It’s 2017! Happy New Year!! I’m going to have the best year ever!!!
(Wait, am I? Are all my best-year-ever ducks in a row? Are there ducks out there having an even better year already?)
FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out on things, usually inspired by social media. It’s a term that’s been around for a few years now, although I think it comes up about 500% more often in the blogger world so maybe you haven’t heard it. I’ve heard it. I’ve felt it. It shows up every time there’s a conference or event or party that’s all over Instagram while I’m at home with my kids’ dirty socks and sticky handprints. That’s the trouble with keeping up with everyone all the time: someone is probably having more fun than you right now.
I just had a major case of FOMO (ok, confession, I’m in the middle of a major case of FOMO) because I got this email today:
I’ve been invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Kyle and I went to the 2015 DSMMC and it is down in history as the greatest blog event I’ve ever been a part of. So much fun and super exclusive which makes getting invited a pretty big deal. But…
It’s a no this year for about fifty reasons, the biggest being that the DSMMC schedule splits the conference between a couple of nights at Walt Disney World (sob!) and a few nights onboard a Disney cruise (sob! sob! sob!) but Felix is too young to cruise and wouldn’t be allowed. He’ll be just three months old and I can’t be away from him overnight yet, let alone for a whole week, so it’s a no. And I have a beautiful healthy baby and what a great reason to miss a work conference, right? Beautiful baby! Healthy baby! Baby time all up at the Morgan house yay!!!
There’s going to be VIP events. Swag. Giveaways. Park tickets. Beach time at Disney’s private island. FOMO. FOMO. FOMO. I’m missing something fun and flashy to be home with my kids. I’m missing taking my kids to something fun and flashy. I’ll be home while other bloggers and kids are on that private Disney island with the VIP events and the flashy fun. FOMO.
It’s not just blogger events. I’ve had lots of mom FOMO. We pulled Calvin out of his preschool finally after a truly disappointing four month run and even though they lost him and lost his stuff and it was generally a bad experience, I started thinking about him missing out on the Valentine’s Party and his chance to be the kid of the day who gets to have his parents come in and help with the craft and suddenly FOMO. I was afraid we were missing out. When Eva stopped taking ballet because she wanted to do other things, I was relieved to not have to do the recital thing anymore but then thought about recitals happening without us and…FOMO.
Life got too busy to hit the special weekend event in the city? FOMO. Hit the special weekend event and didn’t have time to do the family movie night or home craft time I’d planned? FOMO. Even after a great day, I can get on Instagram at night and suddenly wonder why my kids are having whole childhoods without trampolines in their backyard or weekend camping in our Airstream or handmade dresses sewn from fabric that was printed at Spoonflower from a design they made while they were at the special art camp at the beach for freethinking families. There’s always something we’re missing…always some way my kids’ childhood is just a little dimmer than someone else’s.
What to do? Well, I could stay off social media but that would make my worklife pretty tough and I don’t know that totally isolating myself from the world is the answer. Instead, I try these things:
/// Hang on to things I’ve done. I don’t get to go to the ’17 DSMMC but I went to the ’15 DSMMC and it was amazing. That makes me luckier than a lot of people and a quick flip through those photos reminds me of how great that trip was! I do the same with photos of our family doing fun things or crafts we’ve done while spending quiet days at home.
/// Remember that sharing is cultivated. I’ve posted gorgeous photos from events where I wasn’t even having a good time because it was the only thing salvageable about the evening so I have to remember that sometimes those envy-provoking shots are smoke and mirrors.
/// Get some mom perspective. I get bummed out all the time by things I feel like I can’t give my kids (the right preschool, all the lessons/activities, their own bedroom with en suite bathroom) but realistically my kids don’t walk around feeling like they’re missing out. My kids have no idea that we aren’t going to that conference just like they have no idea that we haven’t ever seen the Grand Canyon and they don’t eat five star meals every night. Do they know they have to share a room and we can’t always buy the latest toys? Sure…but probably better than them expecting the moon.
/// Elevate the everyday. If it really is social media that’s brining up all the FOMO, turn the tables and contribute the best part of whatever you’re doing right now. I guarantee that I’ll be wistfully following the conference hashtag come February, but I’ll be tossing some cute baby cheek photos in there to remind myself that there are some awesomely kissable things I’m not missing out on.
/// Turn it off. When all else fails, turn it off. Turn off the social media, turn off the TV commercials, turn off the things you heard about that new preschool, and just breathe in and out for a minute, letting yourself be enough. A little mindfulness can go a long way in mom world, even if you find meditation tough! (If you’re lost, these mindfulness tips from the Mayo Clinic might help.)
Do you struggle with FOMO? What are the things that trigger you?