During a recent conversation with my husband, he asked “why is it on social media you see nothing but the perfect life? It makes people feel a) awful and b) like they are doing something wrong.”
It got me thinking. I sat and thought about it. I had a scroll through social media. Thought some more and contemplated about whether to step into this territory.
I could see what he was trying to say.
You see all the posts on social media telling you about the fantastic holidays parents are having. Husband, wife and their two point four kids is great but in reality most parents are sat thinking they will be lucky if I can afford a weekend at Haven this year.
Family holidays are extortionate. We priced up going to Butlins and it would cost us just under £900 for a five day holiday. Yes it includes food and accommodation but wow £900. Holiday parks really don’t do much to help families these days. It puts pressure on parents. It does look like a fantastic holiday though.
Your child comes home from school saying Billy just went to Butlins mum it was amazing can we go? Or Jess went to Disneyland can we go? We priced it up and it would cost over £1,500 for us to go for three days.
I’m all for saving and treating ourselves to a nice holiday, but wow. It’s no wonder parents are under so much pressure. Some people go to work and what ever they earn pays the bills and that’s that. They work every hour they legally can to support their family. Yet can’t afford the most basic of holidays.
Depression sets in and you feel nothing but guilt at seeing the disappointment in your child’s face.
If people were to post about their true feelings, about the hard times rather than just the good, others would feel less pressured to be better.
All our children see today on social media is the good side of it. The latest fashion, the latest device. Mum just brought me this. Dad just brought me that.
The truth is that there’s a child, a parent, a student sat at home feeling sh*t because they can’t have the life they see everyday. Maybe they don’t have a mother or father. Maybe they take care of their parent so can’t go out.
There are some fantastic charities out there now helping young children in this situation.
Sometimes I think we could do more to show that speaking about the bad things, the things that make life awful, would take the pressure off. It might make it possible for someone to feel able to speak out about how they feel.
I am not trying to offend anyone nor do I want to come across as a party pooper. I’m all for celebrating the good times and spreading the word of our accomplishments.
But when your having a rubbish day I want people to know it is alright to share that too.
If your in a situation where life is getting on top of you, your friend is ranting on about how they have just booked a holiday abroad and bought the latest phone or top, just tell them how you feel. If they don’t listen they are not worth your time. Find someone supportive to be involved in your life.
Just have a quick think about your friend before you get over excited and want to talk about the exciting things going on in your life. Ask your friend or loved one if everything is alright with them. You may be surprised by what you hear. It maybe that two second thought leads to a conversation that saves their life.
Sometimes having a mental illness can get too much. Sometimes people only see one way out and don’t want to burden or be that person that brings the party down. They don’t want to be known as the miserable one. The one who never smiles.
There is a reason why. Sometimes even if we smile, behind it could be a frown just waiting to come out.
All they need is someone to listen. Be supportive and be kind.
Sometime I hear people say that they feel useless because they can’t do anything other than listen. They tell me they don’t know what to say. Trust me when I say the fact that you chose to sit and listen and give your full attention to that person suffering is enough.
Wouldn’t it be nice to show our children that it’s alright to speak up. It is good to share and celebrate the good things. Share our achievements and the wonderful holidays we have but at the same time it’s alright to share and talk about the days when we are feeling upset.