It’s easy to feel “less than” when you see all of these “Perfect” parents on instagram and other social media channels.
If you came over today and looked in my fridge, you’d probably find non-organic fruit, store-bought meat, and low-cost dairy.
And I’d immediately feel judged.
I’d become embarrassed and make excuses about my limited grocery budget. And it’s possible that you’d be judging me.
But, more importantly, I’m evaluating myself. I compare myself to ladies who write about organic living on their blogs. I get jealous!
If I offer Kraft mac and cheese to my family, I feel like a failure. I know I’m not alone in this feeling and I’m starting to get better at reminding myself that it’s ok to be myself, and just because my house isn’t Insta worthy or my fridge isn’t filled with all organic produce that I’m not “less than” other parents.
So how do you break out of this social media jealousy?
What Do I Mean?
It all begins in the nursery. The desire to fit in. Is it better to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby? Is it better to co-sleep or sleep in a crib?
It pervades all aspects of existence. Is it better to be a stay-at-home mom or a working mom? Drive-thru or home-cooked meals? Is it better to shop at a Gap or a Thrift Store?
There’s also Pinterest. Don’t get me started on the envy, comparison, and jealousy that those seemingly harmless little pins cause.
If we don’t get perfect outside family photographs or have an organized pantry, we suddenly feel like a failure…
Why do we place so much pressure on ourselves to live in a box? Why do we feel obligated to conform to society’s standards? Why do we want our kids to look like their friends?
This is basically “peer pressure” on social media, and it’s possible to break out of this cycle.
Break The Mold
Make a list of your values
What are the things that are most important to you, your family, and your children? What words or phrases come to mind when you think about your family? Use terms that you hope will describe your family in the future if your family is not what you want it to be right now.
For instance, do you place higher importance on spending time with your family or being busy? Do you want to keep up with the Joneses or live debt-free? Is music or athletics more important? Do you like loudness or peace and quiet? Do you like to exchange laughs, play games, work together, or pray together?
Take a look at your family’s description and values. Which of your everyday duties are appropriate? Which ones can be put on the shelf? What would you add to the list? This might be a difficult choice. It might imply doing something unusual for a short period of time. Or getting rid of anything that causes you to worry.
For instance, do you need to shop at five different food stores or would two suffice? Is it true that allowing your child to drop out of piano lessons will bring harmony to your home? Is helping your child with schoolwork more essential than preparing a hearty, home-cooked meal?
Take pride in your individuality
It’s possible that what worked for someone else won’t work for you. You, your family, and your children are all one-of-a-kind individuals. You’re in various situations, have different pressures, and come from diverse backgrounds. These distinctions are what distinguishes your family! Instead than trying to alter them, learn to accept them.
I’m attempting to “break the mould” of having to consume only organic foods. It is critical for me to provide my family with nutritious foods. However, for the time being, this means preparing meals with fewer processed foods and substituting healthier options wherever feasible. I also need to work on accepting this decision.
Social Media Is Not Real Life
My goal in life to be a happy mother and raise confident and kind children. I don’t have a picture perfect house, I’m not a perfect parent and I’m honestly just enoying being a mom of my 2 boys and 1 little girl.
So forget those edited, Instagram parents. You’re a great mom.