New Moms Vs. Social Media | Stork to Cradle Doula
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New Moms Vs. Social Media

We are a modern culture, happily addicted to social media. But are we actually happy?
Studies show that a large portion of new moms feel that social media like Instagram and Facebook actually give them anxiety, and put a lot of pressure on them. 

I spoke with a few women in my community about social media and how it made or makes them feel as new moms, and the majority agreed with the above statement.

“I find the more time I spend on social media, generally the more crappy I feel.” 

“I’ve always struggled with comparing myself with others so social media only intensifies that.” 

 The good side is that it gives me something to do and someone to talk to while I spend most of my time nursing a baby. I love that I actually have other adults to talk to and I wonder what it was like to be a stay at home mom with no village before social media (I picture Tom Hanks in Castaway). The downside is every time you post anything anywhere someone has something negative to say and if you’re prone to depression/anxiety or if you have PPD (Postpartum Depression) it doesn’t matter how many people say something nice you’ll tend to focus on the negative.”
 
Lots of moms I have spoken to feel similarly. They love that on social media they can “find their village” and talk to other moms who know what they are going through, and yet many of them still find themselves falling down the rabbit hole of comparisons that lead to negative feelings.

Have you ever been up at night nursing your little one, scrolling through perfectly lit and composed images of beautiful, fit new moms with their happy babies, and felt yourself cringe or compare your own life to theirs?

Why isn’t my post-baby body as toned as that mom? How is her house so clean? Where did she get those baby clothes, her baby is way better dressed than mine! How does she find the time to do her hair so perfect? Her meals look so healthy and beautiful. Wow, breastfeeding was so easy for her, I couldn’t do it. Her baby sleeps through the night! Sound familiar? Do we let these comparisons rob us of our joy?

Please be gentle with yourselves new mamas. Your body grew a tiny human, it is amazing. The dishes in your sink, they will get done eventually. Maybe you don’t have all the trendy new baby clothes, naked babies are adorable anyway. Yes, healthy and delicious food is great, but if your kid ate 3-day old goldfish crackers off the floor for lunch today, they will survive. Its ok to make choices and parent in a way that feels right and works for you, everyone is different.

Don’t forget that most of us post our “highlight reels” to social media. It’s often not real life. This new mom sums it up perfectly,

“Here I was comparing how I was feeling (tired, overwhelmed, unsure, newly diagnosed OCD) with snapshots of filtered, smiling faces staring lovingly at their little human accompanied by #blessed #ilovemotherhood. I had to connect with other mothers in person to find out that they also felt #overwhelmed. “

Don’t let yourself succumb to the pressure of the need to appear perfect all the time.  Don’t let yourself become burnt out trying to portray a romanticized version of your life on social media. Try and relax, let yourself learn your new role of being a mother, finding balance, learning what feels right for you and your baby. Finding your village online is great, but I highly recommend getting out of the house and into your community to find new moms you can connect with in person. 

Yes, social media can be fun. We love to share photos of our beautiful babies. I love the online friends I have made, other moms I can talk to at 3 am when I am up nursing my baby (again!) and maybe feeling lonely. Social media can help us connect, but if it is starting to make you feel like you are not enough, its ok to disconnect too.

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