I’ve had a moment of self discovery this past week. I’m breaking up with instagram. Ok, maybe it’s not that dramatic but still, I’m making a big change. It’s been brewing for a while. Having a newborn I’m spending way more time on instagram – from going down a rabbit hole of discovering cute baby store after cute baby store. To finding other blogger mom’s with babies of similar ages. And then there’s all the hours in a day spent nursing, and while you try to be present at some point, you just gotta open the ‘gram. When Evelyn was first born, I was so inspired by other instagram moms with these adorable photos of their baby’s in super cute outfits, and the mommy and me photos. I wanted some of these cute photos for us to look back on and I was able to get a few…but it was hard. I was exhausted, maybe her outfit was cute, but I hadn’t showered and my hair and makeup definitely wasn’t done. Then there’s the photos of the mom’s baking in the kitchen with their little ones and the counters are spotless and clutter free. The shots of mom and baby snuggling in bed, perfectly made, no pile of clothes or pillows stained with red tylenol from night teething.
There’s been a lot of talk about how social media sets unrealistic expectations. These perfectly curated feeds – it’s unobtainable. I also work with influencers which means that for me, social media isn’t just something I do to chill out after work or on the weekends, I’m constantly discussing strategy with my talent and for programming throughout the work week. So in a way, social media is all consuming in my life.
With the blog, I’ve also had a social media strategy and for the past year I’ve been trying to strategically grow my social platforms, specifically instagram. I’ve realized how much of a hold it has on me, how often I check it. How I try to stay “consistent” in an “upload schedule” all for instagram’s “algorithm”. And with all the changes, how frustrating it is when you work really hard on a photo and then a lot of people who follow you don’t even see it.
I’ve brought up before how i’m really working on living minimally, having less stuff in my life and more quality time for myself and my family. I think a large part of shedding the excess in your life includes social media.
I love this blog as a platform to share our story. But I also made a commitment that it wouldn’t ever take priority over my family or my well being. So if it’s 10PM at night and i’m exhausted but I don’t have a post for the next day, then it is what it is and that’s OK. I also don’t ever want to put out content that isn’t meaningful. I never want to write a post, or post a picture, for the sake of constancy.
So maybe this will “hurt” my “numbers” or growth. Maybe this means I won’t be this “huge” influencer in a few years. But I’ve also seen social media ruin the lives of so many influencers, good people who are navigating this “influencer” space for the first time. Normal people catapulted into fame. And how do you walk away from 1M+ followers? It starts to own you. And there’s no such thing as time off in a 24 hour consumer cycle.
Then there’s the question of your kids. We are on the forefront of sharing our lives on social media. We don’t have a generation of adults yet that can speak to digital records of their whole life on social media for anyone to google and find. I never want to catch myself posting a photo of Evelyn for the “likes.” That’s also made me pause from uploading on a “regular” basis. If I have a photo I want to share of a moment or memory I want to remember, i’ll post it. If I don’t, I’m not going to put a photo of her up there just to put one up. With my blog, I’ve chosen to be open about the trials and tribulations of being a mother. That’s a choice I’ve made for myself. But I don’t want Evelyn to feel like I’ve plastered photos of her all over the internet to build my “brand.”
So this past week I’ve been going through the accounts i’m following and starting to unfollow people/bloggers/brands that aren’t “good” for me. If I find the posts making me feel bad about myself (If you had a baby 6 weeks ago, are back in your size 4 skinny jeans and are eating a donut i’m unfollowing. There’s no way you ate that donut.). I don’t have time for fake negativity and competition. If your feed doesn’t benefit my mental health or tempt me to make crazy expensive purchases for an item that I don’t need, or have me wondering why my stomach isn’t that flat after this baby you’re gone. And this purge has felt SO GOOD. I would highly recommend it. If you noticed i’ve unfollowed you this week, don’t hate me, it’s not personal, there’s a lot of people I haven’t talked to in years, maybe worked with at one time, years ago, we’ve drifted apart and I just don’t have the time to keep up with everyone. Also, if you’re looking fabulous every weekend at the club, Good for you!, but that’s not my scene anymore.
Lastly, I realize my feed doesn’t reflect this change. I’m still showing the well produced images of our day, carefully cropping out the messes, but i’m working on that. I’m still figuring out and navigating what I want to share, how I want to share it and my voice as a mom.
Here’s to lots of messes, perfectly good hand-me-downs and more time to snuggle and kiss your baby.
P.S. In case you are wondering about the series of photos in this post well, yes, I am unshowered & no makeup. However, we did move ALL THE CLUTTER to the other side of the room before taking these photos. GUILTY!