The 1 Move That Made Me a Better Mom, Instantly
I love Facebook. Like a lot. So much so that I found myself spending all sorts of time looking at it, searching it, and bringing it into just about every conversation. Something had to give. Except that I did not want to be one of those folks who says, "I'm done!" and then ridicules everyone else still stuck on "Fakebook." Because the truth is that I do think that social media is a wonderful thing. Heck, I kind of love Facebook. I just needed to ease up the amount of time I was spending on it.
So I decided to keep my account but delete the app from my phone. I can still check in on my computer as often as I want, but do I? Rarely. And the effect of this simple decision went far beyond improving my mental state; it also improved my maternal state. It may sound crazy, but I know I'm a better mom now that I don't have 24/7 access to my Facebook newsfeed. Here's why.
I am able to practice what I preach.
I do not like it when my kiddos have their little noses stuffed into our iPhones or iPads — so what kind of example was I sending when my own face was glued to my phone?
I take pictures for myself, not for social media.
Admit it, sometimes you take a picture of your kiddos specifically for the purpose of instantly putting it on social media. I know I sure did! Without the app and the ease of posting via my phone, I still take pictures, but they're for me now, as it's far more annoying (albeit still supersimple) to have to log in to the site and put a picture up online.
I'm able to really relax.
Facebook was just too stimulating for my mind, especially because I would typically check it during my downtime. Doing this seemed to rob me of my me time, because I was filling it with everyone else. Now, during my rare moments of downtime I am able to actually do things that are truly relaxing.
I'm less concerned about how I measure up as a mom.
I hate to admit it, because I don't consider myself to be insecure, but Facebook provided a platform for me to compare myself to other moms. And how their kids were dressed. And how many vacations they took. And how much more in love they seemed to be with their husbands. I have found that even though I still check my feed from time to time on my computer, it's not nearly as mentally consuming.
I respect my family's privacy more.
There are certain aspects of my family's life that my children (and husband) may not want me to share. And privacy boundaries are blurred when you have an app at your fingertips where you can share where you are, who you are with, and exactly what you look like doing it. There is going to be a time when my kiddos are not down with my tendency to overshare, and I'm thinking it's a good idea to break myself of the habit while they are young.
I'm more patient.
Long gone are the days of getting annoyed that my kids are interrupting me while I check Facebook on my phone. Definitely not my proudest mom moment, for sure. Now, if I want to check it on my computer, I'll do it at a time when they are not really affected or, let's be honest, awake.
I pay more attention to my kids.
See number six.
I'm better organized.
I thought that Facebook kept me more organized because I follow my kiddos' schools and activities, but what it did instead was provide me a way to be less organized (as all I had to do was open up the app and any important info was there). Now, I actually have to plan and keep track — and for me, it's a much better system.
I'm better at keeping in touch.
Does this make me a better mom? Heck ya! It's just another example that I can provide to my kiddos that it's important to reach out to those who are important to us. In the digital age, simply reading something online is far different than having a real conversation. And I don't know about you, but I'm just a better mommy after having a good conversation with one of my close girlfriends. Plain and simple.
I'm less self-focused.
Instead of checking in on how many "likes" and comments my status is getting, I am able to keep a tally of how my day is going based on unsolicited "I love yous" or "thank yous" directly from my kiddos.