This Modern Trend Has Changed Parenting — And Not In A Good Way

Most parents are aware of the dangers of social media for their children.

They are told to monitor kids’ online time, watch for cyberbullying, and teach them not to overshare personal information.

But there is one danger of social media use for parents that is often not discussed, and it has a real, truly damaging effect on mothers in particular.

From Facebook to Instagram posts, to the popular site Pinterest, many moms are beginning to express a feeling of failure at not being able to live up to other parents’ picture perfect posts.

Parents Magazine reported:

Families used to be like Las Vegas — what happened at home, stayed at home. For better or worse, previous generations of parents, and especially mothers, were expected to stay mum about their lives and sum up their daily frustrations with a smile and an “Everything is fine!” We modern-day parents, however, live in a world of updates and uploads on the minutiae of child rearing for a cast of hundreds, sometimes thousands, which includes everyone from close friends to coworkers to people we’ve met just once or twice, or not at all.

It’s a never-ending circle: whose house is the cleanest, whose kids are the cutest, whose hair is the prettiest, whose marriage is the most perfect. “But you never know what’s behind the photo, and no mom has a perfect life,” she says. “Some are just really good at telling their story in a flattering light, and it’s very easy to do on social media.”

All moms go through feelings of not being “good enough,” not doing enough or not being the picture of perfect motherhood, and the bombardment of social media compounds these feelings to unhealthy levels.

Being judged on our parenting is a terrible feeling, so the pressure to portray ourselves in a positive light on social media has added another layer of stress to our already busy lives.

One would think that we would all understand that not everything is as it seems on social media.

After all, we tell our children that — so why is it so hard for moms to realize the perfect parenting narratives posted by our friends are carefully crafted, and likely untrue?

The Spruce reported:

Many parents report that they actually compare their own parenting success and what feels like failures based on what they’re reading on social media. That even extends to our home life as we compare the most awesome husband ever because he came home early from work to cook the family a healthy meal to our own lives on the night we stopped by a fast food restaurant and ate dinner in the car.

When you look at social media, a vast majority of parents aren’t sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Social media is like a real-time scrapbook where you’re making the conscious decision to not share your struggles or bad days. We share the glossier side of life … and so does everyone else.

That “everyone else is doing better than I am” mentality creates unnecessary stress. A recent study showed quitting Facebook made people feel happier.

Even Pinterest is not immune. A new study found Pinterest may also be a source of stress. Feeling like you just can’t live up to that mom who posted 1,000 pins of preschooler crafts takes a toll on you when you’re doing well if you get to take a shower every day.

While social media has many benefits, and helps us to keep in touch with others on a daily basis, the key is to realize that much of what other moms post is a crafted picture.

We all do it, and as moms we need to realize that parenting is a struggle for everyone.

Every parent feels a sense of defeat or failure at one time or another, but the key is to keep it all in perspective.

Perfection does not exist for any of us, and as we tell our children to take social media posts with a grain of salt, we need to follow our own advice.

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