I’ve been having a love/hate relationship with Instagram since the moment I joined the app. This on/off affair is only getting worse now I’m a mother and a (proud) part of the enormous online mom community. Fashionable little outfits, glowing mamas, smiling babies – it’s overall just one happy gathering of (new) moms. It’s inspirational, a great way to meet likeminded women, and also very helpful when it comes to tips & tricks about motherhood. I’m the first one of my friends with a baby, so I wouldn’t know how I would have done it without the online help from other moms, especially during those nerve wracking, exhausting first months.
On days that I’m tired, feeling a bit blue or just insecure about the whole motherhood-raising-a-human-being thing..
But I have to admit, it’s not all inspiration and support every time I click on that little purple icon. On days that I’m tired, feeling a bit blue or just insecure about the whole motherhood-raising-a-human-being thing, it’s those cheerful happy baby posts that make feel down. Fashionable mums sipping a cup of coffee in a newly opened hotspot coffee place, with a milkdrunk baby in their arms. Women that gave birth to their babies only a few months ago, and are now partying hard on a Friday night. Mothers starting businesses – wait, didn’t they just a baby like yesterday?! How do they do it? And more important: why can’t I do it? So far, my biggest accomplishment of this week has been getting dressed (yesterday) and washing my hair (4 days ago). And of course, taking care of my baby fulltime.
Sometimes it feels like a competition
Sometimes it feels like a competition – who had the most easy (preferably natural) labour? Who’s having brunch outside with their newborn first? Who’s baby is the most fashionable, who has the best barter deals? Who’s living on the biggest pink cloud? And above all: who enjoys motherhood the most? And as said, the feeling of taking part in that competition is something I can’t handle during those long, exhausting days.
Instagram would be a much friendlier, warmer, and softer platform if we’re all a bit more honest with each other, and ourselves.
And I get it – social media is most of all a platform to share the happy moments, the highlights, the parts of your life you’re proud of. But in my opinion, Instagram would be a much friendlier, warmer, and softer platform if we’re all a bit more honest with each other, and ourselves. Especially regarding the mom community, because motherhood, it really takes a village. And no: you don’t need to share your scary labour stories, or your post partum body struggles if that doesn’t make you feel comfortable (just like me). But please, from time to time, write about your insecurities. Maybe about the lack of a pink cloud, the fear of losing your identity as an own person besides being a mother, or just about the tired tears running down your face.
You’re not alone in this, trust me.
Because we have to stick together. Admitting motherhood is hard on you doesn’t make you less of a mother or a woman. It doesn’t mean you don’t love or appreciate your baby. Being insecure, struggling, feeling the high and lows of motherhood only makes you more human. Just open your heart and share it, maybe only once. To tell yourself it’s okay to feel those feelings. To let all those other mothers know it’s okay to feel those feelings. You’re not alone in this, trust me.
Allround creative | Freelance (copy) writer & creative consultant