The Dangers of Social Media

Run at your own pace

I read a post the other day that said: Stop comparing your life to someone else’s controlled content on IG. The author hit a home run with that meme.

I always come across profiles of superwomen that seem to have it all together while I am falling apart. I’ve seen women that, regardless of their profession, can give your favorite model a run for her money. I don’t have a clue about makeup, but apparently that’s a prerequisite to post a bomb photo. Here I was thinking my twist outs and dimples are sufficient. Tuh.

I can’t keep up with the DIY queens and creative gurus. I can’t sew and I don’t have time for Pinterest. I have a few staple meals that my family loves and when we are at the table I’m like ohhhhhh yeahhhhhhh. But I can easily start to feel like my cooking is sub par. I’m not a gourmet chef and that’s okay.

Don’t get me started about the hashtag “iwokeuplikedis” underneath a glamour shot. Meanwhile, I wake up frantic because chances are I’m running late since I hit the snooze button one too many times. I probably have dried up drool on my cheek and my hair is a mess. No Egyptian cotton or satin sheets here.

Winning looks different for every person and happiness has a different meaning for each family. I’m lucky if I can get to work on time, shave my legs and clean my house. Winning to me is cooking dinner at a decent time. Remembering to switch over the load from the washer to dryer, AND folding laundry the same day it was washed. Remembering my to-do list for the day.

Baewatch

What may look like the picture perfect relationship can actually be two people holding on by a thread. Last year, DJ Envy and his wife participated in a twelve days of Christmas scavenger hunt of extravagant gifts and love notes. They take a lot of vacations with their beautiful family. While the masses are all googly-eyed and deeming their relationship as #goals, DJ Envy has always been very open about cheating on his wife.

Whitney Houston sang about good love. Well, Papoose and Remy Ma are the face of hood love. But what about the fact that he waited for her while she served a several year prison sentence?

While looking forward to a Barack and Michelle Obama companionship, you have to be willing to go through some tough times together. Everything is not always what it seems on the outside. Social media has a way of highlighting the joyous moments, and leaving a false expectation that marriage is perfect. No one likes to talk about the work and constant willingness it takes to honor your vows. True love is a never-ending journey of forgiveness and compromise.

I believe that our generation misses out on a lot of memorable moments, because we are too busy documenting everything on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Heck, even the next President can’t control his urge to Tweet lol.

It’s almost like people have become subconsciously competitive with each other to see who can best portray living the life. Even when someone is supposedly being transparent and caption a photo about how their life is not so perfect, the photo usually is.

One can easily get discouraged from comparing themselves-especially when it’s a false lifestyle they are envious of. Even I had to stop worrying about what everyone else was doing. I used to get depressed around graduation time, because I’ve been in school forever. I would feel that my goals were taking too long while I sat on the sidelines and cheered my friends on. It’s hard to celebrate moments in sheer happiness when comparison, the thief of joy, creeps in and reminds you: But what about me?

I guess I have said all this to say, try inspiring someone instead of bragging. Call or text that negative person on your friend’s list who may actually be crying out for help. Humble yourself and be who you “post” to be.

Stay classy my friends. Happy scrolling.

 

OG Mamas Need Love Too: What to expect while you are raising children

I’ve been searching the web for years to find a motherhood blog that I can relate to. I’ve only come across blogs for expecting mothers or blogs written by newbie moms with babies and toddlers.

I might find something for school aged children, but nothing for tweens and teens. I always feel left out. What about the OG mamas? Ya know, the mommies that have been around the block and back. The Veteran moms that can use a little support from time to time. The moms that are not privileged enough to stay at home or work from home.  The moms that were once trying to figure out what to expect while they were expecting and are open to advice long after childbirth.

Parenting plans, just like birthplans, often fail. You may have an idea for discipline, but every child (much like every pregnancy) is different. You simply cannot have a one-sized-fits-all approach to parenting.

One day, I had an epiphany that maybe I need to create what I am looking for. I have no idea what this will look like in the long run, but I sure as heck will try to make it work.

I know that I can’t be the only one that experiences some of the joys realities of parenting. It’s all fun and games while you’re staging monthly photoshoots to capture your baby’s first twelve months of life. And then they grow up and stuff just ain’t that cute anymore. No one tells you how to deal with a five year old that lies. Or that raising a teenager can be both fun and challenging. Add in a blended family from different cultures and that’s a whole lot of mixed emotions.

Sure, my children are my biggest blessings but it does get hard at times. I would love to hear the stories behind the highlight reel as one of my favorite bloggers often says. It takes a village to raise a child, but I spent a lot of time feeling like I let mine down.

Two halves of my heart

After years of trial and error, I am ready to help other mothers cope with different parenting styles and techniques. What are some of the things you wish you knew before you became a mom?  Sound off in the comments.

Holiday Toy Shopping: Representation Matters

I took a Sociology class last year that investigated the correlation between dolls and racism. The study revealed a preference for the white doll among all children, internalized racism and self-hatred in African-American children, likely the result of segregation.

elfTaking a trip down the toy aisle of any major retail store, you will find a distinct difference between the availability of white dolls in comparison to brown dolls. Privilege. I went shopping for an Elf on the Shelf, a popular Christmas tradition for young children to be on their best behavior, in San Marcos, CA. I searched three different stores in my neighborhood for a brown Elf before being told that they are only manufactured in white. Privilege.

I couldn’t believe that I was experiencing white privilege while toy shopping. The sales associate tried to brush me off until I demanded he check the inventory for stores within a 15 mile radius.  I also suggested that he not offer information that he was unsure of. I had already checked online and knew for a fact that the brown option was available.

princess

Last year, I was shopping online to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals. As a mother of a little girl, I was super excited to find that Target had a Disney Princess 7-pack of dolls on sale. At first glance, I noticed that Princess Tiana was not in the group. Bummer. Then, I realized that ALL of the ethnic princess were noticeably absent from the 7 pack of dolls-major deal breaker. Privilege. Why does toy shopping for minorities mean not inclusive?

I searched Target’s website today and only found a $99 Shimmering Dreams collection of Disney Princesses. However, Walmart still has the original gift set. I did complain last year and posted my dissatisfaction to all of my social media accounts, encouraging my friends to do the same. I’m not sure if it helped or if Target simply discontinued the product. Either way, I look forward to a day where all of our children can feel important and represented.

Target is not the problem, it’s Disney that I had an issue with. It’s bad enough that it took so long for them to make a movie about a Black princess (I’m not even going to get into the horrible story line). I found it strange that the set included Elsa, although Frozen was released four years after The Princess & the Frog. Privilege.

Disney has recently announced their newest Princess, Moana, a Pacific Islander. I’m waiting to see if she will make the cut for the classic gift sets this year. My guess is that it’s highly unlikely.

Barbie is guilty of this as well. Their white dolls are usually adorned with all sorts of accessories and come in different careers/characters. For black dolls, selections are already extremely limited and depending on the area you shop in its worse. Upscale shopping areas will have more white dolls available.

White privilege is being able to go shopping for your children and not worry about finding suitable toys that represent your family whether it’s skin color or hair type. White privilege is being able to shop at upscale stores without possibly limiting your purchase options. White privilege is always having toys that portray your race as the norm..

This topic may seem insignificant to the average American without children. However, it represents a larger problem within society. Representation matters for all children. I know that it’s not completely up to toy manufacturers for children to be comfortable in their own skin, but it can certainly help. Body image is another thing that must be tackled to do away with perfection, but that’s an entirely different argument for another day.

I want my children to choose the toys that closely resembles their own skin. Thankfully, my son loved hot wheels and was never into action figures because that would have been an issue for me, too. I want my daughter to feel that black Barbie and baby dolls are just as beautiful as the white dolls. I wish I can go back and undo the time I had to encourage my four-year old daughter to embrace her curly black hair and not feel ostracized because all of her classmates and their dolls have straight blonde hair. Heck, I just want my daughter’s brown skin to finally be normalized.

Signed,

A Fed Up Mama

 

*Sound off in the comments section and let me know about your experiences with toy shopping this season. Thank you, for reading. <3