“Motherhood only looks easy on Instagram” – the title of a new podcast episode, but has some truth to it. Postpartum can be an isolating time, with exhaustion and pain recovery, evolving relationships and family dynamics, and identity changes. Social media can be used as an outlet to engage mothers in an uplifting way.
Social media has the power to support a mom through networks of other women whose experiences align. Social media has the power to connect mothers with friends and supporters in her virtual village. Images, messages, and posts can help to dispel postpartum myths and uncensor parenthood. Parents can unite and resonate with each other surrounding the realities of new parenthood. It can also be a great way to organize to get better services and supports for new parents in your local community.
Social media can also be a source that can make new parents feel inadequate and bad about themselves. Too many women are pinned to their couch, holding a sleeping infant, and scrolling through endless filtered photos of moms who’ve “bounced back” from childbirth and only share the BEST parts of their day and life. It is normal to then compare our lives to theirs, and wonder how they ‘have it all’ and ‘make it all work.’
Here are some tips to avoid mom guilt.
Mom-shaming on social media isn’t uncommon, whether intended or not. Every parent has their way of doing something and believing their way is the ‘right’ way. There is plenty of unsolicited advice or remarks about how someone is parenting or living their life on social media. In fact, a survey found that 61% of moms reported having been shamed at some point. While mom-shame can happen internally by comparing oneself to others negatively and putting oneself down, mom-shame happens externally through people offering unhelpful comments. What can be done? Choose not to react to mom-shamers, and be careful about your own words and comments to others. Talk with your partner or best friend to get a reality check now and then if you need it!
When you decide to comment on someone’s post, consider if your comment is
- Considerate and kind
- Has a positive tone and thoughtful timing
- Will make the person and other mothers feel uplifted or supported.
From our page on Mom Guilt, we encourage “Random Comments of Kindness” – what is something you would love to read commented on one of your posts? Go out of your way to randomly share a nice word to another parent. Positive comments can go a long way!