I did an interview last week with the charity PANDAS (Pre & Postnatal Depression Advice & Support), they asked me a question based around social media affecting me or other mums with postnatal depression or anxiety. This really got me thinking. I didn’t really find that social media had any negative effect on my anxiety, however I can really see why they asked the question.
When you take a photograph of your children with the intention of putting it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you don’t put the blurry or the miserable faced ones on. You put the happy, smiley, ‘we’re the perfect family’ type of photo. Why wouldn’t you?! Nobody wants to see miserable children, screaming babies or mums tearing their hair out.
Or maybe we do.
As a parent it can sometimes be hard not to look at other peoples photos, and think why aren’t we like that? It can be easy to think why is that mum perfectly made up when I only had time to stick a bit of mascara on…badly. When you look at the photo of someone’s baby sleeping angelically or their toddler playing happily and then look at your own baby crying or your toddler kicking and screaming on the floor, its hard not feel jealous.
Lets look at the reality though.
The picture of the perfectly made up mum – she probably only managed to do it at 3pm in the afternoon after the baby finally gave in to sleep. The sleeping baby – more than likely slept for 5 minutes. Oh, and the toddler – probably kicked off not long after the photo was taken. I’m not saying that it’s wrong for us to put these photos up, I do it all the time but they must only ever be taken with a pinch of salt. They are a snapshot of someones day. I mean, we all love being parents but lets be honest, sometimes its hard and sometimes that one nice photo to share with the world and people telling us how perfect our child is gets us through the day.
One of my favourite blogs is brummymummyof2 and she runs a linky called Wicked Wednesday, it is designed for people to share their less than perfect photos. I have to admit, I feel a lot better when I see that its not just my day that has been less than perfect.
So back to the question that I was asked. Yes, I think social media can have a negative effect on mums but on the other hand I love seeing all the cute pictures that fill up my feeds. You can’t beat a kids smile to brighten up your day. Lets just remember not to compare ourselves with others and just take them for what they are; a beautiful snap shot of someone’s day.
Have a lovely day.