I know I shouldn’t, but I compare myself to others for many different things such as the way I look, the size that I am and more recently, the kind of mother that I am. I often scroll through Instagram and see photos of mother’s and their children out and about on an almost daily basis, doing something fun and interesting and it makes me think, am I doing enough with Tyler? The thing is, my enough and their enough are two totally different things and I shouldn’t let the fact that I often have lots of days in the house with Tyler make me feel like a bad mum.
There are three things that have happened within the blogging world recently that I wanted to touch upon within this post. The first happened a little while ago now and it started on a fairly big parenting forum site where a group of people were discussing and slating “Insta-mums” for always sharing “perfect” “unattainable” photos of their family and life on Instagram and other social media sites.
Despite what I have just said about comparing myself, never does it cross my mind that these so called “insta-mums” are fake. Why? Because who is really going to only share photos of the bad days? The messy days? Just because someone chooses to only share the happy days and their clean and tidy house, doesn’t mean that they’re sharing a fake version of their reality. The same way that movies are cut and edited and shots retaken, social media is just the same and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
Personally, whether you’re a blogger or not, whatever it is that you want to post to your own social media, you do you! It would never occur to me to slate you for it and I really don’t understand what is gained by mothers trying to take other mothers down over the internet, all because someone has a tidier house than them? The beauty of social media is that there are no rules, well you know what I mean. You can post whatever you would like to post and not post whatever you don’t want to post.
I’ve said it before but I do love social media. I love that I can share photos of my life with my friends and family and all my lovely blogging pals. But here’s the thing.. I spend hours and hours looking over my Google analytics and I know that all the people that view my content aren’t just friends, they’re random people on the internet. I know that’s a bit of an obvious statement, but they could be absolutely anyone. That thought alone does scare me if I think too much about it but the truth is that I love sharing my life online so I push that thought to the back of my mind.
Recently, out of curiosity, I was checking the backlinks to my blog when I came across a url that I didn’t recognise but when I clicked on it, I was seeing the blog of a friend of mine.. except it wasn’t her blog, it was a complete copy of her blog. Kirsty has actually written a blog post on this which you can read here. But in short, someone(unknown who) had created a duplicate of Kirsty’s blog and changed any mention of her name to another and removed any mention of her son’s name. Strange, right? Scary. This was scary. Of course, I can’t really comment on this as it didn’t happen to me but I can only imagine how terrifying it was for Kirsty to discover this.
I’m no cyber expert but I’m guessing that this was all done in an attempt by the unkown person to trick PR’s for samples, but the fact that someone, anyone can take all of the information and photos on your blog, about you, your family, your children and pass it off as their own, or find out more in depth information about yourself is just that, scary.
The last thing I wanted to touch upon was trolls. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this story unfold. I was having a really tough mental health day and a really hard time getting anything done because Tyler was teething and poorly and just didn’t want to leave my arms. Of course, I have no issue with looking after Tyler but I was just getting overwhelmed with the amount of things on my to do list that day and my depression was just really getting to me. So I decided to film a short clip for Instagram stories just highlighting that not everyday is as happy as my grid makes out and that all of us have bad days.
My main aim with this was to show any other mums(or dads!) that might have been watching that it’s okay to be frustrated and overwhelmed and struggling. Of course, I did receive some lovely messages but sadly, I also received one horrible one. I won’t give the troll the pleasure of being on my blog forever, but this unknown person who didn’t actually follow me on Instagram, so God only knows how he even got to my page, decided to tell me to “get over myself” and that I should have “thought about that before I had a baby.”
I know I’m a lucky one because I know many people who have received troll after troll and nasty comment after comment. At first, I just brushed it off but after a couple of hours his words started to float back through my mind and I started to believe them. Even when a nameless, faceless person is being mean to you and judging you negatively and you know it’s a load of crap, it can still creep in and make you second guess yourself.
So as mothers, do we share too much online? Maybe, but I will continue to share my journey through life and motherhood on this little blog and my social media because documenting my journey is something that I have done for over four years now and I thoroughly enjoy it. Sharing can also help others in so many ways.
When I shared my post natal depression story I had so many messages from different people, some I’d never even met, thanking me for sharing as it has helped them to understand their own mental health issues. I am so happy to be able to help others to start their recovery and to understand that they are not alone. That blog post has been viewed over 800 times which does sadden me, but it also gives me hope that mums who are out there, feeling confused and alone are looking for help and answers. Social media can be an amazing space for mothers and fathers.
Until next time.