We keep a tight circle (which was the case even before the COVID-19 crisis), not many in our larger community know our 16 month old son on a personal level. It’s the culmination of the ‘perfect storm’ of events thanks to the timing of my PPD/A recovery and the arrival of COVID-19 that this tight circle of ours still rings true today. If you’ve followed any of my other pieces on the blog, you’ve heard me talk openly about my postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD/A) struggles and how isolating that time period was. If you’re there now, I see you and encourage you to get the help you need. Around 9 months postpartum, the fog cleared and the sun radiated on my face as I emerged from those struggles just in time for Mardi Gras. Cue the ‘rona hitting the streets with just enough popularity to mock on the parade route but right before the entire world shut down.
Collectively, most of us, retreated to our homes and socially kept up via Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter to ‘keep in touch.’ I am no hater to my fellow family and friends who make their kids the star of their social media show. In fact, I love it and think it is so sweet that others want to share about their kids in that way. It’s endearing how and what each friend and family decides which pictures to post and the captions that come along in true kids-say-the-darndest-thing fashion. We have just decided to go about it a little differently. If you follow us, it’s only me on social media in our family, then you are all too aware of what the back of my son’s head looks like. It is very round, a large Broussard head as they say, and full of hair (he is about to get his 3rd haircut). He has a cute head that looks just like his daddy’s and granddaddy’s.
We decided long before our son was born that we wouldn’t show his face on social media. I wasn’t comfortable with our social media world, some “friends” we know very well and other mere acquaintances, knowing all about our son without ever really interacting with him.
Since my husband doesn’t have social media, he is ‘known’ to the outside world as I portray him; especially loving as he is to me “in real life” daily. He has been stopped in supermarkets and asked by total strangers if he’s “Blair’s husband?” I died laughing the first time this happened; it just played into his middle child narrative all too well. It also made me stop and think about things, like the fact that I knew who it was that asked him if he was my husband but he didn’t know her. I didn’t want that happening to our son, so we just decided to keep him off of social media.
Sometimes I doubt our decision when I see other parents post so proudly about their children’s achievements, but that’s just comparison trying to steal my joy. The point I had to clarify in my own mind was that my son needs to feel and know that I am proud of him. It means nothing if everyone else knows but he doesn’t. I don’t need social media to prove my love to him or anyone else. Whatever your stance on it, I hope you say “I love you and am proud of you’ out loud and in real life to your children, family and friends.