Instagram. Are you on it? Who do you follow? Do you think the app helps or hurts you as a parent? How does scrolling through the often beautiful, inspiring pictures affect you?
I mainly follow the homeschool mamas and I feel a mix of emotions when I scroll through.
On the days my bum feels stuck to the chair, uninspired and unwilling to do much in leu of homeschooling activities, the Instagram mamas often help inspire me to get up and get creative, go outside or do something with my kids that day I never would have thought of. And best of all sometimes their posts inspire me to simply hang out with my kids – these are the posts I secretly crave.
On other days, these same posts bring me down. They show me what I’m not doing as a homeschooling/unschooling parent. I’m not offended nor am I brought to my feet to do something about it.
I simply feel like a failure as a mom.
I wish I could meet the digital world with a guarded heart every time. I wish I could shed the insecurities that bind themselves to my finger as it mindlessly pushes past the images of other happy moms and children.
I find this is impossible without God doing His work in me first.
But sometimes I forget He’s there. I forget He’s always there when I need Him. The other moms are trying their best to encourage us while being living in their own struggles, often thousands of miles away thinking the same thing… that the only one they too can rely on is God (or simply more sleep).
On the days I get sucked in and start leaning on the moms who make parenting look tangible and make procreation look like a trendy hobby everyone should take up (please don’t if you’re not ready) – capturing images of their dirty kids collecting eggs from the chickens on their 50-acre farm or their beautiful, or their cleanly-kept minimal home (ahhh I so desire to be there soon) – my heart starts breeding discontent and envy.
This is NO good. I obviously don’t feel these moms who have a mass following and curated images have evil intentions. In fact, they’re often quoting the Bible and spilling the beans of their own human weaknesses and errors, the same infractions I make as a mom.
So maybe the thing to always remember is making sure our heart is set in the right place before exposing ourselves to everyone else’s lives. Praying God protects our souls from any feelings of any feelings of mediocrity, because if we rely on him and not our feed, our souls will be renewed.
Because sometimes I see the moms I follow are seeking the same grace for patience, ability to understand and conviction in the direction they’re homeschooling their babes.
So do you Instagram? Do we need to step away and pray and find peace with Him amid ourselves and our families first so we can protect our hearts and minds before jumping in?
I long for my eternal life sometimes on those days where my mind wanders to my phone to find peace – a place it will never exist. And I hope we all find ourselves opening our eyes, ears and hearts more and more to our children and husbands and leaving the phone alone.
Yes our mama community may be on there, and it’s fun to turn there – but only after we’ve turned to the One who will be available to us for eternity – Whose batteries never run out.