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!