Is it okay to post about our children on social media?
In an increasingly connected world, where families often demand instant communication and constant updates, is it okay not to?
We’re living in a strange transitional time, where social media is just old enough that now, the teenagers who hopped onto the internet for the first time when it was still new and novel are now grown adults, many raising children of their own, but social media is also not quite old enough for there to be much evidence to show us what happens to adults who grew up having their parents share about them online their whole childhood, from birth to graduation.
Back when MySpace was the thing, no one was thinking of posting pictures of babies, or stories of wild toddler antics.
Now, social media is no longer just for the teens. Everyone and their great-aunt is on Facebook. Parents and grandparents are sharing photos of small children regularly. The fear of being “found” doesn’t seem to be as prevalent, but we also seem to forget that kids might be embarrassed, or just want a feeling of autonomy about what others see of them.
Are the little kids having their lives publicized going to resent the adults in their lives for it when they grow up? [click here to continue reading]
There are a lot of posts out there about self care for parents, mostly recycling the same few ideas. Do a yoga class, write 3 pages of a journal every morning, have a date night every week, yada yada…
I can’t be the only one thinking that these popular suggestions are just not doable for most people.
(Weekly date nights? Who has time? While also having a consistently available babysitter, or money to hire babysitters?)
…I wanted to compile my own list of ideas–but on this list, only ideas taking very little time and money are allowed.
If you’re a parent, especially a parent of a young, needy child, or multiple children, you may have heard about self-care for parents, and thought,
“That’s not for me; I’m too busy / too tired / too broke / too something…”
If you think, “Self care is not for me!”
…Guess what? You’re right.
And I’m here to tell you why.
(Spoiler alert: It’s not for the reasons you think.)
[click here to continue reading]
Everyone knows potty training is a hard time for parents. Sometimes, I need to remind myself that it’s hard for kids, too.
Imagine being a small, hyperactive, distractible child, faced with the expectation of paying attention to a bodily function that he has been allowed to ignore for most of his life, and this new skill will continue to be a requirement for his entire, big future.
A few brief, non-rhyming verses, reflecting on the “qualifications” of a full-time mother.
For over three years, I’ve been a “stay-at-home” mother (aka “SAHM”). My family and I had our reasons for making this career choice, but obviously, this only works in a two-parent household, where we we’re blessed enough to have one parent’s income be enough for three humans to scrape by on.
But, when that one and only source of income unexpectedly goes away, what’s a SAHM and her family to do? [read more]
Women are tired of having greater parenting expectations placed on them than on their male counterparts. So, it can be understandably cathartic to complain or make jokes about the men.
It’s a regular occurrence, and still socially acceptable, to see wives laughing at their husbands’ expense, mothers demeaning the fathers of their own children, publicly, sometimes even in front of their kids.
But are we going to start talking about what a double standard this is?
“When mom tells me to stop doing something 100 times, I only get hurt 4 of those times, therefore, listening to mom is pointless 96% of the time.”
. . . and other completely logical thoughts!
My three-year-old son gets told (approximately 8249 times per day) to stop climbing onto the kitchen table, rocking and tipping over his chair, sitting backwards on his chair, standing on his chair, climbing the back of his chair, and any number of other risky things he can come up with to do during meal times.
Yesterday during breakfast, he finally fell out of his chair (after standing on the back of it, while leaning against the table to push the chair up onto its back two legs), and smacked his head on the floor.
This is not the first time he’s gotten hurt doing things like this to his chair at the kitchen table, but it happens infrequently enough that he has yet to learn his lesson.
In that moment, I fought the urge to say, “This is exactly why I keep telling you notto do that! If you would listen, you wouldn’t get hurt!” and instead, I scooped him up, kissed the boo-boo, and waited for him to finish crying.
As one would expect of a three-year-old boy, situations where he either puts himself in danger of getting hurt, or actually hurts himself by doing the things I repeatedly warn him against doing happen all the time.
And I never know whether to say “I told you so,” or to give copious amounts of love and sympathy. Neither feels right, and either leaves me with a feeling of guilt…
Every expectant mother has her own vision of what successful parenting looks like, and plans her own “rules” accordingly. Although my baby was a surprise to me, I was no different. I wanted to be a good mom, and do things a certain way, so of course what I would do and not do as a parent was a regular focus of my thoughts during pregnancy.
Three years later, I decided to talk back to some of those thoughts slightly-younger me had… [read more]
“I’ve never been on an airplane, but I’ve heard plenty of times the reference to ‘Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with their oxygen masks.’ The idea being that if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you won’t be able to help your children or anyone else, and then you all die.
This gets applied as a metaphor to a lot of other needs. For example: You can’t be the parent your child needs if you don’t take care of yourself.
But what if your oxygen mask is not the same as someone else’s? What if your oxygen mask is sleep, and your child’s oxygen mask is attention, and a certain amount of supervision needed to prevent him from hurting himself and/or tearing the entire apartment to pieces? What if everything he does prevents you from using your own oxygen mask? . . . ” [read more]
“. . . Why did I tell you all my reasons for being a SAHM? Because by now, I’m conditioned to defend that decision.
There have been a handful of close friends and family who supported my decision, but many people I know were not so supportive. Even people I barely know put their own two cents in…
At several points, I told myself I was done justifying my time to anyone. Unfortunately, there’s part of me that is always defensive, and cannot ever just let something go. As much as I prefer to pretend that I don’t, I actually do worry what others think of me, so of course, a simple “It’s none of your business” does not suffice, and I feel the need to argue, again and again, the point that I am making a meaningful contribution to my family. Also unfortunately, there’s part of me that doesn’t believe that. . . .” [read more]
Five Reasons Why We Ask You Not to Give Our Son Electronic Toys
An explanation to our friends and family, as well as a gentle reminder for upcoming holiday seasons to well-meaning loved ones of young children and their parents.
[click here to read]