“Your life can only be as fulfilling as your interpretation of your experience. Your perception. No matter how great, if you don’t have a healthy relationship to those experiences, then no matter what amazing things happen, you’re not going to feel fulfilled.”  –Julianna Raye

I didn’t know how to enjoy the beauty of the photograph and associate it with entertainment. Instead, the pages I flipped through became the standard on how I should look and a reminder of the lifestyle I should, but wasn’t, living. I never thought about the camera angles, clothing techniques, airbrushing, or weeks of nutritional deprivation that created the photo in front of me. A model that was perhaps internally miserable, forcing every smile and pose. As a teenager and college student, I mindlessly traveled through the glossy pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Vanity Fair. I paused and stared at the model who defined glamour, beauty, and excitement. I felt like I knew her entire life, but the reality was I didn’t know her at all.

A spark that creates connection

When Brooklyn was born, she became a huge part of my social media. My postings began on the day she was born and from that day forward everything about her was random, funny, and oh-so-adorable. Things like her first fart, an accidental Elvis smile (probably while farting), when she discovered and stared at her fist for the first time, how she was obsessed with staring at ceiling fans, and me up at 4am and asking if anyone else was.

Facebook “friends” I barely knew would stop me at a local parade or around town and ask, “Are you Brooklyn?” where we would stop to chat with the fan that Brooklyn created. I didn’t think it was creepy nor did I ever feel the person stopping me was going to kidnap Brooklyn. What I felt and saw was pure joy and a person that was brave enough to introduce themselves and tell me how happy my posts were making them. The bonus was I had officially met my Facebook “friend” and created a connection beyond our phones. After all, that’s what social media is all about, right?

What a mom wants, what a mom needs

I’ll say it again, motherhood can be really lonely. If you’re like me, you may be trapped inside while your body heals or until you’re comfortable leaving your house. So of course we crave SOME kind of connection if we aren’t getting the live stuff. Social media is perfect for this. Social media can get a bad rap, and at times I want to burn it at the stake. However, there have been some pretty awesome things that have happened to me because of social media. Not only have I met amazing women but I’ve also learned a lot when it comes to raising my daughter. I was a part of fabulous mommy Facebook groups that were the support I needed at the time and didn’t require me to leave my front door. I also virtually kept myself connected to friends and family that I wasn’t able to physically see. Human beings crave and need connection; I don’t care what you tell yourself. Social media can help you with this connection while you adjust to this new life of yours. Until you’re ready to “go live.”

Baby steps

Admitting motherhood can be boring is half the battle. The other half of the battle is what can you do about it? The solution is so simple but also one of our biggest challenges: finding others to connect with. Then you can at least find someone to talk to about how boring motherhood can be!

When you’re physically and emotionally healing after having a baby, you may not be ready to leave the house and meet new friends. It can be kind of scary if you haven’t done it in a while too. Or maybe you’re ready to rip the king-size pad off and get those yoga pants back on to bust the hell out of your house? Everyone is different. If you’re like how I was, I just wasn’t ready to leave my house those first few months. I thought I had all the friends I needed (although I wasn’t seeing any of them) and was nervous meeting new people. Luckily there was a way for me to find the connection I was so desperate for.

Social media was the way for me to slowly connect with moms in the same season I was in. I also found moms that were in a different stage, but still weathering the motherhood storm and open to making friends. My connection began with 2am desperate pleas of help with anything from breastfeeding, to sleep, to first foods, to weaning, to amber teething necklaces, and safe products for Brooklyn. I found women that lived near me along with groups catered to the area I lived in. Eventually when I was ready to get some air and venture out into the world, these groups had ways for all of us to meet face-to-face.

I encourage you to join just one. Search for groups in your town or ask a friend if she knows of any that are worth joining. Take your time getting to know these moms and eventually you’ll have the confidence and comfort to meet them in person. Maybe even make a life-long friend.

How has social media helped you through motherhood? I’d love to hear from you so comment below!

With Honesty,

Michelle Mansfield Blog

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