A few days ago, I was talking to a mom who recently had her second baby. She was having a tough week; her daughter caught a cold at preschool, relatives had dropped by unannounced, and the house (as she put it) was a “disaster”. Frustrated, she expressed to me, “How do other parents do it all?!”
Looking at different social media platforms, it’s easy to see how a new parent could believe others are “doing it all”. The “perfect“ lives of other parents with babies on social media may cause stress to new and experienced parents, making them feel they aren’t good enough. In a busy time of new experiences and memory making, this is the last thing parents need!
Tips to cope with the pressures of social media:
- Only follow social media accounts that make you feel good about yourself
- Pay attention to which accounts you are following – are they trustworthy? What are they trying to say? Which organization, or who, published this?
- Take a minute to think about what you’re seeing – is this image realistic? Could this picture have been set up for social media?
- Try to use social media as a tool to make meeting up with friends and family in person easier
It can be helpful and comforting to remember that we often choose to show the highlight reel of our lives on social media. The exciting and “perfect” times are displayed for others to see, while the more difficult, boring, and quite honestly, normal, parts of parenting are left out.
Change often starts small – when using social media use #maternalMHmatters or #dadsMHday to help spread awareness and show support.
Do you need support? Ask yourself these questions.
Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by the following:
- Little interest or pleasure in doing things?
- Feeling down, depressed or hopeless?
(Not at all = 0; several days =1; more than half the days =2; nearly every day =3)
Score 3 or more?
Toronto Public Health Nurses are here to support you, and can be reached through e-chat or by calling (416) 338-7600.
Remember, if you have been feeling down, isolated, or just not yourself – you are not alone. There is help and you will get better.