I turn onto my Facebook and I am immediately hit by the flood of status's written by other fellow mums, complaining about their children.
Jacob took 2 hours to go down for his nap today. I'm so tired and I didn't even get time to eat lunch :(
Both the kids are ill again :( Eugh! When are they going to get over these colds!
Liam won't let me go to the toilet alone anymore! He just screams and screams. Argh!
Well I say, enough. Enough complaining about your children all over social media. Enough complaining about your children full stop! It's ok to admit that it's hard sometimes, it's ok to let people know you need a bit of a pick me up, but it's not ok to post status after status of negativity. Because if you have healthy children, and enough money to buy food and keep a roof over your head, and your biggest problem right now is that your 1 year old wakes up more than once in the night, then things really aren't so bad, are they?
Imagine for a moment, that your Facebook status is a real life conversation to another mum. You're complaining about the lack of sleep you get. You're complaining about your children being sick. You're complaining about having to bring your children to the toilet with you. Well, guess what? You're not alone! As parents, we all go through that. We all experience those same problems. We just don't all feel the need to complain about it! Some of us have been through hell to get to this point. Suffered from difficult, traumatic births, suffered from the agony of miscarriage or the heartbreak of infertility. Sometimes we just want to shout out, stop complaining! Look at how lucky you are, how healthy and happy your children are! Why not focus on those things instead?
But I think the problem runs a little deeper. Because when your Facebook feed is filled with people constantly complaining or being negative towards their life with children, it's hard to see the person who really does need help. Who is reaching out to be noticed. Who is suffering from a mental health condition and has put a status out there as a cry for help. Such as Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks, who recently wrote a post so out of character that it sparked a group of other parenting bloggers to join together and reach out to her. She needed help and she needed to be heard, and I'm so happy to say that she was.
As a mum to two young children, I know how hard this parenting thing can be. I've been there, right in the middle of that poo-narmi of a nappy. Right in the middle of that scream-a-thon in the middle of the night. Right there on the bathroom floor, wiping sick off my jeans and wondering what I've gotten myself into. But you know what helps? Being positive. Be honest, have you ever had one of those days where everything just goes wrong? Where your children don't do anything they are told and you just want to give up and hand them to someone else. But then the second they're all tucked up asleep in bed, you miss them a little. Suddenly, all you can think about are all the good little moments that happened in the day. The moments you were too stressed and tired to see at the time. Now you feel guilty for being so snappy all day, and for not being able to let things go and your Facebook feed is full of your negativity, cemented in your virtual world for all to see.
Why not try this. For the next week, don't write any Facebook status's that are negative towards your life, or your children. Only write something, when something good happens. When your baby made you smile, or your toddler said something hilarious. Don't focus on anything that made you feel down, or stressed or negative. Divert your attention to the positives in your life instead. And see how that makes you feel.
Because yes, it's hard sometimes, but life with young children is pretty great too. Right?