We all do it. You scroll through your newsfeed and see "perfect" parenting. The perfect plate of food from all the food groups, (which we assume their kids eat ALL of without complaint), and a photo of the family room with zero toys on the floor in the background. There certainly are not stacks of papers all over the table, leaving the table actually clean- a rarity- how often does that really happen? How about the pictures of kids, that almost seem as though they could be copied and pasted from a magazine? Last time I checked, glamour shots don't do house calls.
We see these types of pictures and end up feeling like the bad mom. Why? Because we compare ourselves. And the problem with this is that it ends up affecting our parenting. Some of us even try to change because we feel we aren't living up to the right vision. Tell me one person that reflects on their childhood and says "I just loved how perfect everything was." I doubt the few evening dinners of cheese sandwiches will scar our children for life.
In this age of Facebook, we as parents find ourselves seeing SO much more of everyone's parenting than ever before. We find ourselves seeing so much of other peoples’ daily lives in general. Sometimes too much. Don't get me wrong, there are benefits. We can discover new parenting tricks and be inspired by new ideas. I think everyone has room for improvement. So, it's not entirely bad.
Think about how you viewed your parenting before it became normal to share your day to day life. Before you saw another parent hand make all 30 valentine cards for school. If we felt bad, it was because we felt we could be increasing our efforts for the benefit of our children. Now we feel bad because another parent did a superior job and we compare our parenting approach. I for one always try to be better. A better mom, a better daughter, a better sibling, a better friend, etc. I want to be better but in my own way, but, not to impress anyone or to target an audience.
I have found myself not scrolling as much lately, not inspecting so closely my friends’ daily lives. Not because I don't care, but because I've decided my kids are more important than my phone. I don't know what they will remember about me- hopefully not my gourmet cooking. But I know for a fact I don't want them to look back and see me staring at my phone; an object most will agree is a time siphon. I’ll go online to check for an email and I’ll end up on Pinterest with no idea how it happened!
It's pretty simple for me. I want less distractions. That will make me a better parent. I want to be in the moment and not be anywhere else.
About Melissa Peterson
Melissa Peterson is a simple mom of 3 from Minnesota. She is committed to embracing parenting on her own throughout the genuine smiles, chaos, unforgettable moments, autism parenting, uncontrollable laughter, trying to stay sane through it all, did I mention chaos?!?
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