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I saved so much mental energy when I quit social media

I'm learning to accept that likes, loves and share reactions don't define my parenting or who I am as a person.

mother holding child

Hello. My name is Jennifer and I had an unhealthy relationship with social media.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's dive right into a typical day, shall we? Perhaps it's similar to yours.

It's 5:00 a.m. and my son just woke me up crying. As I roll over, the first thought entering my mind (after why so early, kid?) is I NEED to check my phone. Not want. NEED. Or if I don't, I will be strung out thinking about it for the next few hours.

So I do. I quickly check my e-mail, Snapchat, Facebook and text messages.

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After feeding my son, I refresh my apps and see what I could have possibly missed in the last 20 minutes. I check all the Facebook groups I'm in and go as far back as I need to catch up making sure I've seen every new post. You know, to get rid of all the numbers next to my groups. (Spoiler alert—I belong to a ton of Facebook groups and this takes significant time.)

"Weet-woot." There's an Apple alert. My anxiety and fear of missing out don't let the alert go unattended for long.

As I play with my son I realize I'm getting frustrated because my phone keeps going off so I'm in and out of the playroom more times than I can count to check my phone. Nothing important, honestly. Friends sending memes about Netflix and cute dog GIFs.

Before we venture to the store, I sit in the car for several minutes browsing Instagram and mom blogs and then check it again while pushing the grocery cart. My phone is even in my hand on my morning walks with my son.

Here lies the other problem. I don't like the example my phone behavior sets for my son, so I hide it—I'll go in the bathroom, the closet or the shower to scroll without his eyes on me. I get sucked into news articles while I aimlessly scroll through my social feeds. I read the most useless posts until I've gone so far down the media rabbit hole I'm taking quizzes on what type of pizza I am. (Pepperoni, in case you were wondering.)

I've spent money I shouldn't have because of social media, too. Well-catered-to advertisements of candles, leggings, toddler toys and hair styling tools have me *adding to cart* way too frequently.

As soon as my son goes to bed, no matter how tired I am, I lie in bed late into the night going through dozens of emotions bubbling up from what I see through my screen—jealousy, anger, judgment, happiness, urgency, boredom.

And then the morning rolls around and I pick up my phone and repeat the same process of another all-consuming day of social media. Right off the bat, I'm inundated with thoughts of being inadequate setting my mood for the rest of the day.

They are prettier than me.

That mom gets to work out?

Her husband is so romantic.

Wow, their kid sleeps through the night and is always smiling?

We constantly hear about making sure we're limiting screentime for kids, but what about adults? What about me? My behavior was causing drops in productivity, low self-esteem, a disconnect with my spouse and most negatively—it was stressing my toddler out because he felt like he was second to my phone.

While I love technology for keeping me connected to friends and family afar, it's ruining some relationships and causing unnecessary frustration. And let's face it, parenting is stressful enough without stress we pile on top of ourselves.

As a mom, I just want to feel included. I want to be in the loop and involved in what's happening outside our little bubble. Social media has helped with that, acting as a relaxing escape.

Unfortunately, it eventually turned into a problem and I have felt consumed by a world that wasn't my own.

So I'm taking time away from social media now, and I'm feeling better already. My house doesn't look like a Pottery Barn ad, my son and I didn't travel somewhere exotic and post our photos and my husband didn't surprise me with a romantic date night. BUT, being present and seeing the beauty in our family life with my own two eyes rather than through the lens of an iPhone has given me a sense of worth and accomplishment no amount of "likes" ever could.

I'm learning to accept that likes, loves and share reactions don't define my parenting or who I am as a person.

Being present over posted does.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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