I remember once early on after I had my first baby (Sophia) creeping my friend's wife's Facebook with envy. She had motherhood DOWN! Her family was gorgeous and they even went on outings with their baby... there were photos of them out at restaurants and parks while "poor me" in my down and anxious state could barely leave the house initially, handicapped by my depression and anxiety. She even looked like she took regular showers!
When the clouds of my depression started to dissipate, I finally started to reach out to other mamas so that I would have some social contact, some adult contact. I remember almost chasing a mother down at Save-on Foods as she pushed her baby around. I would have handed her my phone number on a "pick up" card if I had such a card! It would read, "Hi mama. You're cute and so is your baby. Would you like to go on a date?" I can't remember but she may have run away from me that day! Anyway back to my friend's wife. My friend arranged for us to have tea at her house. I prepared myself for hours for the visit. In my anxious mind, I would ask myself, "What do I do if Sophia cries and won't stop crying?" "What about if she poops in her cloth diaper?" "What if this and what if that".... the mind of an anxious person. I met her for tea at her lovely and tidy house. I asked her questions about motherhood, as her baby was older than mine. In the end, she confessed that she would take baby for walks in her stroller to get baby to fall asleep and, when she got home, she would leave baby in the garage to sleep in her stroller, for fear of "the transfer", the "deposit".
She was anxious too? Like me?
Maybe other mamas felt what I felt too. Anxiety about having a new baby. Maybe they, too, felt anxious about "the deposit". You know. The transfer from holding baby on your lap for minutes (ahem..cough.. or HOURS)... to the attempt at transferring baby to the crib or bassinet in hopes for SOME sleep for yourself and hubby!?
I felt better after that visit. I realized that Facebook and Instagram and other forms of social media are avenues where we present our best selves to the world. For the most part, we share our happy and successful moments. I mean who wants to see a black photo of baby and I sitting in a dark room as I held her for hours afraid of "the deposit"? That wouldn't make for a very interesting picture would it?
But it would have been truth.
So before you view with green envy another mama's Facebook, know that, behind the smiles, is reality. And it's probably a bit of the same reality that you feel. We're all in this together.