Motherhood & Instagram
Anyone who has spent any time on social media knows that it
is can be a dangerous place. Social media can create, harbor, and intensify feelings of insecurity, self-loathing, depression, jealousy, etc. I thought that as a I got older and moved into new life stages that letting social media affect my state of mind would be a thing of the past, but it turns out it just continues to follow me regardless of what stage of life I am in.
The truth – according to social media – is that there will always be someone doing “it” better than me.
The truth – in reality – is that everyone is struggling in some way.
And even though I know the truth that nobody is perfect and everybody has issues and blah blah blah… seeing those perfectly curated pictures and captions is triggering. Because to me, it is dishonest.
When I was pregnant with Hazel, I found myself in a deep Instagram rabbit hole of having followed all of these Instagram moms. During pregnancy, these moms seemed so cool, so neat, so beautiful, so put together. I thought that was what motherhood was going to be like. But after having Hazel, I quickly realized that these motherhood lifestyles were fake. It took me a long time to admit to myself that looking at these women’s posts was unhealthy and not doing me any favors. It took me even longer to unfollow them [I’m still holding on to a couple and I feel like it’s just to torture myself].
These motherhood lifestyles are unattainable for the average mom. Why? Because we aren’t paid to look like we have it all and have it all together. These women advertise these ridiculously expensive baby products that they just love and you just have to have… THAT THEY GOT
GIFTED FOR FREE! They create this persona to make you want to be like them, so that you will buy the products they are advertising, so that they get money. It does nothing for you, but instill feelings of inadequacy or guilt because you can’t afford the “best” for your kid, you can barely take a shower much less do your hair and makeup, you can barely keep your eyes open… the list goes on. They also write these posts about how absolutely incredible pregnancy and motherhood is and how wonderful their children are and how easy it all is. It’s nonsense.
I’ve managed to remove most of these profiles from my Instagram which has helped a lot! It might seem stupid, but following influencers is an easy trap to fall into to affect your mental health. Now that Hazel is a toddler, I have begun searching for parenting advice, communication advice, eating advice – just looking for lots of opinions and thoughts on different subjects, so that I could figure out what I wanted to implement. I started finding much healthier accounts to follow. Parenting accounts that honestly portray motherhood and create a sense of belonging and acceptance.
Some of my favorite accounts right now:
- Transforming Toddlerhood
- Raise Good Kids
- The Mom Psychologist
- Our Mama Village
- Safe in the Seat
- Big Little Feelings
I still have a long way to go in having a healthy relationship with social media. I’ve contemplated getting rid of it altogether, but I think it has some benefits if I could just get my mental health under control. But as a mom, the comparison game is strong, especially in those first few postpartum months, so for me, it’s important to pay attention to what I am focusing on.