-long friends, two even attending my wedding! It’s just an easier connection in a lot of ways, especially in motherhood. I was the first of my closest friends to have a child and while they are super supportive and loving towards my “new life” in all it’s meanings, the facts remain that we are just not in the same life-stage anymore. I don’t call my friends as much as I should but I am often saddened to see them doing fun things through social media or hearing about it through a third party or after the fact. Even if I can’t go, it still feels nice to be invited.
But here I am over here, mid-twenties and a busy mom and stepmom with little free time, just taking it one day at a time! As someone who thrives off connections with others and moderate socialization, I had to seek out other support and other women who were in the same life-stage as me and who just get it. With one of my new mommy friends we often joke that we were “cyber friends turned real life friends” or that it’s like online dating for moms and it’s tough out there! I do have to say though, the connections I have made personally through Facebook groups and Instastories have been amazing to say the least. It is as if I have known these people for years but many I have only met through the apps on m phone… (some in person… it’s not THAT weird).
If you really deeply, deeply think about it, the amount of information we put online is staggering and I don’t even post photos of my children or show my children’s faces online (also for another topic). However, it is super nice to take a glimpse into the worlds of other moms and to realize how normal you actually are…
I know there are many moms like me. Our routine is work, parent, work, parent, work, parent, and somewhere in between we try to find a little time for us… a little me time… and then have all the guilt about it afterwards…
Having these daily touch-points with strangers-not-strangers on the internet totally helps!
And now, with the invention of Instatories people are sharing a glimpse into their lives more than ever before, and while we are always warned that what we see on Instagram is not real life, I would argue that many people or the one’s I follow anyway, are being very authentic when it comes to sharing on their Isntastories. Some of these people I follow I will never meet, but it is still amazing to feel connected and able to share in the commonalities of motherhood with people around the world!
My mother often wonders about blogging and all this social media stuff and while I get the bewilderment, I also understand that feeling connected to others through writing and storytelling can be extremely powerful. I think it is important for us to share in the mundane everyday and celebrate our small and big victories because, you never know who you may be impacting when sharing pieces of yourself with others. That mom up feeding her babe late at night or the woman up late folding laundry prepping for school in the morning…it feels amazing to feel connected!