There was a time in my life when I couldn’t even open Facebook. I was trapped in the middle of grad school (And I do use the word trapped quite literally. In general I believe in the power of choice, but I actually did try to quit a few times and it never worked out for me…ha! What kind of person doesn’t “succeed” at quitting?).
Anyways – I was trapped, had been married for a few years, and really wanted a baby. Every time I opened Facebook it felt like a smack in the face.
Baby pictures everywhere – family photos everywhere – complaining mothers everywhere. The baby pictures and the family photos would make me smile. Twinges of sadness at the joy I wasn’t experiencing, yes – the longing to have my arms, which felt so empty, filled, but I could be happy for the friends I cared about – most of the time (let’s be honest). However, the complaining mothers everywhere made me ANGRY. Being an empathetic person, I could understand that their days were difficult, some more than others, but for the LIFE of me, I couldn’t figure out why they were complaining. I would have given anything to have to change 12 poopy diapers in 1 hour (or whatever it was at the time). I would have given anything to feel frumpy, to have my body change – those changes meant pregnancy. To wake up early day in and day out, to have my home look like a disaster, all the things parents get annoyed by – I wanted them all because they meant motherhood.
This longing for a baby came in waves…sometimes I was fine, sometimes I wasn’t, and out of that struggle, 2 things have stuck with me –
- I never want to be a complaining mother. I want to remember how complaining hurts. Children are always a gift.
- Trapped in the ugliness of grad school (looking back I can almost comfortably call it character development) I was using a baby as a reason to escape. A baby meant that I could just quit and stay home, right? Out of one side of my mouth I was calling a baby a gift, but out of the other side I was calling motherhood an answer. I was very convicted that I was manipulating a life that hadn’t even been created yet. My children HAVE changed my life, but I should have let them be born first before I started projecting how they would help me or change me or bless me. (Way too much ME).
I tell my boys every day (actually I sing it, but that’s a different story), “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:24). My 26-year-old self needs to know that my 31-year-old self is not complaining, being authentic – yes, but authentically not complaining (harder to do). I don’t always succeed, but I pray for my heart. I pray for my heart to be grateful – filled with thanksgiving.
Our youngest decided that 5:26 am was rise and shine time…all bright eyed and bushy tailed. I managed to snap a blurry picture because I remembered how my 26-year-old self felt. Even when I really don’t want to get out of bed, I am forever grateful for the reasons I do.
3 thoughts on “When social media hurts…”
I’m there right now at 26 Stephanie!!! I’ve had to unfollow so many people on Facebook. Beautiful post thank you!
I have similar feelings as a 29yo. It’s actually been really hard to make business goals lately as I hope a family is around the corner. It’s hard to be content, but memories are a good tool for contentment.
When being a nanny was the only “motherly” I had known, I vowed not to wish away my children’s youth. The “can’t wait for them to talk, walk, eat, sleep through the night..” moments are gone in the blink of an eye.
Beautiful post, Steph. Thank you for sharing it with us.