Don’t Let Social Media Label Your Parenting

Scrolling down my Facebook page and Instagram feed, my heart sinks a little when I take note of all of the ‘perfect, happy’ families. You read photo captions like ‘Only two nights without a dummy, and my son hasn’t even noticed it is gone’ or ‘Such a proud Mommy – my baby girl can say 20 words, and four-word sentences at only 18 months old’. The list goes on, with parents of kids that are all ages. Sometimes photographs don’t even need to have captions to make you feel like you aren’t doing a good enough job as a parent.

Don't Let Social Media Label Your Parenting

Any mother or father will tell you that there are days when they feel like they are a lousy parent. Each day we face a new challenge with our children. One day a parenting technique works like a charm, and the next day it has gone out the window. One day you have your house chores under control, and the next day they spiral out of control!

A photograph is a moment. Most people tend to publicise the happy moments yet hide the challenging moments. Not many parents, if any, will upload a picture onto Facebook of their house when it looks like three bombs have exploded there – one after another. It is rare to find people who will tell social media what life is truly like as a parent. The evenings we spend crying out of frustration because our baby has woken up for the fifth time in two hours. The days where it seems that we get nothing done, and drown in the dirty laundry. The frustrating hours we spend trying to help our kids with their homework, when we don’t even understand it. Those moments never seem to quite make it online because we don’t want to be given the ‘not coping’ label.

From my own personal experience, while a photo can express a million words – it can also hide many. A split second smile can be captured after hours of endless crying, tantrums and a disastrous day.

As parents, we need to understand that one photo does not determine ones entire life. It defines a moment in their life. I need to remind myself often that parenting is difficult for everyone. There will be days that we have that picture perfect moment, and yet, in that day, there are many other parents that just aren’t coping. Our lives are far from perfect. Just because you don’t have that photo moment now, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent! Social media is heartless when you’re having a bad day.

The fact that you care enough to try your best as a parent is proof enough that you are, in fact, a great parent. Don’t wait to get approval from Facebook or Instagram. And keep your happy moments close to your heart, to remind you that tomorrow is a new day – a new day to capture the moments that will remind you that you’re doing just fine!

By Lisa Harrison

What do you do to remind yourself that you’re a great parent? Share your suggestion (for other moms and dads) in the comment box below!

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