We all have that friend. The one whose social media is awash with accolades aplenty from the highlight reel of their kids’ lives.
Well, I have a message for those moms.
Good for you.
Some of my favorite days on social media are the ones where I can count on an avalanche of pictures of other people’s kiddos shining bright. The first (and last) days of school, holidays, prom, report card time, sports, concerts, and awards season. From first steps, to lost teeth, to championship games, and graduations, keep it coming, Mama. I want to see it all.
Each individual post is a reminder that life is a journey meant to be celebrated. For me, social media is a place to curate what’s closest to my heart. As a mom, a big part of that is about my kids. As a friend, it’s also about yours.
Right now my kids are 13 and 15. They haven’t made their mark on the planet…yet. They’re a couple of adolescents just trying to do their best in a far tougher world than we ever faced growing up. The unforgiving social media society they exist within encourages them to gauge the entirety of their self esteem on the opinions of others, measured in likes, comments, and shares. A place where the ‘hide-behind-the-screen’ tough guys reside and passive aggression is a mainstay.
In a world such as this, the mom-brag is a game changer. It shows kids that sharing should never be about validation or gloating, but instead about pride. More importantly, it shows your kids, those little people whom you love more than you love yourself, that you are proud beyond measure. And that when it comes to their self-esteem, other people’s opinions need not apply.
IT’S NOT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE…
Achievements aren’t all about winning. They’re about reaching new heights; Grabbing a star, and hanging on for the ride. It may be for a year, a day, or even an hour. No record will stand forever. Just like some silly societal rules, they practically beg to be broken. Every time someone comes up a winner, right behind them emerges a competitor -someone who sees the achievable and makes a goal of toppling the feat. And by God, that’s fantastic.
All of life isn’t supposed to be a competition. We win some, we lose some, and more often than not, there are plenty of otherworldly factors that play a role in the outcome. Some days, the stars align and a blessing falls squarely into our lap. Other days, the odds are stacked against us. But when we cease to recognize the ‘small stuff’ elements of achievement, they get buried and eventually suffocate. As moms, we can never let that happen.
Our kiddos won’t always come out on top and that’s ok. In fact, it’s better than ok. It’s amazing. Because every loss, every third place trophy, every missed shot gifts them with something; A spark. A goal. A dream. The desire to do better next time. Instead of being disappointed or discouraged, teach them instead to get back on the horse and ask, ‘What do I need to work on next?’. Allow each setback to ignite them.
Celebrating our children’s successes and failures serves as a consistent reminder that their hard work matters. That their perfectly amazing self is so damn worthy, it hurts. And even if they aren’t at the top of the proverbial heap, they’re number one in our eyes, regardless.
What’s holding you back?
Not everyone is a sharey-sort. And that’s ok. As an introvert myself, I respect the value you place on your privacy. But if you’re holding back because you’re concerned that your kids won’t measure up, worried that others will silently gloat that their kids’ feats surmounted yours, or scared of what others will think, then something is horribly wrong.
I’m not going to tell you that everyone on your friends list is interested in your kids’ achievements. Because chances are, you’ve got people on there who simply aren’t. And that’s perfectly fine. Because, really? Who cares? Who. Freaking. Cares. What they think of you is none of your business and should have zero bearing on the way you conduct the business of your life.
Maybe its contempt, resentment, or good old fashioned jealousy. Whatever it is, it’s of no consequence to you. If you’re allowing the opinions of others to dictate how you chronicle your life story, then you’ve got some soul searching to do. Be better than that – for you, and for your family.
Share & Share Alike
Your kid hit a home run? Was chosen as student of the week? Stuck up for the underdog at recess? Good for them! Shout that shit from the rooftops. Just be sure to stick to the Golden Rules:
Elements of a healthy brag
- Ask your kids for permission, especially before sharing a stumble.
- Don’t make it about you. This is their moment, let them have it.
- Don’t compare your kids to other kids, especially their siblings.
- Stick to the highlights. The headlines sometimes have a way of getting lost in molecular details.
- Give credit where it’s due. If it’s a team win, brag on the whole team.
- Share among your private friends only. Social media is a great place, but also riddled with creeps. Be cognizant about sharing any private or identifying information online.
Listen, I don’t know if my kids (or yours) are going to make a monumental impact on the world. What I do know is this- every single day is a chance for them to make a difference in their own little corner of it. And it’s my hope that with the right kind of encouragement, they’ll garner the confidence to do so.
Bottom line is this: nothing means more in this world to your child than your opinion of them. Since before they could walk or talk, they gazed upwardly to you for a response. What you think, say, and do matters to them, and it matters so much.
So go ahead share. Brag a little. Because if you aren’t their biggest champion, then who will be?
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