A 34 year old mum with grey hair, wearing sunglasses and smiling. On her back she caries her son in a green sling. They are outside at Drayton Manor and are enjoying their day. She is happy.
Life

The Crushing Pressure of Social Media

Yesterday I broke. I screamed at my kids like I have never done before and I never want to behave like that again. After I calmed down we talked about about my behaviour and I apologised for the way I spoke and acted. It was not acceptable. The pressure had been building for a while and I erupted. We live next door to a nursery and obviously this happened at pick up time so every parent in the local area probably thinks I am having a breakdown. It felt like I was. I may of thrown a shoe and I took myself off and cried upstairs feeling overwhelmed, under valued and a complete failure. So I am making changes to stop the pressure that I myself am building and creating.

On the grand scheme of things it was just a mum shouting and the boys appeared mostly unaffected at my outburst. We hugged and kissed with giggles after and played games but I am ashamed. It was an evening of nagging, potty training incidents, the boys winding each other up and me applying pressure on myself to do other tasks that meant I lost it. It felt like I failed at everything and I was trying my best to stay a float but everything was pulling me further under. Stupid shit that is really not important like tidying the dining room for one child to come in and pull all puzzles out the boxes again just because. Constantly one step forward and 3 steps back. I was tipped over the edge by one of them trying to rip my tomato plants out of the ground. Looking back he probably wanted attention but he can also just do things because he is a dick sometimes. All I was trying to do was to do at this point was cook tea and I couldn’t manage it. So I flipped.

Generally my life is happy and I feel I am far too lucky to live my life. I recently started a new job which I love and I feel like I fit right in and has been the best decision in reducing stress from other parts of my life. This was my news that I planned on revealing recently but instead I felt smothered and overwhelmed with all the other parts of my life that I haven’t managed to share much of anything lately.

I realised as I lay awake until 4am last night even after popping my anxiety medications that I am constantly feeling like a failure with a crushing weight of expectations of all the things I should be doing. It’s ridiculous as I am not one to care what other people think or to compete with others but I do look to others for inspiration and motivation. I constantly seek to improve myself, my home and my knowledge on all things and love doing that for myself and the family. My goal isn’t to impress others but myself and I realised that social media was having a huge impact on my mental health. I was comparing myself and my achievements against the whole world. It wasn’t even just one aspect of life like motherhood, its my home, parenting, cleaning, exercise, diet and the list is endless.

I don’t resent those people, I admired everyone’s achievements but it is making me devalue my own accomplishments. Instead of just hearing what my friends are doing I am listening to the whole world display their best bits and I can’t compete with that. I love social media and I think it is amazing at connecting people, sharing knowledge, displaying creativity and as a way to unwind.

It is also only a small snapshot of someones life and not the full picture, that everything posted isn’t always factual and that one photo or video is actually hours of work. I know that they could also be screaming at their kids, popping medication and crying on the stairs, but when I look at everyone else’s stories its only highlighting all the things I feel I am failing at. It is so subtle that I am not even aware it is happening.

Knowing the reality of social media hasn’t stop me from comparing myself or subliminally taking other peoples success and devaluing mine. So I have decide to hold off on social media. I haven’t deleted them but have removed them from easy accessible locations on my phone. My plan is to avoid them and mindless screen time that adds no value to my life. It doesn’t mean I am dropping off the grid or banning it from my life but that I will not use it as a crutch for my free time or as my social interactions. I might even have more time to write blog posts and share all the amazing things i feel like I have achieved or I might just drink gin and hot tub.

Look after yourselves x x x

Author

jenny@jenjensdesigns.co.uk

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