Facebook…and jealousy

Facebook can be a dangerous thing for a mom.  And not just because it can be a time-sucking vortex, but because of the appearances and judgments that you can make from it. To be fair, I do love how social media has kept me connected to the news, to the outside world, and to lots of other moms. It can share the truth that mainstream media wont. It has even been endorsed by the Pope as a means of evangelization.

But like any online world, it can warp our reality. On Facebook you can be the awesome mom who always cooks gourmet meals and gets their kids to bed on time.  And when I see posts like that I can spend my days feeling like every other mom is better than me. When I see mothers share things about how well they are eating and exercising or how much they got done today or all the fun things they did with their kids, I can easily get down on myself about feeling like I’m a bad mom for not getting dressed before 2pm or binging on chocolate-covered cranberries or letting my kids watch too much TV.

I’ve been feeling guilty lately because I feel like I’m not living up to some standard set forth by Facebook posts of what kind of a mom I should be.  I realized I felt like Peter when he was sinking in the water because he took his eyes off of Christ. Facebook posts are not a real portrayal of motherhood; it’s only showing the part we want other people to see. And Christ is not asking me to be the same mom that Sally over here is. He is asking me to follow Him and He will show me my path to holiness and perfection. I need to stop comparing myself to other moms and look to Jesus, and to Mary as my model mother.

Sure, I could post that I ate a salad for lunch and went on the elliptical and did 5 loads of laundry and Timothy rode his bike through puddles all afternoon and you might think I’m an awesome mom. But then I could post a picture of my messy basement and tell you that my son ate hot dogs three times last week and that the other night he stayed up until 11 watching TV and right now my daughter is in her crib screaming because I just can’t deal with her right now, and you might think I’m a horrible mom.  All of the above is true, but it just depends on what I decide to share. Altogether, it just means I’m a regular mom trying to do my best. Looks can be deceiving, the grass is always greener, and all that other cliché stuff.

I write this because I’m sure I’m not the only one suffering from Facebook jealousy of everyone else’s lives. And I bet if I posted a picture every day of something we did than you might be jealous of my family, too. But don’t be. We aren’t that awesome. Sure there are things we can learn from each other and I’ve gotten some great advice from other Facebook moms but the bottom line is: every mom is different. So be the mom that God is asking you to be for your children, and stop comparing yourself to everyone else!

Dear other moms, I like seeing pictures of your kids and reading the funny things they say. I am inspired by some of your activities.  But go live your life instead of thinking, “I should share this on Facebook.” You don’t have to prove to us that you’re an awesome mom.  If your kids and your spouse think so, then that’s what counts.  And besides, it’s making me jealous.

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But just in case you WERE curious, here’s what we’ve been up to:ImageImageImageImage

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3 thoughts on “Facebook…and jealousy

  1. Hey Allison,
    I agree that our presence on social media or lack thereof is no measure of your motherhood. But comparing ourselves to one another is a flaw of the human condition, The image of the ideal mother was around before social media or even the internet were even conceived. Remember icons like June Cleaver, Harriet Nelson. or Carol Brady? All of the wives were stay-at-home moms, all of the houses were immaculate, As I recall, Carol Brady had a maid named Alice, and her house was designed by her architect husband. That ideal image never existed, except in the minds of the viewers and the writers who put them there! You go right ahead and post those pictures of your dirty basement! For the caption put “A Normal American Household’ And if you post pictures of your kids with jelly-smeared faces. it may touch a hard heart somewhere! If not, your friends and family. will have one of a kind images to post and repost, Who knows? Maybe one will go viral, and the image of the world will change!

  2. Can I just say, so true! Loved this blog. I work full-time and on weekends, I am busy with the chores that never got done during the week and tidying up the mess at home. Guess what? I open Facebook and find other moms “checking in” to places, going a’camping and wonder, ‘how in the world can they manage that?’. There are other moms who cook these awesome meals (and have the time to decorate the plates AND take SLR pictures of them AND upload them on FB!). It takes me some time to understand that perhaps their kids are older, they have family to help, they stay home or whatever it may be that, in their situation, has allowed them to do what they do. And while I know I can be all out over the weekend, my week will suffer. I KNOW I prefer to spend time relaxing at home with family, but something about the FB posts irks me from time to time (what am I doing with my life?!!).

    Life is all about being thankful for what you have. The Almighty has blessed me with a home, a beautiful baby, an understanding husband and an opportunity to pursue my career. Facebook can be this two-edged sword. Letting you be in touch with people, but sometimes taking away this sense of gratitude from you.

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