Two years ago, I was having an extremely hard time in my mothering role. I was in a mothering funk. I had lost my mothering mojo. Basically, I hated my job.
Which is actually really hard to say, because my “job” is raising my kids. Of course I didn’t hate my actual kids (hardly even needs clarifying I know), but the role of mothering just wasn’t doing it for me at that particular time.
Having two active preschool boys was hard work. I was pregnant with our number three baby, and feeling extremely overwhelmed on a daily basis at the thought of having three under five.
I actually went to counselling and spent a bit of time talking with a counsellor about how hard I was finding everything. Whilst I wasn’t “diagnosed” with depression, I personally knew I needed a bit of external help to get through the hard time I was having.
Counselling was great; I loved having that time to myself and having a trained professional, someone who was removed from all of my everyday situations, to vent all my concerns to. The counsellor really validated my mothering role and gave me permission to feel like I was, and helped me to see the more positive aspects of my role.
But one of the MOST helpful things that I ever did to reframe my mothering mindset was to curate my social media feed.
I was noticing that a lot of the pages I followed, a lot of the “mommy bloggers”, a lot of the memes that were shared, had a common theme. They were often about how sh!t kids are, how much parenting sucks, how terrible kids are. You know the ones I mean, right?! The “Mommy needs wine” ones, the pics of kids crying cos they can’t “get their own way”, etc etc (I can’t even think of many more bc I don’t see them in my media feed anymore!).
Seeing an onslaught of these negative mothering messages was NOT helpful for my mindset at the time. Basically, they just fed negatively into my thought cycle. Imagine going to work all day (if you have a paid job outside of the house) and having your colleagues moan to you all day about how much they hate their jobs. Or having posters up around the workplace about how sh!tty it is to work there, how your role in the workplace is devalued, how all of your clients are just really useless all of the time. It wouldn’t exactly make for a very positive workplace, would it?
Basically that’s what it was like for me to be seeing those negative mothering messages in my social media feed.
Now imagine working in a place where your role is valued, where you feel supported, where you feel like your work is making a difference (I have actually worked for an place like this before, and it was amazing). This makes for a much more positive workspace and makes it more of a joy to come to work.
This positive workplace vibe is what it’s now like for me to come on social media.
Because I intentionally unfollowed all of those pages that shared negative mothering messages, and instead, filled my feed with awesome positive parenting messages instead.
And since doing so, I have felt so much more empowered in my mothering again.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel there’s still a place for acknowledging how absolutely difficult this mothering gig is. And it is SO important to do so. We can’t go around pretending it’s all sunshine and rainbows, because it’s NOT. I have a good honest heart to heart with certain select friends of mine on a regular basis, sharing difficulties and joys together. And if someone asks me how I’m going and I’m having a hard day, I will quite honestly tell them so!
So, who are you ‘Influenced’ by?
In this world of social media, we cannot deny that we are ‘influenced to’ on a daily basis. It’s a legitimate way for marketers to get their products out there, and from everything I’ve read, it does seem to work. But when it comes to the mothering role, I have no room in my life (or on social media) for people who devalue it and their children in the process.
By all means, you keep following those pages if you find that cathartic and helpful. But for me, when it comes to parenting, I’m only interested in being influenced by those who are respectful and genuine, who value and who shine a light on the role of mothering. Because that’s what builds me up, that’s what helps me become the better mother than I was yesterday, and arguably MOST importantly, that’s what results in my children having healthier happier childhoods.
Here are some of the pages I love to follow, if you’re interested in curating your social media into a positive parenting one too (and this doesn’t even count my wonderful personal friends who are shining a light on the very important role of mothering):
Janet Lansbury (Facebook page) also check out Janet’s website for a plethora or respectful parenting articles.
Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids (Facebook page)
Steve Biddulph Raising Boys respectfully (Facebook page).
Love Always Anjuli (Instagram page)
M is for Motherhood (link to blog. Abby also has a FB page and IG)
Naturally Curious Children (Facebook page). Also has an Instagram. Beautiful respectful page valuing children’s natural learning process.
Dance With Me in the Heart by Penny Brownlee. Amazing AMAZING Facebook page which is so respectful towards children and also the mothering role.
I’m sure there are many more, and I will keep adding to this list as I remember to. Please let me know who your positive parenting role models are!