One of the things I love about social media is the power it has to connect us with people, ideas and information. I confess that I am one of those people who also will often feel inadequate after scrolling through my feed and seeing the amazing things other people are doing (home styling, creative pursuits, parenting, fashion, holidays all look so lovely when I see someone else's!). But that's a whole other conversation!
I've found on the whole though, that Instagram, for me, has been an amazing tool to source information and ideas about parenting, in a time where we face challenges that our own parents did not.
I know so many of us suffer mama guilt; there have been days where I wonder how badly I've scarred my children because I'm doing a terrible job of juggling too much in my head while trying to manage each child's individual needs as well. And then other days, I've managed more time being present, and especially when they're all in bed, I look at them with their baby-faces and squishy cheeks, and feel so fulfilled.
I think like many of us, I also struggle with finding a balance between using and embracing technology, and unplugging to be present. I find myself reaching for my phone to check in on Insta, rather than being mindful in the moment. I find myself wondering if my children at times have engaged "too much" with their devices today, and not enough with the world around them.
At the end of the day, we're all trying to find balance, and we often look to others to normalise our chaotic life, or inspire us to be better and do better, or give us tools and ideas to embrace this fast-paced, ever-evolving journey called parenthood.
Two wonderful bloggers I've come across with great advice for us all are Dr Kristy Goodwin, who helps us as parents to ditch techno-guilt; and Happy Mama with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz, whose focus is on creating a new conversation about womanhood, and motherhood.
Some of Dr Kristy's top tips for parenting with technology include:
- "Establish time limits and usage patterns in advance" - technology will be easier to manage when the kids know what to expect from the outset.
- "Turn off the TV when you are not watching" - background TV has been shown to disrupt children's playtime & impact their language development.
- "Screen Time Follows Green Time" - getting the kids outside after time on their devices helps them to rebalance, readjust and calm them down after being overloaded with the multi-sensory experience that technology an provide
Read more about Dr Kristy's work at http://drkristygoodwin.com/
Some of Happy Mama with Amy's top tips for finding your way back to happy include:
- "Stop looking at other’s lives as a way to escape your own" - it just numbs our emotions.
- "Start by thinking of five things you know you are good at as a mama and a woman" - remember that saying - the more you think about it, the bigger it becomes.
- "End each day with three things you’re proud of" - build the belief in yourself.
Read more about navigating modern mamahood, Happy Mama with Amy at http://happymama.com.au/