Writing about social media is nothing new; without it, we couldn’t share anything.
It has a significant impact on our well-being and our relationships but how does it impact parents?
Social media can be helpful. You may truly benefit from a special tribe of people who see life the way you do. You may be in a particular situation managing a condition or illness, or be without close family, and in many cases your online tribe can help you make the right decisions for you family.
Central to my coping with being a parent with fairly difficult circumstances has been finding like-minded people who can help me understand daily parenting challenges and work out the best way to manage them.
I’ve been focused on letting go of unrealistic expectations, and social media helps me do this, but not all the time.
We all have different personalities but some of us have a chronic issue of comparing ourselves to others. I’ve always struggled with this, and I’ve been working hard to free myself from the worry that comes with it.
Social media, magazines and even our friends and family can present a perspective of parenting and life that can leave us anxious and worried. Most of my friends have babies who have slept through since just a few months of age, or have great day naps.
Finding a group of people, online or in real life, that understand how medical conditions impact sleep has been freeing, allowing me to avoid setting an unrealistic expectation around managing Ripley’s habits.
But on the other hand, being constantly surrounded by people facing difficult challenges can become a big part of your consciousness. You might find yourself seeing everything through a set of eyes that are trained to watch out for symptoms.
Like anything in life, assessing a situation regularly to ensure it is healthy for you and your family, is important. Like wine and cheese, learning your threshold or defining your version of moderation is key.
Finding the right balance is personal; one of my friends keeps Facebook just for her immediate family and has removed everyone else. I have many other friends who share every challenge they face. There are no rules on what is right, only what is right for your family.
Navigating social media can be tricky; I find posts about other families experiencing trauma or health issues really troubling, so I have to consciously avoid those topics.
While social media does get a bad rap regularly, I personally feel it’s very useful in connecting us with others facing similar challenges – and in this season of life (parenting) I’m feeling the benefits. Some of my closest friends today have come from one particular group associated with reflux disease. I’m so grateful for that opportunity to meet like minded women who get just how challenging reflux is and its impact on the family’s lifestyle.
Use it or delete it, but make a conscious, intentional choice.