Mom Identity is Something That Social Media Mismanages
I will be very blunt. This post will make A LOT of people angry. I teach about grace, and understanding, and encouraging, but there are moments when I have to interject and speak from my bare pumping heart…. WITHOUT A FILTER. Sometimes, the role of being a mother leads to suffering from burn out. At other times, it travels down a path where we are full blown yelling at the kids. Regardless of the discomfort, we put our best faces forward and brace on. We show the kids who’s mama! That is, until we are in public. In this post, I’m going to discuss how social media mismanages the term, “mom identity”; as well as, my opinion on what we should do about it.
Always there for them.
To our kids we are super hero, boo boo kisser, and #allTheThings. There is no length that we won’t go to, to do what needs to be done. I once recall a time I squeezed myself through a miniature cloth tunnel, all in the name of hide-and-seek. My plump belly creeped outside of my corset cut jeans, my shirt got caught in the contraption, and I was literally stuck until they found me. It was like the best spot, too; so discovery of my hiding spot took FOREVER.
Anyways, on and on we press. Always there for them.
Our flesh and blood.
Birthed. Borrowed. Or through association. The children in our lives touch our hearts.
That is why it saddens me how social media has twisted what we call our mom identity.
I mean, there are SEVERAL articles about it.
Articles quoting moms saying, “Don’t you dare call me XYZ’s mom. My name is…”
Furthermore, what about articles where the author explains she’s putting the child with a caregiver because her true identity is an entrepreneur?
“I don’t want to be labeled as just a mother.”
“After my second child, I’m still deciding if motherhood is for me.”
And so on, and so on. The articles are numerous. Like callous mosquitos bitting our necks, legs, and extremities. Now, don’t confuse my sentiment. There is nothing wrong with doing what is best for your family. Nothing wrong with caregivers, or working moms, or non-working moms at that. Moreover, there is no fault in finding all the different possibilities a family set up can make. With that said, to the contrary, there are many blogs that stand up for motherhood. My beef stands with the fact that they are dissipating from the norm.
Where is the mom identity going?
What am I getting at with all of this? Why am I posting and ranting? Simply stating, because I am tired, (yes I said TIRED)… of social media click baits, where a mom has lost her identity and the articles written to show her how to get it back. I will not bash anyone; and I don’t think moms that agree with articles of that nature are necessarily wrong, or bad people… however my thoughts are along the lines of this:
When a father has a baby, and paternity proven, we expect him to take responsibility. For the rest of his life he is known as the father. He better act like a father. Why do we have so many problems then, in society, with a mom being known as a mother. And why are there stigmas? Even further, why are there movies, like Bad Moms, where women don’t act like mothers, but instead go out of character, all in the name of letting their hair down? I’m pretty sure the content in Bad Moms, is far beyond reasonably releasing steam.
Society celebrates moms acting, or doing, over the top things in the name of liberation or empowerment. It really feels like empowering women to binge drink and take their clothes off is a step in the wrong direction.
I know what some may say.
Maybe, I’m taking it all out of context. You can disagree and call me too critical. Even more so, it’s debatable that the articles have no issues saying that women are moms; they just want those women labeled as “more”. Don’t you dare publicly call her a mom, she is more than that.
There’s that ugly word again. MORE. In my letter to moms with small children, I explained the dangers of “more.” Why are we letting social media dictate our titles, and where is the mom identity going? For a society that jumps on the hashtag trend of minimalism, when it comes to personal labels, they are hypocrately hoarders.
Even bigger questions.
I’m trying not to be a hothead about the subject; but, oh it wrecks my soul! Even worse, it has wrecked countless other souls into thinking that they need to rebel against the title of motherhood. Why can’t we love it deeply?
You see, my blogging job is a difficult one. I’m an influencer, i.e. what I say has weight. What other influencers say also has weight. Where we differ, I think, is the ratio of responsibility. Quite frankly, I’ve noticed a lot of that influential heaviness being incorrectly shifted, said solely for that blogger to maintain a paycheck. And because of that, a lot of moms are being influenced to think that they are nothing unless they claim their own identities. Makeup manufactures, target moms facing postpartum depression, and feed lies to increase lipstick sales. You have blogs preaching, using keywords such as “you are enough”, yet within the next few entries they are publishing titles on how to keep your identity using a revolutionary youth enhancing product.
Why should we have to do that? Why is motherhood not enough? To your littles, you are their world. Isn’t that better than any title or tag that a sponsored society can give?
My proposed solution…
I will work on my next articles about the study of grace shortly, I promise. Understand, I just really had to get this out of my system. And, since articles aren’t complete without a takeaway, here is my solution.
What to do if you contemplate the term “mom identity”:
- Take a minute to slow down. Decrease your thoughts until they are only flowing out one at a time. For many, that means the act of writing them down.
- Ask yourself, is there any shame, anger, or negativity?
- If the answer is yes, recall the action that brought on this feeling. For example, a person forgetting your name, yet remembering your child’s.
- Then break it down into two sections. One, why it caused you to feel a certain way; and two, is that person (or situation) deserving of making you feel that way. Should we really merit anger towards those who forget our names? Do they have that much control over our lives?
- Next, take time to process it all. Honestly, most of my emotions calm down after thought and sitting still. There is a chance, yours may, too.
- Last, study, study, and study some more. Read positive influences regarding motherhood. Meditate over Proverbs 31 in your Bibles and pray about it.
What is your situation?
Do you struggle with mom identity or have you experienced any of the same blurbs on social media? How do you handle it? Obviously, I am okay being known as a mother. If everyone fails to remember that I am also a freelance writer, pressed-flower junkie with an Etsy shop, or any of my other million hobbies, I will be perfectly fine.
Lastly, worth does not come from the outside.