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Motherhood is Becoming Redefined by Social Media

There’s nothing easy about being a mother in a society that thrives on the images captured on social media. Instagram and Facebook provide a platform for mothers who share images of themselves as carefree individuals, with happy husbands, and healthy kids who can do no wrong.

Did I mention these mothers are also great cooks? They are so amazing that they even find time in their busy schedule of being a wife, mother of four, and career woman, to bake the perfect strudel!

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It’s enough to make any real mom go mad, or at least feel a bit inferior. With all the images society throws upon us, we must ask ourselves if these images are truly beginning to define the expectations of motherhood.

Are we allowing ourselves to internalize these images as our reality? Either way, it’s not good.

She sang while she changed her babies’ diaper…did I mention she was also on a conference call?

While scrolling through Instagram, I came upon a short video catered to the ‘perfect’ mom. The video displayed a mother changing the dirty diaper of a giggling baby, all while she juggled the ability to sing happily while on a conference call. It was enough to make any mother feel a bit insecure in some way.

The thought that a woman should be expected to rear children, cook a full meal, keep the house spotless, keep her husband happy (as if that’s possible), and succeed in her career all while looking like Kim Kardashian… are almost comical.

The only problem is that you have women out there who truly feel this is the persona they are to adapt to be considered a ‘good’ mother. The feeling of inadequacy is beginning to double because women are allowing the images that are thrown at them (more than likely from men) to define who they are as both women and mothers.

We need more women to direct the narrative

According to Monster.com, only 31% of women hold careers in marketing. That means that 69% of an industry that creates commercials, product branding, and imagery that is geared toward women is being dominated by men.

As it turns out, men are the culprit and they can be blamed for the messages that mothers receive from most of the imagery being shared through social media. It is a challenge to fathom that men have the ability to direct women on what they should think, they type of mother they should be, how they should look and behave, and what they should feel about themselves.

It seems unfair that this should be allowed by anyone who can’t understand what it means to be a mother; to carry a child inside your belly for months and—even after birth—be unable to separate from that child, to have the ability to remain mentally stable for the sake of the children, and still remain emotionally available for her spouse, and still keep her strength in tack to uphold her responsibilities on the job. She’s a superwoman by default, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be.

Being a mother, a wife, and a businesswoman—and still find time to carve out for herself—is truly a challenge. I can attest to that. I consistently try to find creative ways to be the best of them all and also be able to forgive myself when I fall short. This doesn’t mean that we need others to up the ante for us just because we seemingly do all of this effortlessly.

As women, mothers, and spouses, we must remain in control of our ability to define ourselves. The moment we allow society, or social media, to define who we are, as well as how we are, we lose the ability to stay true to ourselves.

The images on social media that supposedly reflect our lives is a beautiful thing to see…very entertaining. Thank goodness we have the ability to decipher what’s real from what’s created by someone who could never walk a mile in our shoes.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.

4 comments

  1. Great article and true.

    This began long ago when MGM and other studios made films depicting the perfect America.
    It made people believe that this really WAS America, which was not a bad thing, but now, like most everything else, it’s gotten out of hand.

  2. Isn’t this what men have been living with for hundreds / thousands of years? Go to work, cook, take care of kids, fix everything, clean, etc?

  3. Women themselves are at fault as well because they fall for this nonsense. It didn’t just begin recently. This kind of pressure has been heaped on us forever. Does anyone remember Donna Reed? Women want the high power jobs, they want to raise a family, be a wife, in short, they want it all. Women have known for decades that we really cannot have it all. Something/someone suffers. The woman suffers too, from guilt, and exhaustion. I thought we had grown smarter than this but I guess not. Wake up ladies. Don’t blame the Ad Men, blame yourselves for believing this charade. Changes to the ads will follow.

  4. This is really just another feminazi push to force Ad Agencies into giving jobs to women, the poor victimized doves! I laugh at how we are supposed to be equal to men until we desire preferential treatment. Are women being turned away from jobs in Marketing because of gender? Take it to court. These kinds of propaganda articles really don’t help. They only further add to the confusion surrounding where the women’s movement has gone. It used to be about attaining equality. Not anymore. It’s become a weapon to be used against men. Has anyone heard about how women are pushing for a method for men to “chest feed” their babies? The women claim that men feel inadequate because they can’t breast feed. I can only say that if my husband wanted to do this I would see serious problems in our marriage. Men just want to be men and we should be happy and feel blessed to be women. What a crazy, upside down world!

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