Another Social Media Mommy
The Story of a Social Experiment that Turned into a Lifestyle
I have had a few conversations lately that have left me thinking. Some hard questions have been tossed my way and I have come up with a few hard questions of my own, my biggest being a Social Media Mommy a farce?
I started this journey hell bent on proving everyone wrong.
The perfect pictures of children and houses; is this real life? The artful snapshots of smiling faces and the poetic captions gushing love and sweet baby graces; are these honest?
I changed the name of my Instagram account to Honestly Mommy after having it for a month or two because I planned to show everyone what “real” motherhood looked like. I wanted moms to see that it was okay to struggle, to be real, to have bad days…I wanted a place where women could just be themselves, open and honest in all of their beauty and flaws.
I posted and I posted and I posted with hardly a like or a comment.
I didn’t even like most of my photos. I found them ordinary and boring, they often reminded me of the hard parts of my days with my kids.
I wasn’t reaching the audience I wanted to either. My goal was to help inspire women, instead I was just complaining and jealously watching all those other mom’s accounts grow.
Somewhere along the way I had an epiphany. It started slowly, and I wasn’t able to put words to it at first, but somewhere along the way I realized it is okay. It is okay to pose a photo. It is okay to choose the best shot. It is okay to stage, and primp, and capture; it’s okay.
This may sound obvious to you, but I struggled to get there. I think mainly it’s because I really am an honest person at my core, so it seemed like a mockery to edit out the hard parts in life so to speak, but I’m not doing that. Just because my photos have changed, and my followers have grown, does not mean that I’ve strayed from my original intent. I do want to inspire. I want to dare women to be honest, to find the beauty in themselves, in their lives, and in the world around them.
I have realized though that inspiring photos are just that; inspiring.
I started this blog, and the Instagram site to go along with it, on a whim; a social media experiment so to speak. I had come across countless “social media mommy” accounts on Instagram and ran past many a blogger mom during my time on social media, so I thought I’d try it out, I mean, how hard could it be?
Here I am, 1 year later, going wow…It’s a lot harder than I thought.
For the first 8 months or so I have to say I really half-assed it for the most part. I had no idea what I was doing and thought somehow people were just going to magically find my site and start following me. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
I also was under the impression when I started my Instagram account that people would flock to the account of a “real” social media mommy. Someone posting the actual realities of mom life rather than the sweet, perfectly posed, and filtered pictures that so many “mom” accounts were trying to pass as real life. Yeah, dead wrong about that too.
It didn’t occur to me in the beginning that maybe people were drawn to the beautiful, artfully taken photos of these social media moms because they go to Instagram to escape some of the realities of mom life. Furthermore, maybe these pictures actually are part of “real life”, just because they are posed doesn’t necessarily mean they are fake. And even if they are 100% contrived, is there really anything wrong with that either?
Wow. My attitude has changed so much since I started! If you could have heard me ranting and raving in my head against all the “fake” social media moms out there when I first started you’d be shocked.
So I guess I need to apologize to all you Social Media Mommy’s out there, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.
I’m sorry that I was one of those judgmental mommies. I’m sorry I thought I could do so much better than you. I’m sorry that I scoffed at your photos and refused to see the beauty in them. And I’m sorry I didn’t join your ranks sooner.
I mean why did I despise you all so much? Mainly because I was jealous. Yep, totally, 100% jelly.
I looked at your photos. I read your mushy posts. I ‘felt all the feels’ and wanted in.
So now that I’m “in” (well not really, I have a looooooooooong way to go to catch up with your 100k+ Insta feeds), I want to say keep up the good work ladies! Keep inspiring mommies to dress cute, snuggle their babies, eat well, work out, love their husbands, keep their house clean, and everything else you mommies aim to inspire on a daily basis. Thank you for making the world a little more beautiful, one photo at a time.
PS) Social Media Motherhood in all it’s forms, is no cake walk, but it has taught me many things and I have enjoyed the friends I’ve made, the pictures I’ve taken, and the companies I’ve gotten to work with, seriously, this has been a lot of fun for me and I hope you won’t close yourself off to the possibility of finding community on Instagram before you’ve given it a solid chance.