My Rules for Motherhood and Social Media

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Have you heard it said that people (moms especially) don’t present an honest depiction of their lives on social media? That they put forth the life they want you to think they have instead of the life they are really living? 

YES! Heard it discussed. Read about it A LOT! 

Then, have you seen the backlash? Moms posting the worst and hardest parts of their day in an attempt to show you their #reallife? 

I started wondering where I fit into this equation. I don’t want to be a fake mom, with fake perfect children, with a fake perfect house, etc. But I’m not sure that it’s appropriate to share how many tantrums my children had in Target or how they wouldn’t share their toys with each other. 

So after sitting down and really thinking about my life and what I should/would share with the world, I came up with a few rules for myself when posting on social media. Rules that will help me be real and authentic, all while protecting my family. 

Rule 1: Protect your Children 

I’m a stay-at-home mom, and most of my day is spent with my three- and one-year-old sons. Neither of my children is perfect, and I am not a perfect mom by a long shot. Moms, you know how it is! Some moments of the day are just hard! Sometimes there are many hard moments in a single day. We all live it. We all know it. 

My goal is to never publicly share my childrens’ worst moments on social media. 

This is not in an attempt to present perfect children to the world but an attempt to do my job as a mother and protect them. One day they will grow up. One day they will be adults, going off to college, getting jobs, starting their own families, and the things you post on the internet will be there forever. I try and think about this before I post. 

I don’t hide my struggles in motherhood and pretend they don’t exist. I talk about them with my friends and family. We relate. We commiserate. We encourage. We pray. We laugh. We advise. We understand. We love. All while protecting our children and all offline. 

So if I want to share worst moments on social media, they have to be my own. 

Who doesn’t love a good Pinterest fail, or a relatable #momfail story? My point is, it’s MY Facebook so I can feel free to share MY failures. This brings me to my next rule. 

Rule 2: Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry 

Because ewww, dirty laundry stinks. J/K 

Your dirty laundry is the stuff that should be kept private. Some things just shouldn’t be shared with the world. This is totally a judgment call and we probably all have different ideas about what this means, but come up with your boundaries. Draw that line in the sand for yourself and don’t cross it. 

This could be complaining about your boss (which could potentially jeopardize your career) or complaining about YOUR HUSBAND’S boss (which could potentially jeopardize HIS career). In the heat of the moment you may be tempted to write a whole big post about your friends, your kids, your in-laws, your husband, or an unnamed person when everyone still knows exactly who you are talking about! Even if you don’t think they will see it, maybe they will — eventually! Even if they never see it… Just. Don’t. #awkward #tmi

Again, this is totally a judgment call, but remember, even if you delete something it is still on the internet. Archived somewhere. Forever! 

Rule 3: Share Your Favorite Moments of the Day 

This is obviously a personal preference that probably stems from a pet peeve. As I said earlier, motherhood is filled with moments that discourage us, but then there are the sweet and wonderful moments of the day — the moments that make all the hard ones melt away. These are the moments that make me take out my phone and take a picture. The moments I want to remember forever. The moments I choose to share with the world. 

Do the sweet moments I share mean that my children are always that way? NO! That sweet moment of my sons hugging warms my heart because it reminds me that even though I spent a lot of that day disciplining, teaching, and training them, they are learning and growing and still love each other so much. And it is a real moment — a very real moment! It wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t forced, and it encouraged my heart. You don’t have to share the hard moments to know they are happening, but the sweet moments encourage us moms to continue on in the hard task of motherhood. 

Rule 4: Don’t Brag 

When sharing your favorite moments of the day, your wording is everything. Don’t brag! Bragging makes people feel like what they see isn’t authentic. No, you can’t control what other people think about you, and there will always be the eye-rollers, but you can choose to use honest words that encourage others.

Rule 5: Build Authentic Relationships 

This isn’t exactly a rule for social media, but community in motherhood is so important. As moms and as women, we need people to talk to and to relate to; and sometimes when we don’t have this in our lives, we seek to find it in the vastness of the world wide web. As I mentioned earlier I share the good, the bad, and the ugly with the friends, family, and mentors who know me well and love my family. It’s a safe place for me to talk about my struggles in motherhood but not at the expense of my childrens’ privacy and well-being. 

Love it or hate it, if you are reading this article social media is in some way a part of your life. These rules aren’t for everyone, I know. You may disagree or you may have some more to add! But these are the rules I try to follow. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below! 

 

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Rebekah McKee is a Florida girl who married an Alabama boy and set up a home in Calera. She has been wife to Landon for 5 years and spends her days as a stay-at-home mom to her two little, adventurous boys, Graham (3) and Caleb (1). She aspires to be a super-mom and is finding that much harder than originally planned; secretly, she feels like keeping two toddler boys alive, and relatively happy, makes her one. Rebekah was once an elementary school teacher and hopes to continue teaching by homeschooling her children. Her favorite days are the simple ones spent at home with her tribe of toddlers; reading books, singing songs, playing outside, and doing simple preschool activities. She loves all holidays and desires to make them all memorable. Most importantly, she strives to share her love for God's Word and teach it to her children in all that they do together.