HOW TO EMBRACE THE SEASON OF MOTHERHOOD IN A SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
I decided to start my own small business in March & I love being a momprenuer who works from home. We sell graphic tees! With this exciting journey comes great responsibility & I sometimes feel slowed down by motherhood.
Not to mention I homeschool my littles!
What’s helped me change my perspective on the littles slowing me down is when I realize I’m tending to souls & they are my life’s mission!
However, I often fall into the trap of comparison, especially when it comes to screen scrolling! I ask questions like, ‘why does it look like they’re not being slowed down by their littles?’. Why does it looks like the success bug has bit them & not me?
A couple of ways this question could be answered. First, success can look different on everyone. I need to make sure I’m not measuring my success according to someone else’s standards. Second, they may have been working 15 years on something that I’ve only been working 6 months on. I need to be realistic in where I’m at in all areas of my life & make sure that I’m not measuring my success on the world’s standards but on the standards that God has placed before me in scripture.
Yes, my littles slow me down & that’s okay because it’s only a season!
With all of that being said, I will compare my lives to other people on social media. I think it’s my fleshly desire to want what others have. The problem with that is that I’m comparing my life to another’s moment in time & although it may seem like reality, social media is far from reality. Each picture is only but a moment in time & although it may look like others are achieving perfection, there really is no such thing.
When I look inside the Bible I realize I have so much responsibility & purpose here at home & time is flying by! Therefore, I cannot get stuck in the trap of comparison. I’ve heard it said, “We can’t be distracted by comparison, if we’re captivated with purpose.”.
I didn’t realize how important it was for me to stop looking for my identity in motherhood (or the lack thereof) & search for it between the lines of scripture. Nothing or no one will ever give me an identity outside of my identity in Christ. That’s both reassuring & somewhat eye opening, but it gives me direction in all areas of my life, especially when it comes to making sure my time on social media is well spent.
I still fall victim to comparison & faulty expectations but I’m working towards a more purposeful way of living. I’m sharing some things I’ve done that have helped me embrace this beautiful, precious & fragile season of motherhood, outside of what I see on social media.
I also should point out that I don’t think social media is all bad. I believe we were made to create, encourage & love! Social media can be a trap for comparison but it can also be used to encourage community & cultivate creativity! Vulnerability is the fundamental component in creating community & that starts with me.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
I write down my goals & our values
The first thing that helps me differentiate what I see on social media & what is real in my own life, is to determine what my goals are. This help alleviate the pressure of living someone else’s life because I realize my goals are different than theirs. For example, witnessing a picture perfect family with 5 children when I only have three & wanting more because it looks ideal. This could be witnessing a mom with a clean kitchen when I have dishes piled high. Or this could be seeing a mama with a successful graphic t-shirt company when I haven’t sold a tee in weeks!
It’s important to witness success so we know what’s possible & work towards that. However, it’s also important to determine our own goals & ask God for direction so we can be content on the journey set before us.
I’m learning to see others as pillars of God’s faithfulness but need to remember that His will for their lives can look so much different than my own.
I think goals are important & prevalent in my motherhood journey. Goals give me something to look forward to on the days I can’t see past all of the piles of laundry, full trash cans & dinner escapades. If I’m honest, 2018 was the first time I’ve ever written down AND CROSSED OFF goals.
Writing down my goals gave me a framework for how to schedule my days & I asked God, in faith, to help me see them through. I had to say no to a lot of things, in order to say yes to my goals, but I’m working towards having a voice in my no’s & it’s been life changing!
I enjoy writing down goals in 3 areas of my life; family, faith & business. Next, I break these goals up into sub-categories. For example, family & homeschool, family & vacation, family & finances, etc.
It was also important that my husband & I decide what held value in our parenting, become united in these decisions & prioritize our time & efforts accordingly. When we’re unsure what to prioritize, we try to keep the end in mind & this usually helps us determine our best efforts.
This super cool goal planner by Christy Wright is on my Amazon wishlist & you can shop it here.
I read books
When I say read I actually mean listen on audible, ha! As the old saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’ & I truly believe knowledge can be found through the pages of someone else’s experiences, beliefs, vulnerability & perspectives. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my thinking & that there really is a buffet of knowledge to gobble up. Reading gives me ideas & strategies to incorporate into my life & helps me to shift my perspective.
I’m sharing some of my favorites here:
I pray for direction
When I talk to God & ask Him what His will is for my life, things seem so simple & the direction seems clear. I truly believe God wants for us, what we want for ourselves, even if it may be a beautifully curated feed!
I love this scripture // Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
I usually find hope & peace in prayer, scripture or a word of encouragement from a friend or my husband.
You may ask anything for me in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14
I express gratitude
Expressing gratitude helps me to cultivate abundance from the things I already have. This practice has been so helpful in times when I felt I had lost so much. There was a time I had lost so much; my dad, my career & school, just within a couple of months of each other.
What I had gained was far more than what I felt I had lost. Which was an opportunity to kiss my daddy goodbye, found out I had a growing babe in my belly, more time with my two precious toddlers & a college degree! I created abundance by changing my perspective.
I surround myself with like-minded people
If you’re having a hard time finding you ‘tribe’, pray! When we moved to a new neighborhood & I had 3 small kids, I felt really lonely. Seeing people host playdates on social media & feeling so out of touch with reality gave me feelings of loneliness. I prayed for friends & not only did God bring me friends, he brought me food! They all blessed me with a meal train to welcome my new babe. What a blessing it was for me in that season of loneliness!
I speak positivity & truth
Say it with me, “I am not valued by my likes on Instagram.”. I have to repeat this to myself many times throughout the day. It’s a valid concern, I feel that people won’t see value in what I’m doing if no one ‘likes’ what I’m putting out. This may be true, but if I’m dwelling on this then it will discourage me to keep moving forward.
So I need to focus on positive self-talk that will keep me moving forward.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things arejust, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
This scripture helps me to seek out positive & encouraging pages on Instagram. It tells me that there is good out there in the world & not only do I need to search for it, I need to be the good & create the good. There is good on social media & it starts with us.
I remember going into my class one cold & rainy night & I hadn’t seen my daughter, who was 1.5 at the time for almost an entire 24 hours. I was also pregnant with my son. I cried to my professor & explained that I didn’t know how I was going to balance all of the things I had signed up for. His response was this, “You had your kids to enjoy them right?”. That’s all I needed to hear that would set the stage for the remainder of my days in motherhood. I had my kids to enjoy them & therefore I will not be “distracted by comparison, but captivated with purpose!”. If & when I struggle with this, I will pray & ask God to reveal His purpose in my life & the lives of my children!
With grace & coffee,
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