I've seen many discussions on how social media can be a vice, but I was thinking today about how social media has made me a better person. More specifically, a better mom. Instead of a cute project or idea (I've got nothing today, sorry folks), I'm going to tell you why you're a better mom.
1.) You have to get them dressed.
If there's a chance we're doing something fun I don't want to commit the ultimate social media faux pas and have them in pjs, or worse, yesterday's clothes. Same goes with bathing.
2.) You can't just eat junk.
I like to make food. And I like to post about it if it tastes good (case in point, the other day's healthy-but-flipping amazing mac n cheese). But sometimes a drive thru is tempting. Social media helps keep me accountable with eating and cooking. I want to show you I'm cooking, not how I went through a drive through. Nor is it good for me to post about Starbucks a few times in a day. Ahem. 😉
3.) You have to do fun stuff.
I can't just post pictures of how we sat around and stared at walls all day. So we go to the park, we paint, make messes, and little people help me with chores. Or even go to the local gas station to watch the inflatable "wiggly buzzing bee". We still do sit around and stare at walls, but now we do it a lot less.
4.) You have a cuter house.
Crayons? Oh that's so 1921. Crayons in a vintage cookie jar? Sure. Aaaaand, posted.
5.) You keep your house clean.
I can't take pictures of our house or us in it if it's a pig pen. I can and I do sometimes to keep it real (with the #reallifestilllife hashtag). Legos on the floor can be cute, week old dishes? Not so much. *Gets up and heads to the kitchen…*
The other side of this is that you might get into a habit of moving a mess out of the way or cropping it out of a picture. Ahem. Everything in moderation, right? That can apply to this too..
6.) You get projects done.
There is something about being able to post a sneak peek that makes me want to finish a project. Instead of letting it take 5 months.
7.) You save more money.
Or save it going broke? This is debatable, haha. I don't want to post something and get asked "where?! how much!?" and have to choke out a high price. But I DO love posting and telling you how I scored. Social media helps keep spending in check. Same goes for cutting down on Target trips. "You're at Target again?!" uhhh…. yeah? you aren't? 😉
I also take pictures of stuff and post it instead of buying it. Helps me feel the thrill of the find and like I kinda took it home with me. Is that weird? A favorite garage sale from this weekend, heads cropped to protect people I don't know.
8.) You interact with people.
Constant interaction with people is awesome especially when you're a mom. I have lots of imaginary friends on the computer that I can talk to, even if I don't see real life people as often as I'd like. I love connecting and talking so this is a huge bonus. I feel like I am more closely connected with total strangers and the friends and family that I wish I could see every day. Start up more conversations, like pictures, and then comment on them. Tell people what you REALLY think and how awesome you think that _____ actually is. Build relationships.
9.) You can learn from other moms.
You can learn how to act, or how not to act. See a negative person? Strive not to act like that. See an awesomely creative mom who looks like she's having a blast and super positive? Instead of hating her, learn from her. Be her friend.
10.) You are better at documenting life.
This is the reason I wanted instagram and an iPhone. I take SO many pictures of our everyday life and of the kids when I have my camera handy at any given second. I can document it and look back on it and smile. I can get back to printing out pictures because I have an app that makes it easy to pick them up while out running errands. I'm sad to say that many of our SD cards are full of project and house pictures and not of the kids. My phone and phone folders? FULL of them.
11.) You look at life with a different eye.
When you're looking for it, you'll find the beauty in everyday life. Textures, an old door knob, the look in your kid's eye when he accomplished something, the way the sun hits your swing set in the afternoon. The little things that make you want to stop being a grump and drink life as fast as you can.
12.) You get into the pictures more.
Take pictures of yourself too. Get in there with the kids. Stop worrying about what you look like. Or that you feel gross. You'll be so happy that you did. I love that the
Camera+ app Afterlight app has a built in timer, makes it easier to get into the picture. (edited to add: Camera+ is great but takes up space, now I use Afterlight)
(for this picture, I propped my phone on the van bumper and set the timer)
for this one, I propped the phone against a pillow. Turning the camera to face you gives poorer quality, but it also gets the baby to look and smile:
13.) You're a more positive person.
I am an optimist by nature, but I've always struggled a bit with it. I get down, and when I get down I focus on being down. I can't do that when I have friends (you guys) to talk to daily, I can't be "that person". I can (and do) embrace the occasional crabbiness, and it does help to talk it out, people like to see that you are a normal person with normal struggles.
But social media helps me look at the joy in things a little bit more easily.
If you're looking to cheer up, here is a printable list of 31 ways to have a better day. I have it hanging in my kitchen, and it is a constant reminder. Every single time I have picked a few and done them, I've felt way better. And I'm not just saying that because I wrote it. It has helped every single time.
What app do you use to print photos (from #10)? I'm the worst at printing photos but I really want to get better at it!
Ann Marie Heasley
So far I've used Printicular (a Walgreens app) and PostalPix, both apps. Printicular was nice because it is FAST and you can pick them up in an hour, but the quality and price of PostalPix was AMAZING. There are several other companies out there (Stickygram and Persnickety Prints come to mind) but these are the two I've tried. Hope that helps! 🙂
I'm so glad you wrote this. I, too, get tired of the negative written about social media. You have shown beautifully how social media can be a positive influence in the life of a mom, yet I believe it can be for anyone. High Five! 😉
This is amazing! We all feel guilty, but the truth is that if we have enough conscience to feel guilty, we're probably doing a better job than we realize. Thanks for pointing it out so succinctly. 🙂
TRUE< true and a hundred times TRUE!
Thanks, Amy 🙂
sometimes it un-motivates me, but it definitely does motivate at times. 😉
Melissa @ No. 2 Pencil
Love this and love you!!!
love you right back, Melissa! 🙂 thank you so much. And now I need some pudding pops!!
Oh, Ann Marie, you are hilarious! You think I cook, clean and bathe my children because of social media? Nope. Not so much! Think about it: how many pictures of Callum have you seen in his cheetah costume....... 😉 But numbers 8-11 are accurate for me! Fun post idea.
HA! I never said that my kids are clean and dressed and dinner is awesome every night. 😉 Everything in moderation, including all of that. Thanks, I'm glad ya liked it and I'm still bummed we live so far away.
I cannot tell you how many of these thoughts I have had. Get out of my head!! Moms beat themselves up too much. I love seeing happy moms and beautiful children enjoying life. It makes me happy. I'm well aware thief life doesn't always look like that, but I love when they share their happy. It doesn't make me jealous or feel like less of a mom. If anything, it reminds me to get dressed & get out and enjoy the day.
YES! well said. On that note... 😉
number 10... HILARIOUS.
Ann Marie @ whitehouseblackshutters
I feel so bad. And yet I love that picture. He has since forgiven me. 🙂
they always do. suckers make everything better. 🙂
they really do. 😉