The Social Media Pass

social media pass

I’ll ‘fess up: whenever I screw up, it helps me to know that I’m not the only one who has ever committed that particular “mommy sin.”

It’s the beauty of social media: being able to share those less-than-perfect moments and (usually) receive more support than criticism. Other moms telling you they’ve done the same thing, or LOL’ing in response to make it feel like whatever you’ve done isn’t that big of a deal. Or the supportive “Don’t beat yourself up, we all make mistakes” blog comments.

Or maybe it’s seeing someone else confess their screw ups and being able to click “like” or “share” because we’ve so been there, too.

It can be a good thing: to see that no one is a perfect mom.

To feel less alone.

And really, us moms are way too hard on ourselves anyway. We confess “mommy sins” that are things that happen all. the. time. to EVERYONE.

Like realizing you have no idea when the last time was that your child took a bath but you’ve been at the pool a few times this week, so that counts, right?

Or deciding that the iPad can be the babysitter that day because you’re sick and don’t have the energy to move off the couch.

Or admitting to raising your voice because ohmyfreakinggosh, can’t that child get his shoes on before being asked 357 times and we’re late already and AAAAAAGH! Put on the dang shoes and let’s go NOW!

None of this makes any of us bad moms. And when I see moms share things like this, it does help ease that burden of thinking I’m not allowed any screw ups lest I permanently damage my children or be branded as a bad mom by whoever it is who judges moms as being lacking(motherbitches).

It’s the reason I share, too.

But sometimes, well… not all behavior deserves that social media pass.

voided social pass

You’ve probably seen some of those moments. Where others are liking or LOL’ing or giving support and you get this gut feeling of “you know, that’s not actually funny” or “yikes, that really was a screw up,” even if you can understand how the screw up happened and can empathize with the mom who did it. But you still inwardly cringe.

Now, before you think I’m about to link to someone’s facebook status or blog post to give you an example, I’m only pointing the finger at myself here today.

You see, last week, I had a really terrible moment.

Not with my boys or even Hubs, but with another mom.

A mom whom I could say was sticking her nose where it didn’t belong and who had no real clue what she was really seeing and maybe I could justify why I said the things to her that I did. Especially if I told you the story from my side and y’all handed me that social media pass.

In fact, once my anger died down and the embarrassment set in after the whole thing played out, I figured I’d probably end up writing a blog post about it.

And I guess, here it is. But it’s not the post I originally imagined.

Because I don’t want or deserve the social media pass this time around. I overreacted and I’m not proud of my behavior. I’m not being too hard on myself: I really was mean and nasty(I’m blushing just thinking about it and wishing I could snatch those words back out of the air or at least turn my rude tone down about eleventy billion notches).

In this case, I don’t want to hear that it’s not that bad or that you probably would have lost it, too. Because that makes it seem okay.

And if it’s okay, then why should I behave any differently next time?

And I want to do differently next time.

So no social media pass for me on this.

Now for deciding to pick up Chick-fil-a for the kids tonight because they have soccer practice and I won’t feel like cooking dinner at 8pm and for already being aware of that fact this early in the day, yup, I’m totally taking that pass.

Linking up with Honest Voices.


  1. says

    I’ve been there, too, wishing I could have handled a situation differently or taking words back from the air. But, at least I learned from it and thought to behave differently the next time.

    Oh, and I’ll join you on the pass for tonight’s dinner because I’m already well aware of the face that I won’t want to cook. 😉
    Kimberly recently posted..Essence of Now: Summer NightsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Summer makes it hard to want to cook. Or that’s my excuse for right now.
      I do wish I could take words back sometimes, but I guess it’s a lesson to be more careful next time. I’m still cringing.

  2. says

    No pass from me, but don’t forget you are human too. I won’t say it’s ok when it isn’t :) So here: you screwed up!
    Hopefully you apologized and will learn from it. I know I stuck my nose where it didn’t belong with one of my closest friends not too long ago and she kind of snapped back at me. I still feel bad about my behavior, although I guess sometimes friends are here to try and show you things you might not be able or willing to see by yourself. Anyway I digress :) Thanks for this post. And also, I’ll take the pass for tonight’s dinner as well: my husband is out of town for the week and I got 2 giant pizzas for the boys and I at Costco on Friday. One of them was dinner and lunch this weekend. The other one is for tonight!! And hopefully tomorrow’s lunch as well! 😉

    • Shell says

      Yup, I’m human and I screwed up. 😉
      I did apologize. Still felt like an ass, though.
      Enjoy your pizza! I have the hardest time getting motivated to cook when my husband is out of town.

  3. says

    It happens, but the thing about mistakes is that you learn from them. Sounds like that’s what this was.
    Frozen pizza is our go to fast dinner–unless it’s the even easier nuked chicken sticks for one and ramen for the other. Yeah, mother of the year here.
    VandyJ recently posted..Busy, BusyMy Profile

  4. says

    Oh boy, does that happen to me. And you can’t take things back – not in person and not on social media! Although you can delete things, but people will always remember AND then know you deleted them. Embarrassing!
    Speaking of the iPad being the babysitter, I’m not sick but I didn’t sleep well last night. It’s rare for me to think this way but I felt suffocatingly afraid to wake up and realize it’s Monday and I have to take care of two little ones all day today. We don’t have an iPad, sadly, but the older one may watch two shows instead of one today. Maybe even three..
    Tamara recently posted..We Made Our Own Blogging Convention!My Profile

    • Shell says

      It’s so embarrassing. I know we can all realize that each of us makes mistakes and try to be forgiving, but yikes, I’m still mortified at what I said to another mom.
      Hey, even go for four shows today- no judgment here. 😉

  5. says

    Yes, totally get that internally cringing a bit thing and have definitely said things at times I regret, it sucks– but well yep I am doing the social media pass thing now and saying we have all done it 😉  It still feels awful at the time and I think it is good it feels bad as otherwise people would have no filters and no control whatsoever.   
    Emmy recently posted..Classic Fall Giveaway with $600 in Prizes!My Profile

    • Shell says

      True- we have all done it. That does make me feel better, even though I know I majorly screwed up at the time!

  6. says

    It’s moments like those that cause us to recalibrate our souls and center us again. Real failures don’t mean, “o.k. – do it again.” It’s an opportunity to grow – through either changing something or pruning something. Failure is an eye-opening thing with so much potential for something awesome to come out of it! Flowers grow out of the mud – sometimes you have to go through some muddy moments to bloom! I love the courage you have to face this situation!
    bluecottonmemory recently posted..Bucket Lists and Faith Sleeves: Thoughts on My BirthdayMy Profile

  7. says

    I used to read a blog that was like that and finally I just unsubscribed because there were less funny me too moments and more cringe ones. It’s a popular blog which read to me like a daily diatribe on how awfully behaved their child is (at some point doesn’t that come back to you?) and I couldn’t give it a social media pass anymore. But I do know exactly what you mean about those cringe moments!

    • Shell says

      I do think some people take it too far on social media- seeing that those terrible moments get a lot of response, so they then overshare. But I like it better when someone shows more of a balance between the off moments and the good.

  8. says

    As much as you don’t want the free pass – you don’t get the “go straight to jail card ” either. I have had a few moments that have tormented me – for saying something wrong or really not nice. All I can say is it is a lesson learned. When we know better, we do better. I do think the apology is everything though – we can’t just ignore it because we are embarrassed and it sounds like you did the  right thing (after the wrong thing!)
    Leah Davidson recently posted..Quote of the WeekMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Love, love, love how you put this!
      I did apologize profusely after it was all over and I think the other mom could tell I was totally mortified.

  9. says

    I’ve thought about the “social media pass” a lot. And yeah, there are times when I think the person sharing shouldn’t get the pass. But I never say anything.

    As far as dinner goes…..we have been TERRIBLE with actual cooked meals this summer. Like, worse than ever before. I fear we will have a hard time getting back into it when school starts.
    just JENNIFER recently posted..Search MeMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I never say anything , either. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just being cranky and I don’t want to put that on someone else. Other times, I know I disagree with what others are thinking is funny- but it doesn’t seem worth the effort to get into a fight over it.
      This school year is going to be a shock around here, I think.

  10. says

    It’s okay, I’m sure we’ve all been there. I know I can get terribly cranky with online stuff. Especially when people use the word selfie. Stop it, people. Just please stop it. 

    Oh, and we love Chick -fil-a. We have fast food at least twice per week. Sometimes more, when I’m PMSing. 
    Amber recently posted..You Don’t Mess With A Man’s TruckMy Profile

    • Shell says

      And then their IG feed is nothing but selfies! I unfollowed a few like that.
      Chick-fil-a is my favorite fast food place. My current justification is that my middle son(my super skinny picky eater) will eat an entire sandwich from there. Not that I need a reason to go there, but it’s my excuse.

  11. says

    Yep been there done that.  We all do it sometimes…and hopefully we’ll be better next time that’s all we can ask of ourselves. And yes I don’t want to cook dinner tonight either!
    Natalie recently posted..The Birthday BashMy Profile

    • Shell says

      There’s something about the summer heat that makes me have NO desire to cook- even things that don’t require turning on the oven.

  12. says

    Ugh, definitely been there. Just as you said, we’re not perfect. Sometimes we let our emotions and all the pent up feelings get the better of us and we just explode at an inopportune time or at an insignificant event. Yes, I get embarrassed, but I make a point to apologize for it.
    Debra recently posted..Back To School Week – Time To Label UpMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I apologized profusely, even though I’m pretty sure that mom will probably want to run if she ever sees me again. I’ve learned my lesson, though.

  13. says

    There are moments when my short-temperedness gets the best of me and I get defensive and yes, I am blushing as I say this, a bit mean. I try very hard to think of how I would do things differently and sometimes the answer is just , “I’ll try and do better.” Learning from is a step in the right direction, I think. This has been the summer of non-cooking. I hope I remember how.
    AnnMarie recently posted..Funny Conversations Over HereMy Profile

    • Shell says

      It was definitely all built up in that moment and I just spouted meanness. I hope that next time, I’ll just walk away.
      I think summers are for non-cooking. 😉

  14. says

    Owning it is huge, Shell, it really is.  Because it would be easy for you to justify your behavior and point all fingers at the other party, even if the other party went somewhere they shouldn’t have gone.  So now it’s done, it’s over,  and no social media pass for you, but as Leah put it, you don’t have to go straight to jail either, ((Hugs))
    Ilene recently posted..Old Friends We’ve Just MetMy Profile

    • Shell says

      After it was all over, I thought of it in terms of a blog post(because that’s what we do, right?). And I could have vilianized the other mom involved and turned it into something where I know I would have gotten a lot of support for how I handled it. But bottom line was that (looking at it from the outside), while she was in the wrong, I was too. And one wrong doesn’t deserve another and I didn’t want anyone telling me it was okay.
      I do love Leah’s phrase.

  15. says

    Good on you owning up.  And now you’ve owned up.  Experience the emotions associated with the situation and move forward.  Beating yourself up over and over won’t solve the problem.   I am learning this process myself and it sort of sucks, but it works.  Just letting the emotions, whatever they are – anger, embarrassment, hurt, shame – whatever they are – just letting them happen, feeling them, and then letting them roll off you is so very freeing.

    Love this – hopped over from HV…
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  16. says

    Ok, no pass for you, but how about a “we all make mistakes and you’ll do better next time”? There have been times where I wanted to take the words that I left my mouth and shove them right back in. I hope writing about it has allowed you to let it go. That’s something I have trouble with – I hold onto the guilt for too long, and that doesn’t help me or the person I’ve wronged.
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