Comparison is the thief of joy.

Sponsored by Bupa

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Look what I made! Two baby boys. I often look back over my photo albums, and marvel at my cleverness. I made human beings. My mind still gets blown away by the very thought.

Two of the biggest time wasters indeed. I would spend hours lying on the floor with them when they were this age, playing. Handing them objects so they can hand them back to me. Clapping along, making them laugh, they were such happy days. Oh, and there were crappy parts of those days too, that’s for sure.

Extreme poo explosions and vomits. Four outfit changes in one day and the washing that would come along with it. Praying to anyone who was willing to listen that they would both go down for their daytime naps at the same time when Jack was a newbie and Horatio was a two year old. When this was achieved, I would partake in a happy dance before laying on the couch myself.

I recall the nights, when someone would be crying as they had woken themselves up and were unable to get back to sleep. Mr. Woog and I would play a game of fake sleeping. He would pretend to be asleep and so would I, but I always managed to out fake-sleep him, as he would eventually give in and go and tend to the little one.

I was, and much to my families horror, still am baby obsessed. I will think nothing of stopping a new mum in the street to peer into her pram. I am that lady on airplanes who will hold your baby. If I am at a café, I will happily chat to your baby in an effort to make them smile, because there simply is nothing better. FACT.

It is strange how time erases the stress of actually having to look after babies. It was this period, which heralded the beginning of my journey into anxiety land, for you see, I was a dead set worrier.

This was all going on before the advent of social media. There was no Facebook, no Instagram. Woogsworld was a mere twinkle in my eye.

Which brings me to an interesting topic to ponder, which Bupa asked me to explore…

Do you think social media connects mums and helps them feel supported within a network of like minds, or does it alienate mums due to unrealistic expectations set by public sharing?

The short answer is both. The long answer…. *adjusts seat, makes a coffee, cracks knuckles*

Sometimes I wish social media was around when I had little babies at home. Working in the industry, I can clearly see the benefits of feeling connected, whether you are up all night with a sick bubba or watching them sleep. Just one click and you are not alone at this wonderful, scary time. Someone else, they may be down the street or across the world, is doing the exact same thing. Women who have trod the same path before you have kind words of advice and encouragement, telling you that you are doing a good job. And sometimes that is all you need to hear. You are doing a good job.

But with such community, there are also some circles that are unhelpful. Some that can make you feel inadequate, or that you are not good enough. Strangers who will question your every choice and plant seeds of doubt in your mind. You can flick through an Instagram account and see someone’s motherhood journey and it is all shiny and perfect and she has blow-dried hair and a two month old. And then you can look in the mirror and hardly recognize the person you are seeing.

Former US President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It is a rule that I try to live by and at a time where you can be physically and mentally exhausted being a new mum, this is a particularly helpful mantra to live by when it comes to seeking out information on social media.

So dabble in it, if it is something that you can get pleasure, assurance and positivity from. I have made some terrific friends through social media whom I cannot imagine life without. Social media is a tool. You just need to learn how to use it to your advantage and not to your detriment. If a particular forum or Facebook page leaves you with an itchy neck, click away my friends, click away.

If your anxiety is starting to take over, and your blue days turn into blue weeks, there is help. Let’s hear from Dawn.

No one needs to feel alone at this time. Please visit HERE  for more information about how you can take care of YOU.

Now give me your baby so I can sniff that head…

So what do you think? Is social media a help, or a hindrance in finding your joy in parenting?