Hello, Bagong Nanay!
When was the last time you posted a photo of your baby on Facebook or Instagram? Two hours ago? Last year? Never?
As first-time moms, it seems like we are compelled to post updates about our nanayhood journey – starting with a photo of our positive pregnancy test – to videos of the latest tricks our child can do. Some do it because “it ain’t official til it’s Facebook official,” and some do it “for the ‘gram” – wanting to feel some kind of high from the likes and hearts and wows that your post can get.
But for Bagong Nanay Jo-an Liwanag, things changed when the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020. She shares, some of the social media sites that she used to love are no longer part of her new normal.
This is her #KuwentongBagongNanay, of logging out of Facebook and Instagram – and logging in as a more hands-on parent to her three kids.
1. What made you decide to stay off social media?
I love being on social media, to be honest. It’s where I share my day-to-day stories, updates about our family so that our friends and relatives who live far away can get a glimpse on how we are doing. There were a lot of times that I would go offline on social media just to take a break, but only during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, around May 2020, that I decided to officially bid goodbye to the social media world.
I was pregnant with my third child then, and it was not easy. It’s the most difficult pregnancy I’ve ever had; I experienced vomiting, nausea, and I was put on bed rest for the entire first trimester because of hemorrhage.
I was 16 weeks pregnant when the pandemic started, and it made my experience even worse. Anxiety started to kick in, and then fear and panic. I even had to keep my pregnancy from my relatives and our parents, just so I can focus on keeping my baby healthy. I also experienced pre-term labor.
I couldn’t stand seeing my news feed filled with angry people. No matter how I try to manage my feed, bad news still gets to me. Some people would even post unverified news, and it adds fear to my underlying anxiety. It was a very stressful time for any pregnant woman. That made me decide to finally log out of my social media accounts – specifically Facebook and Instagram – for good.
How were the first days like?
I honestly felt better. I got to sleep better. No anxiety or whatsoever. I did not make any announcement to my contacts, I just went offline, and people did not notice it that much. Only my closest friends realized that I was missing in their social media accounts. Honestly, it was easier to let go that way. You leave them puzzled and allow them to think whatever they want to think. People are entitled to their own presumptions.
2. What can you say are the top 3 pros and cons of a Bagong Nanay who is not on social media?
The top 3 pros for me are: increased productivity both at work and at home; more time for yourself and your family; and more time to connect with friends and family through private conversations.
I honestly think the cons are subjective. I think it depends on how easy or hard it is for you to leave social media. For me, the only consequence is that I don’t get to access the profiles of relevant suppliers, and I can’t browse through the marketplace for things I need for work and for my family.
3. Would you recommend having a social media timeout to other Bagong Nanays? Why or why not?
Yes, I highly recommend having a social media timeout, not just for Bagong Nanays, but for everyone. Going offline gave me the liberty to regain myself behind the keyboard and my phone screen.
It helped me regain my sanity. Our mental health is very important. Going offline gave me more time to reconnect with the people around me, and it gave me the opportunity to share ideas and opinions to my friends by having real, private conversations.
4. Have you noticed changes in you or in your outlook in life with you not being in social media anymore?
Definitely! I finally learned how to accept the things I cannot change and to celebrate my small wins and big wins privately. I also realized that you don’t need other people’s validation or aim for self-gratification just to make yourself happy. I learned to live simply, and to stop comparing myself to others.
5. Where do you spend your time on – now that you’ve saved a lot of time from not being on social media?
I spend my time on taking care of my health and the health of my family, which is very vital in this time of pandemic. I focus on taking care of my body, and when I can, I squeeze in a 30-minute or a 1-hour workout.
I learned to listen to my body. I don’t workout to regain my pre-pregnancy body. I never workout for vanity. I do this because I want to be strong and healthy for my family, so I can keep up with their demands.
I try my best to keep our family healthy by providing them the nourishment that they need, especially at a difficult time like this.
6. In only six words, describe what kind of Bagong Nanay you are.
I don’t go overboard. No fuss.
I am Jo-an Liwanag from Parañaque City.
I am the not-so-Bagong Nanay of Caitlin 11, and Rafa 10, but a Bagong Nanay to Andres, who is 11 months old.
When I’m not busy working, washing dishes, cleaning the house, or feeding four bellies that never get full (including husband’s), I workout or binge-watch on Netflix.
(Hey, it’s the only thing we can do for now since it’s pandemic, but I would love to travel again with family and start to create more core memories with them again).
Want to share your #KuwentongBagongNanay too? Send me a message, and let’s talk about it.