Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world… but it can also be one of the most stressful. A recent study indicated that 96% of mothers that participated indicated that they believe parenting is more stressful today than was for their own mothers. There are many possible contributing factors to this perceived increase in stress. More mothers are managing several roles (for instance working outside the home and managing the home), social media allows us to compare ourselves to others day and night, and likewise, social media allows others to look into our lives and make judgments about our parenting choices with a click of a button. We know that stress can impact our functioning if not managed effectively and that constant comparisons with others may lead to negative self talk or negative beliefs about self. What we may not be as aware of, is the impact this may have on the role of parenting that we are trying so hard to perfect, on our overall wellbeing and on our children.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS SO PREVELANT IN DAY TO DAY LIFE FOR MOST OF US.. WHAT ROLE DOES SOCIAL MEDIA PLAY IN INCREASING STRESS FOR MOMS?
Social media opens the door to constant comparisons with others. Most of us, don’t share every aspect of our life on social media.
Using social media to compare yourself and your job as a parent to others becomes troublesome. We are looking through a filtered, edited, photoshopped lens.
Social media can create negative emotion, negative self talk and negative beliefs about self. “
HOW ARE THESE STRESSORS IMPACTING MOMS TODAY?
Low mood, irritability, feelings of worthlessness and other depressive symptoms may appear.
Moms may experience anxiety symptoms—such as excessive worry, sleep disturbance, muscle tension, panic.
HOW ARE OUR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY OUR STRESS AND OUR FEELING LESS THAN PERFECT?
Kids aren’t born with an instinct for emotional self-regulation. They have to develop it, and they take their cues from us.
If we are telling our children that it is okay if they are not the best but we show them that if we are not perfect we impose harsh judgments on our self, we are sending mixed messages.
SO, WHAT CAN MOMS DO—AND REALLY ANYONE WHO IS STRUGGLING WITH BALANCING MULTIPLE ROLES AND PLACING PRESSURE ON THEMSELVES TO BE PERFECT?
It may be important to unplug from social media when distress levels increase.
Self care is also important. Doing something intentional to take care of ourselves just as we would take care of others can help us recharge and de-stress.
It’s also important to challenge distorted thinking and negative self talk. Using thought stopping techniques, reframing and looking for evidence to create a more realistic thought can all be helpful.