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I don’t mean to brag, but I put a lot of thought into what I post on social media. And when I say, “I don’t mean to brag,” I mean I try really hard not to sound like my life, or children, are perfect. And by “a lot of thought,” I really mean that I overthink social media posts more than I overthink anything else. Being a parent is hard. Social media is HARD. I have recently started to feel that finding a balance between sharing successes and bragging on social media is nearly impossible.

Take the holidays, for example.

I have stopped posting pictures of my children’s Easter baskets, Valentine’s hauls, and our Christmas tree reveals. Why? Because when we were barely making ends meet, I was so happy we were able to make holidays happen at all. I was so proud of what we were able to give our kids during those years. And I posted my pictures… until I scrolled and couldn’t help but compare my little tree with the (comparatively) extravagant piles of gifts on my friends’ pages.

I am now in a place where I can happily look at everyone’s spoiling of their children with grace. But because of my previous experience, I don’t post my own pictures anymore. I realized I don’t need validation — or really anything — from sharing those types of pictures. So I guess that’s one place I am feeling secure.

But when does a proud mama share become a “brag post”?

Recently, my daughter received an award at school celebrating her MCAS scores. Her scores were among the highest across the state. I was hesitant to post those pictures on social media because I tend to be “anti-standardized test,” so it felt hypocritical to share her accomplishment. I also didn’t want to post a super boastful message about my “perfect” child, who happens to be a pretty great kid all around.

I feared others would think I was being braggy.

So I went to the “why.” WHY did I feel I had to share this celebration on social media? Because I was so proud of her, and I wanted everyone to know how proud I was. I wanted HER to be proud of herself. I wanted to scream from the rooftops how awesome my child is and how deserving she is of every celebration. I wanted her to KNOW she has the world at her fingertips and can accomplish anything and everything.

If you didn’t do a small eye roll at that rant, you are better than me — because those are the posts that just come off “braggy” to me.

I can’t figure out why I care. Or why I put so much (over) thought into this nonsense.  Sometimes there is a really good reason why I don’t put things on social media, and I am really OK and secure with that decision. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even know what I want and wonder how much anyone else actually cares. Is it that I fear my criticism of other posts will boomerang back to me? That’s probably it!

I think I will go and post that celebration today. And maybe if I am less judgmental of “braggy” posts, I will feel more confident posting my own. So join me in commenting positively — or in scrolling right on past the brag!

Michelle Mady
Michelle is a lifelong New Englander who lives in Stoneham and works in Charlestown. She is a preschool teacher and Assistant Director at a small private preschool and holds a master’s degree in early childhood education, which has come in useful at both work and home. She has a supportive stay-at-home-dad for a husband and is a mom of five children. She has three boys born in 2005, 2007 and 2008, plus two girls born in 2012 and 2015. Michelle teaches infant and toddler classes for early education teachers and is an adjunct professor for The School Of Mom. She also runs her own business, The Parenting Survival Expert, offering parenting tips and support. In her spare time, she can be found reading a murder mystery novel, sipping far too much coffee, and dreaming of a home in the mountains.