SPONSORED: Motherboard is Family Friendly HQ's brand new podcast created by mothers for mothers, in partnernship with Lidl. No subject is off limits and everything from wobblers and toddlers to those difficult teenage years will be discussed. In this opinion piece Motherboard panellist Tracey Quinn discusses motherhood and the trials and tribulations of social media.
Brought to you by Lidl
Tracey Quinn's motherhood journey has been full of ups and downs.
The family and lifestyle blogger has always been open about the trials and tribulations she has encountered as a mother. She shared her journey from pregnancy to motherhood with us in the first episode of our Motherboard podcast.
Tracey is very active on social media and shares details of her family life on multiple social channels and her blog. Below she opens up about motherhood in the public eye and dealing with the pro's & con's of social media.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and that much is true for certain.
Being a mother is an honour. Having the opportunity to introduce a perfect human to this world is incredible. Shaping their morals and gently guiding them in a positive direction is the task at hand, but with great privilege comes great responsibility.
In modern-day parenting the village we’ve found ourselves in contains filters, like buttons and the opportunity to share, share and share some more. Social media is our village, and that really is OK.
As mothers, we have found ourselves in the village of social media.
We didn’t seek it out or long for its presence – we simply found ourselves here. Some of us resist it a little more than others. In fact, some of us downright refuse to participate in that world.
Some of us reject it entirely and treat it as the enemy. Some may label it as a kind of pseudo-life based solely on showing-off and exercising our narcissism.They would rather live in the moment instead of capturing it to share at a later date.
And then there are those like me. The ones who are so immersed in this online world that sometimes the lines between reality and social media are indeed blurred. It can mess with your head and make you question when you are truly present. But it offers so much too.
You see – social media is the media we choose to absorb. It’s a media we’ve curated and actively partake in by choice. As mothers, social media is a bright and sparkly reminder that we are not alone.
Admittedly social media has a few flaws.
Of course it does. It can make us feel insecure and paint a deceiving picture that all is well in everyone’s world but ours. The reality is we just don’t enjoy capturing or celebrating photos of poo, vomit or tantrums.
We beam with pride as we share a video of those beautiful first steps. We high-five our partners as we catch a great shot of our child enjoying their first tastes of solid food. We know that we will look back on this moment and remember it so well. It’s there for us to enjoy.
It's an exhibition of our parenting lives. A show-and-tell if you will. We are happy, we are proud, and we are sharing.
Social media has helped me climb out of some pretty grim places if I’m honest.
Reading about other mums who had babies that shared my child’s resistance to sleep reassured me. In fact, it compelled me to talk about it more.
I found myself gravitating to social media accounts that offered a relatable depiction of motherhood. The ones that were giving me recipe ideas and in the next breath reassuring me that it was okay that my son had no teeth at age one.
I’ve searched every parenting hashtag you could imagine; #chickenpox #babyledweaning #vaccinations #nightterrors.
I can honestly say that no book or leaflet in those desperate moments could have offered the advice and inclusiveness that the accounts I landed on did. It was available when I needed it, and I could access it from my bed, from the toilet or from the car park where tears streamed down my face.
Social media made me feel like I was part of a tribe. Sometimes it uplifted me and other times it made me feel numb. But I was feeling it. All of it. And I was not alone.
In 2018 us mothers have found ourselves in the village of social media.
It’s a place we like to live, but naturally, we do not like every single person who lives there. We have our favourite shops, people and times of the day we love to do things. It’s not the perfect village, but it’s the one that keeps on giving.
We can share as little as we want and take as much as we please. We’ll have moments where we compare ourselves to others and feel bad. We’ll have others where we feel guilty for not appreciating what we have when others have so little.
But here is the thing, we will have days like that in “real life” too.
Social media offers us a glimpse at a world that is so similar to the one we are experiencing and yet the opportunity to escape it at the very same time. Like it or lump it – this is the village we have found ourselves in and it ain’t so bad.
You give your opinion on motherhood and social media.
Tracey visited the lovely mums of Santry's Baby Sensory class and chatted all things motherhood and social media. They talked insecurity, sharing photos of your baby online and seeking advice on social media.
Check out how Tracey got on below.
You can listen to Tracey discuss social media and all things motherhood on the Motherboard podcast brought to you by Lidl.