Wednesday, August 28, 2013

pressures

I probably have many posts to write, but no motivation to write any of them right now.

Posts about pregnancy, posts about my master's program this summer, posts about the kids, posts about what the heck we're going to be doing in this crazy transition year coming up. :)

It will happen, maybe soon. Or maybe not. But I do want to tell you sometime.

Right now what I feel motivated to write about is facebook. And pinterest. And all these social networking sites that either thrill you or drive you up a wall, depending on your personality.

I am a member of facebook and of pinterest and of linkedin. I do not use twitter. Obviously, I blog. And I still use that antiquating form of communication called email.

Let's talk facebook and pinterest specifically. I think these sites can be wonderful as far as inspiration and connecting with others, even networking....but for goodness sake, there are a lot of negatives as well. Like, because we are fallible and prone to comparison and envy and spite and pettiness and selfishness - these sites can quickly become vehicles for low self-esteem and stress-inducers.

I read an article (on facebook, actually - yet another good reason for it) that outlines what we are doing wrong as parents. Humorous, but also somewhat accurate. I don't agree with every snide remark made, but I understand the sentiment. These sites have simply created a virtual "keeping up with the Joneses"...making me (and maybe you?) and a lot of people I know feel guilty for throwing a low-key birthday party or letting their kids watch TV for any length of time, or allowing gluten in the house.

I have fallen on both sides of this...occasionally throwing a themed party, trying to eliminate gluten from our diets entirely, forbidding refined sugar from passing my children's lips, doing limited screen time. None of these are bad things.

But after a while, I realized I was letting myself becoming guilted about it. The weird thing is, I didn't know by who. I just felt like I had to apologize to anyone I was around if they heard we watched a TV show or ate something remotely unhealthy.

That's no way to live in grace.

Currently, my children are on their third nick jr. show of the day and eating chocolate processed cereal and pretzels. It's barely 11 am. And I don't really care...I am almost 32 weeks pregnant and for some reason it is really uncomfortable to be standing or sitting at the moment, so I need to lay down. Do you know how hard it is to keep children entertained while you need to lie down? For some reason I am seen as a pillow or a jungle gym the moment I go horizontal. :)



And another thing...sometimes I think it's good to not know what everyone is doing all the time...maybe it gives you more to catch up on when you actually see them in person in real life. I know I'm old fashioned in that way, but that is something I really miss and feel pressure about...the fact that because everyone is on facebook and it's so easy to find out what people who I haven't even talked to for 10 years are doing today means that I should know and care and be all caught up so I know what to ask about when I happen to run into them at some event or whatnot...can't we all just find it wonderful to see each other and get caught up on our lives with no previous knowledge of who this person is right now other than that we had a great friendship a while back?

Maybe that's just me. Maybe that doesn't even make sense. Maybe it means I'm lazy. I will own that if it's true.

Anyway...just my two cents. Not really sure what I'm trying to say, other than let's give each other some grace and not put so much pressure on ourselves to be the "cool" mom or so "put together" or always amusing people with our witty status updates. It's not about keeping up appearances, it's about life.

1 comment:

Ab said...

For the record, I LOVED your birthday party. I'm pretty sure I'm going to follow your example for all future birthday parties in our family. Cake and friends are all that is needed to make a child happy... when I think about it, the rest of the "theme" stuff is more about the adults and "keeping up with the Joneses" as you say.

You probably know about those Tightwad Gazette books that I read. The author of those books is (I think) the most hard-core, disciplined person in the world about money-saving activities, healthy food, no TV for kids etc. But even she admitted at one point that when she was pregnant with twins (babies number five and six for their family) and in the first year of the twins' life, a lot of their usual discipline fell by the wayside. There are just certain seasons of life where you need to allow yourself a little more grace. And it seems to me that you are in one of those seasons. :)

Sorry for the super long comment. But I just had to say. :)