Have you read about moms who feel Pinterest envy? I have and as much as I want to relate, I feel absolutely zero “Pin Pressure.”
I love Pinterest: I pin recipes I’ll never cook, clothes I’ll never buy, crafts I’ll never make, and DIY tutorials that I don’t have the time or talent to begin.
On the rare occasions I do attempt a cooking or craft project from Pinterest – it never, ever looks like the original picture and I’m okay with that. I don’t feel like a failure because I haven’t put a cake or a salad in a mason jar. I feel like I’ve done enough just by cooking a hot meal.
It’s not Pinterest that highlights my shortcomings. It’s Facebook.
“I feel like we didn’t do anything all summer with Norrin,” I told my husband the other evening. Joseph gave me the side eye and replied, “Are you kidding me? We went to Walt Disney World. Norrin had his summer vacation in June.”
That’s right. I had actually forgotten. I spent the last weeks of August scrolling through Facebook and got so caught up in the deluge of other people’s happy summer vacation pictures in my feed that I forgot all about our own happy summer vacation and all the other fun things we did.
Facebook has a way of doing that – minimizing whatever you do, because there’s always someone in your feed doing something cooler. It’s the ultimate forum to find a one-up, or several.
There have been several studies on Facebook and how the social media site impacts behavior and mood. “The findings add to a growing body of research suggesting Facebook can heighten feelings of depression, loneliness and jealousy.”
Facebook makes me feel like I’m never doing enough with my kid. It happens when I see kids at the playground or on playdates and we’re sitting at home. Or parents of children with autism who go above and beyond with picture charts. Or moms who post pictures of elaborate birthday parties. And suddenly, I feel like Norrin is missing out on something that I can’t provide.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Facebook. It makes it super easy to keep in touch with family and friends, and as a blogger, social media is difficult to avoid. But it can be hard not to mentally measure myself against my friends and family.
Pinterest is faceless – all bento boxes and chevron pillows. But Facebook and Instagram are real.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that so much of what’s shared on social media is filtered. Last Mother’s Day, I shared pictures of our afternoon on the beach. They got tons of likes and comments and I felt like a fake. My pretty Instagram pictures completely hid the reality of that day. I document a lot of our life in my blog and social media but I never want my readers to think our life with autism is picture perfect.
It’s like the old saying, “there are three sides to every story” … and two sides to every social media share.
There was no Facebook or Pinterest in the late 70s or early 80s, so none of my childhood memories were documented on social media. Not a single moment – happy, sad or otherwise – was ever put on display for the world to see.
I wonder if parenting was simpler then, when there was no pressure to see what other parents were doing, going, or creating.
Whenever I feel like Facebook is getting me down, I remind myself to look beyond everyone’s pretty pictures and status updates. No one has the ideal life – regardless of what they share on social media. And sometimes, I have to remind myself to take a break from social media.
I don’t need to see what everyone else is doing with their kids, I just need to focus on what I’m doing with mine.