Not a Social Media Mom

Some days I have a hard enough time just blogging. Finding time to jump onto Facebook-Twitter-Instagram-Pinterest-etc just doesn’t happen. Just thinking about it makes me tired.

I didn’t grow up on social media. I grew up in a backyard and a home that had no Internet until I was in 6th-7th grade and zero cable until I was in high school. And I don’t find I have in any way, shape, or form been deprived. I knew MySpace existed, but had no interest. Then there was something called LiveJournal some college friends were on. I ended up on Facebook by accident as a college freshman and got mild amusement from it.

As a happy introvert, I declined face-to-face socialization when it wasn’t rude and found the increasing number of social media sites to be more annoying than useful. I fully embrace my introvertedness, see no reason to be more social than I have to be, and see no point to comparing myself to anyone or have anyone compare themselves to me.

Needless to say, I am not and have never been a social media mom.

When my oldest was born 4 years ago, I was only on Facebook, and just to keep up with grad school classmates and the odd relative. Which actually remains true 4 years later. I didn’t have a tablet or smartphone (still use a flip phone to this day!). My computer saw more dust than use. I was busy with my little baby and just soaking him up. See, I thought I would be a working mom by the time my second baby came, so really just focused on my little boy for 18 months. Even checking my email took a backseat. It was easy to forget about it and not check it for a week or two at a time.

Today, I blog with two toddlers, 1 and 4, running around. I still have a private Facebook account, but this blog has a Facebook page and accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Honestly, I’m hardly ever on social media, even as The Lily Cafe. Whoops, haven’t actually posted on any of them, outside of the automatic posts WordPress sends, since July.

I’ve read so many posts about the positive and negative effects of social media on parenting. So many parents talk about comparing themselves to what their feeds tell them and so many others talk about how we shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone. Other bloggers write about getting off of social media because it can become negative with shaming and mean comments and the constant comparison game that people naturally just can’t stop playing.

It makes me glad I’m not a social media mom, and never have been.

It turns out to have been a saving grace when I had my first. If I was relying on social media to tell me how I should mom, I probably would have been a basket case despite the fact I have a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and years of experience with children with and without autism. To say I was trained to work with children is a bit of an understatement.

But if I had been active on social media, I probably would have been questioning myself and everything I did instead of following my own intuition. I would not have been turning to the parenting expert that I did rely on for the first year: my mom, who raised 3 of us in a time when there was no social media and pretty much no Internet. I would have been playing the comparison game, too. I would have driven my husband crazy. I wouldn’t have learned to trust myself and my child. I would never have learned to trust my instincts and what my child was trying to tell me. I would have been convinced I was doing everything wrong and tried pushing things that would have ended in disaster. Seeing numerous 2 year olds be successfully potty trained would have put me in knots. My son was almost 3.5 before he was potty trained (when he and I were both ready, and it was easily the best decision I ever made).

I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. I was taught to look at people as individuals. Being a social media mom would have ruined that. So, I’m glad I wasn’t a social media mom. I’m still glad I’m still not a social media mom. Even though this blog has its own social media accounts, I’m not on them much.

I have 4 solid years of parenting behind me. I’ve been a mom of two for 16 months. My kids are happy and healthy. I trust myself and I focus on what they need rather than on what other parents’ kids are doing at the same ages. Today, I can look through the social media feeds and think “oh, good for them!” I don’t have any desire to be like them or do things like them even though they have thousands of followers and millions of likes and are overall successful social media parents/influencers.

I’m happiest not being a social media mom. It’s shaped me into the mom I am today. I don’t care what other people think of my kids. I only care that they are happy and healthy and loving life. I care that they are receiving what they need to flourish in the world.

I don’t mean to say being a social media parent is a bad thing. I’m sure it works for many people and is actually very helpful. I just happen to not enjoy it. I have a solid background in psychology and child development. I know what I’m doing and trust myself. If you’re a social media parent, I hope you’re rocking it. If you’re not a social media parent like me, I hope you’re rocking that, too. There’s no one right way to parent or one right place to look for help and answers.

I’m not a social media mom and never will be. What about you? Has it helped you, or does it just get you down?

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12 thoughts on “Not a Social Media Mom

  1. I relate to this so much! Social media is a gift as well as a stressor for me. It helps to drive some traffic to my blog, but I also stress over what to post, if I’m posting enough, if it’s insta-worthy, etc. So no, I’m not a social media mom because it’s not worth it for me to stress myself out. I’d rather put my energy into my blog 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! It’s so stressful and then there are even more stats to watch and freak out over. There are so many guides to doing social media right, it’s mind boggling. Like you, I’d rather put my energy into blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I could ever be a social media mom because my real life is always so …real. I’d be tearing my hair out just trying to get decent pictures of my little darlings without also capturing their laundry and Nerf guns in the background. 😀
    That, and they will be raised so much better if I don’t expose them to that; if I raise them in a similar way to the childhood you’ve described.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Personally I feel connected through my Blog and Instagram with the people around the world, but not even once I rely on them to make me happy or sad. Truth is if you do not know where to stop, social media and internet will drain the last drop of your my time so beautifully.
    The best part is the human touch and connect which obviously the social media lacks but compensates in the form of knowledge if you have control over your urges and senses.
    It’s so warming to know that you have dedicated every ounce of your time to your family which is the right ingredient for binding it into a close knit unit. And I do not even have an iota of doubt that those chipmunks are growing up into wonderful human beings 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! Social media is a great way to keep in touch and connect, but there must also be restraint. Many people seem to lack the strength you have to simply enjoy and not let it affect their happiness. I’m always saddened when I read posts about the comparison game and how so many moms feel like failures because their feeds don’t look as pretty. I was raised by a mom who focused on my siblings and me and simply ignored what everyone else did, so I hope to give the same to my kids. I want them to have the freedom to grow into whoever they want to be and not be at the mercy of social media. Thank you so much for your kind words. I can only hope I’m doing what’s right for my kids and pray they’ll choose a happy life that’s right for them.

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  4. Completely agree with what your other readers are saying. When I started blogging here again I also thought that it’s good to use Instagram to get traffic, and hey, I guess it worked…but I tried for like a month to live like a “mommy blogger” and I just can’t….there’s too much pressure, plus I don’t want to share hundreds of photos of my baby like so many people do. I find it extremely annoying myself and unfair on babies because they have no saying in this. Plus I don’t need the whole world to know what I’m up to every single day 😁. And like someone else said, it’s MY time, I’ve got zillion better things to do with my free time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! The pressure is crushing and the need for privacy, but still be able to share can be crippling. I applaud those who can be happy doing it, but, as you said, there are definitely better ways for us to spend our time. The life of a mom blogger…I just don’t know how they do it…

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  5. I definitely am not a social media mom. My two kids started me blogging since I don’t do Facebook. I rather spend one on one time with them then texting back and forth. I always tell my kids on their birthdays to please be patient with me this is the first time I have had to raise a (age they are at that time) old. They always laugh at that. You are right though, the only thing that matters in the end is that they are healthy and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That one on one time is something we can never get back. I don’t see how choosing social media over spending time with the kids is healthy for them. Of course, I understand parents need and do take breaks, but I’d also rather crack open a book than open a social media feed. Your kids always sound so delightful and I love the ways you describe your relationships with them.

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