Highlight Reel after Highlight Reel: Overcoming Social Media Mom Guilt

It’s hard being a mom.

I think it’s especially challenging in the age of social media. We have constant access to the personal lives of everyone we know, or rather, what they choose to share about their lives. It’s so easy to compare ourselves and our families to the picture-perfect images we see on social media.

On one hand, it’s great to be able to keep up with our friends and their families via social media. It always brings a smile to my face to see the people I know accomplishing something great or posting an adorable picture of their kids. I’m all for cheering others on from afar! However, as much as I try not to, sometimes I find that these posts cause me to second guess my parenting.

Do you fall into these social media comparison traps?

  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the mom who posts pictures of her kids at their ballet recital and think, “Should I put my kids in more activities? Are they going to fall behind?”
  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the family who just built a brand new house and posts pictures of each room perfectly decorated and think, “Man, my house is a total disaster and we’re struggling just to make ends meet.”
  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the fit mom who posts pictures in the gym every day with the hashtag “no excuses” and think to yourself, “I really am exhausted. I just want to go home to my kids. Am I setting an unhealthy example?”
  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the mom who posts about how thankful she is that her husband works and provides for their family so she can stay home and think, “I wish I could stay home. I’m missing out on so much.”
  • Conversely, it’s easy to compare yourself to the mom who posts about landing her dream job and think, “Why did I even get a degree? I’m sitting here watching Sesame Street all day.”
  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the mom who posts about her nine-month-old walking or her two-year-old speaking in full sentences, or (my personal favorite), her six-week- old sleeping through the night, and think, “Am I doing something wrong?”
  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the mom posting pictures of the gourmet meal she cooked and think, “We’re surviving off chicken nuggets and granola bars.”
  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the mom who posts Target haul videos with tons of brand-new clothes for herself and her kids and think, “All of my kid’s clothes are secondhand and I can’t even remember the last time I bought clothes for myself.”
  • It’s easy to compare yourself to the family who’s always going on vacation (and actually looks like they’re having fun) and think, “Do we travel enough? Am I depriving my kids of culture and experience?”

The list goes on and on…

I’m just as guilty as the next person for posting highlights and happy moments on social media. After all, we’re incredibly proud of these amazing little humans we’re raising.

But on the flip side, as hard as I try not to, I also find myself comparing our lives to social media. It’s ingrained in our brains as moms to want the best for our kids, and because of that we constantly worry if we’re doing the right things. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to post happy pictures. I just think it’s important to realize that everyone has hard days (even if they don’t post about them). It’s also important to realize that someone is likely looking at your posts and thinking the same things!

Being a mom is hard, but we’re all in this together.

We’re doing the best we can to be the best mom we can be to our kids. It looks different from family to family and that’s OK! The next time you’re scrolling and feel a pang of social media mom guilt, try to remember that your family thinks you’re incredible. And YOU ARE.

More about Social Media:

How to Set Social Media Limits on Your Phone

Confessions from a Social Media Sabbatical

Avoiding the Rabbit Hole & Setting Boundaries

 

Jennifer is a native Texan and has called Collin County home for the past 7 years. She is a proud wife and mom to Lilah (2018) and Luca (2020). They live in northeast McKinney and love the small town vibe while still being within 10 miles of Target and Trader Joe’s. She graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s in dental hygiene. When she’s not brightening smiles, she enjoys exercising, writing, a good cup of coffee, and her guilty pleasure — jamming 2000s pop punk. On the weekends you can catch her and her family spending as much time as possible outdoors. She has a passion for helping and relating to other moms through humor and loves to share her favorite local adventure spots.