Happy New Year! I pray that everyone’s new year is off to an incredible start. I took off over the holidays to enjoy extra time with my family. During that break, it allowed me time to reflect on the way I use social media, mainly Instagram and how it’s more of a blessing in my life, rather than something that is distracting or negative.
As a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to feel isolated and overwhelmed with your 24-7 job, that’s why I enjoy the community of Instagram.
From the beginning, back in genesis 2 God said that “it’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God designed people for relationships and to be in community together. Over the past years, I’ve developed many new healthy friendships through Instagram with other moms and women of faith. Even though I have never met some and we live in different states, we exchange Christmas cards and I truly enjoy watching their children grow up in their videos and posts. It’s also helped me to maintain friendships with family and friends who I don’t get the privilege of seeing each week. I’m so grateful for the little platform it has given me to share my heart on love light Mom life. While all these things are great, I wanted to get into how the lie of comparison and the enemy can sneak into our minds, on the daily, to kill, steal and destroy our joy.
It’s true that instagram is a highlight reel! Everyone puts their best of the best and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t spend much time on Facebook anymore. I love seeing my friends highlights and sharing mines. In these past weeks I’ve seen thousands of strangers come together in agreement and prayer for a little boy and his family who have been battling with a life threatening sickness from E. coli. What strength and love that sweet family must feel in such tough times. Community is beautiful.
No matter who you are or where you are in life, you can’t say that there has never been a time where comparison hasn’t popped in your mind. It seems to storm in on the days where you’re the most vulnerable. Whether it be someone’s selfies, house, relationship status, fitness goals, or kids, that ugly lie of comparison will catch you off guard.
The comparison that can steal my joy is when it comes to motherhood. My oldest son Zion was a late talker. Up until he was three years old he could only say three words. We had him in speech therapy, and even though I had peace and knew he was fine, and that he just chose to communicate differently, I was plagued with the thoughts of his not speaking was because I was not being a good enough mother. I would see progress in his speech and then go on Instagram to see a one year old sing the “happy birthday” song to their parent, when yet my three year old would only say a handful of words. I hurt and feared for him, yet I felt like I was failing at raising him. It would eat at me everyday until I finally surrendered it to God. He gave me peace and I knew deep down that his speech delay had nothing to do with the way I was mothering him. A week later it was like a flood of words and sentences came to him and it was like he woke up saying Mom I’m ready to use my words. This matured me in my faith and opened my eyes up to how I would allow the enemy to take over my thoughts.
There’s still days where I will see a 1 year old child potty trained before my 2 year old, or another 2 year old already talking in full sentences. As these negative thoughts of me not doing enough as a mom come flooding in, I literally put my phone down, and I address the emotions I’m feeling. Instead of letting these thoughts make me feel inadequate, I use them to inspire me. “Wow, maybe instead of going out adventuring all week, I’ll make a commitment to stay home this week to focus on potty training my child.” Or “Instead of letting my boys watch their favorite “Cars”movie on repeat, we can sit down and practice the alphabet and sounding out words.” It takes me 2 minutes to reset and it doesn’t damper my feelings or self worth.