Humans are inherently social beings. Throughout our history we have worked together to build communities, hunt, and ensure our collective survival. This is no more apparent than when new babies were brought into the world — mothers would have the support of their communities to ensure both mother and baby had resources needed to thrive.

Advancements in how we live and do business have created an environment where we’re more focused on our individual survival and wellbeing than any time in history. This has enabled parents to take on more individual responsibility for their families than ever before, but at what cost? Let’s explore.

The Paradox of Connectivity

It’s no secret that parenting can be lonely. Despite following along with the lives of more parents than ever before on social media, we are LONELY. Highlight reels and curated feeds can make us feel inadequate and isolated, and the lack of offline connections between people can have us creating perceptions of perfection and stories about peoples lives that simply aren’t true.

Social isolation is linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety and it’s one of the easiest risk factors to avoid, especially in early parenthood.

TIP: Consider why you’re drawn to the accounts you follow and how their content makes you feel. If you’re feeling anxious or depleted in any way, think about muting their accounts for a while to see if it improves your mood.

The Weight of Expectation

So, we see other peoples highlight reel versions of life and think, “well, I need to do that too”. Even though those perfect lives don’t even exist, we impose expectations on ourselves that we need to have the same kind of life. With social media, we’re all playing the lead role in our own reality show, right?

When we inevitably hit a natural and normal speed bump, we can become anxious and avoidant of contact with others for fear about how it makes us look compared to others. The real truth is that we’re all living beautifully imperfect lives and the real beauty of that life is to connect through the joy, triumph, struggle, failure, and recovery of it all. Research shows that this pursuit of perfection contributes significantly to parental stress and anxiety levels, leaving us feeling like we're constantly falling short.

TIP: If you ever start to feel like you have too much on, remind yourself that parenthood is a team sport and think about who you want to have on your team. There’s no right way to build a parenting team!

The Power of Community

The cure to the inevitable ups and downs of parenting is finding people with whom you can be unapologetically real. Whether it’s through Mevi’s app, which allows you to lean on your people to get the help you need with day to day things, local meetups, or online forums like Reddit or Facebook groups (IYKYK!), research shows that having a support network of varied folks is a strong buffer against the negative effects of stress, not only in life, but through parenthood.

TIP: Apps like Mevi help you get the support from your village in the ways that you need. Mevi’s waitlist is open and you can snag a lifetime (that’s right, LIFETIME) subscription for just $12 for a limited time.