I was sitting in bed, pregnant with twins, when I decided to look up c-section recovery tips on Pinterest. At the end of every article I read, the last tip was “don’t feel bad about yourself for having a c-section.” I remembering thinking to myself, why would I? After just a little digging, I found post after post on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram telling women that a c-section wasn’t a real birth. This was something I didn’t even know I could be judged for as a mom until I looked on social media.
After adopting our first son and being spoiled by the fact that literally anyone could feed him, (although trust me, MULTIPLE people suggested I take hormones and try to breastfeed him) I had already decided I wouldn’t breastfeed our twins. Reading the c-section posts on top of all the anti-formula posts was a lot for me to handle, especially while I was laying in bed while our 2-year-old son watched Kung Fu Panda for the 3rd time that day.
I was in survival mode parenting with him, reading posts on the negative effects of screen time, trying to remind myself that, with twins, a natural birth was unlikely (not to mention that I JUST DIDN’T EVEN WANT ONE) and I realized: sometimes social media can really tear down a mom.
Fast forward a few months. The twins were home, and we were getting into the swing of having 3 kids, but I was having severe anxiety attacks. It wasn’t until I looked on social media that I read about postpartum anxiety. I started following all the accounts I could find, and these women were talking about their experiences with the exact same feelings I was having. I reached out to them and learned how common it is. I went to my doctor and she shared her own experience with me, and I even found other women in my own friend group who were silently struggling with the same emotions.
If it weren’t for social media, I would have never sought out professional help.
But there have been times where I could not stop playing the comparison game in my head, couldn’t handle judgmental comments, and I have had to put down my phone and step away, sometimes even deleting social media apps on my phone and blocking websites from my computer.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by social media, I encourage you to take a step back, to know what choices and decisions are right for you, to form your own opinions, and surround yourself with people who support you outside of technology if possible.
On the other hand, if you find yourself empowered by different social media accounts, and think other moms might too, I encourage you to share your story, share the accounts you find, and use social media positively to build up and encourage other moms. Let’s help transform social media into a purely positive place!