So I don’t know about you but I just spent the last 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram.
90% of the people I follow on social media are total strangers, yet I feel like I know everything about them. I know how old their kids are, their names, and the story of their birth! I also know what mom’s daily workout routine looks like, the ingredients to her favorite smoothie and where she does her grocery shopping. But do I need to know these mundane details of a stranger’s life?
Here’s the thing about Instagram, and most other social media out there, it rarely shows “real life.”
We all know this by now, yet we find ourselves mesmerized by the beautifully edited images of well dressed and color coordinating children and amazingly put together moms. But has Instagram made us more vulnerable and competitive as moms? I certainly think so. I see it in myself.
Before Instagram, I would go to enjoy the fireworks on 4th of July. Now I am more concerned about getting that perfect shot of my boys holding their sparklers to celebrate. Before Instagram, I could go on a family vacation and just enjoy spending time together. Now I look at every new place or experience as a photo op, always looking for the perfect backdrop. My poor kids are constantly being asked to stop and pose.
I find myself editing and choosing pictures that I know will get the most “likes,” and for what? The thing about Instagram is that it has made us all feel like we have to endlessly live in this filtered world. A world where children are always impeccably dressed and well-behaved, and their moms are well rested and beautifully styled in the latest trends.
Not all moms on Instagram feel the need to constantly showcase these perfectly filtered lives, many are starting to embrace the reality of a moms’ daily life.
I am seeing more mom bloggers using the Instagram-live feature to show their followers what a typical day looks like for them, laundry piles and all! I appreciate the messy top knot and lack of makeup. I enjoy seeing the messes in their kitchens and their kids being cranky and misbehaved in the background. Some blogger moms are even sharing their horror stories of a typical day in the life of a mom and asking other moms to do the same.
A fellow CT mom and blogger, Lauren McBride of @laurmcbrideblog even started a hashtag for moms to vent about something ridiculous that happened to them on any given day. This is the type of social media sharing us moms need to see, and appreciate. We need to see that moms can be beautifully put together in a professionally posed, filtered photograph. But when the clothes come off and the makeup is wiped clean, they are typical moms just like the rest of us. As bloggers, they are lucky to have a job where they get to play dress up and take pretty pictures. But at the end of the day, they go home to meltdowns and piles of dishes in the sink. Lauren says,
In a world of social media where everything seems perfect, it’s important that we share the imperfect too. Because you never know what mom might’ve needed to see that imperfect photo to make her feel a little less alone. We’re all sisters in motherhood, and sharing the messy side of things will help us come together even more.
Another local mom blogger, Liz Joy of @PureJoyHome also “keeps it real” with other moms and shares her everyday mom life via her social media pages. She also commented about the connection that sites like Instagram bring to the “mom tribe.” She says,
More than anything, what I hope I can be to my followers is relatable. As moms, we’re all in this together and making one another laugh and feel less alone on those long days is the best part of what I can do.
Jenna Crandall of @lunchpailsandlipsticks always has the most beautifully shot and styled photographs on her Instagram account. Along with her friend, Lisa Allen they have created a blog that includes fashion, beauty finds, fitness info and recipes. Even with all of this content, what’s most important to them is family. They often feature pictures of their adorable kids and fill their readers in on what life throws at them. Jenna, a Westport mom, says,
Instagram should be a place to comment and feel inspired by other women. If you follow an account and it leaves you bummed or makes you feel less than, unfollow! I have met women from all over the country through social media and it’s so empowering when women support each other.
The thing about Instagram that is so unique is the ability for moms across the world to come together and share their lives and get support from one another. As soon as we embrace social media in this way and use it as a means to connect to each other rather than compete, the mom sisterhood, or “tribe” can grow stronger and we can all feel a little better about ourselves. But don’t stop the pretty pictures from being posted and attached to @liketoknowit – I still need to know where to get all of my latest fashion trends and styles!
Here are some other amazing mom bloggers to follow: