Social Media, my highs and lows of being an “Insta mum”

Ha even the word Insta mum makes me chuckle!  I discovered the big wide world of INSTA back in December last year and boy is it big!! I mean I had already been a mum for 2 years so not quite sure how I missed it.  I worked in a Museum for 10 years but when my mat leave was up I discovered that my wages barely covered my child care costs so it was a no brainer to stay at home with the kids.  Not one for staying at home with nothing to think about I decided to set up Milk at the Museum which has given me an amazing platform to raise awareness of some of my favourite places in the world and continue my passion in all things Museum whilst meeting some incredible Mamas along the way.  I would say I have had my fair share of ups and downs on it though so I wanted to jot them down in this little blog.  I really hope this is not too controversial but literally I typed as I thought.  SHITTT!  I might be in trouble later but I hope if anything some of you can relate to it too.

THE NUMBERS GAME

It’s like being promoted/demoted 50 times a day, getting a kick where it hurts and then a big fat hug all in the space of an hour.  My number of followers is minute but that wasn’t the reason I started.  Instagram gave me an opportunity to talk about my passion so numbers were not key to my agenda, however, you cannot help but get a little wrapped up in it all.  I remember one account I followed, who followed me back, had put up a post about being kind for which I liked and commented, the next thing I knew they had unfollowed me.  Where’s the kindness in that Insta!?!  And what’s all this buying followers malarkey, can’t get my head around why anyone would want to do that, surely you want your followers to be legit.  I have also noticed a number of big accounts follow me then I follow back then a week later they drop me again.  Errr is this not someone full of their own self importance to think I would still follow them if they’re following/unfollowing?!  Or are they just playing the game!?  It’s a funny old game though isn’t it!?  And one I don’t want to play in this way for sure!

POPULARITY CONTEST

Ok so I don’t want to ruffle any feathers here but it kind of, at times, feels like I’m back at school and what I mean by this is sometimes it can feel a little cliquey! Those that get chosen for the party reminds me of the school netball team. I mean there are the funny, slightly extrovert accounts who are loved by all and get all the mentions, then the less so.  I was always an Inbetweener, a term for which I am entirely happy with.  I had friends who were considered “cool” and friends that weren’t.  If they were generally good people who I got on with I was mates with them regardless.  Surprisingly barely any of my pals are on Instagram, so I pretty much walked into this friendless.  Walking into a world where there are quite obvious friendship groups already made has at times made me feel pretty damn lonely which is the weirdest feeling as I have loads of mates away from it.  On the plus side I am forming relationships on here with the most wicked people and beginning to have my own little Insta support too!!

FRIENDS

Speaking of friends I have actually had a couple of non Insta friends unfollow me.  Now that was a real choker and there were actual tears.  I still to this day don’t know entirely why.  One has completely fallen out of my life.  Is it because of what I am doing? Am I offending people?  Do people think I am a dick?  All questions I have had to battle with that have actually made me feel really quite horrible.  All for having a public Instagram account.  I would like to add that generally my mates have been really supportive!

MALE vs FEMALE RATIO

I love women but I also love men.  Men have always been key to my friendship groups so walking into a world that is mostly women has been a bit strange.  All of the events I have been to are predominantly women which I am not knocking by any means as sharing motherhood has been a life saver and I would be lost without it, it has just taken a bit of getting used to I guess.  All hail the Insta Dads, the reality is we need them at home to look after the little ones!

FOMO

So many events I want to go to but so little money and I want to support all you amazing Muthas out there, I mean you’re all bloody marvellous and for this I get major FOMO!  As well as a few Mothers Markets I’ve only been to one Pizzup so far but I absolutely loved it.  The other downfall of being skint is there are so many Mama led brands out there that I want to buy everything from all of them but I can’t and this at times can feel pretty depressing in a world full of Mums that appear to literally have it all!!

COMPARISON

Which leads me on to comparison…how do other Mums afford stuff, how do they juggle everything so well, how are they managing to cook, clean, mum, work, party and look good!  And where do they get their stamina!?  My stamina is really low, one night out a week and I’m pooped!

MOTIVATION

Some days I wake up and am not motivated whatsoever, what should I put up, I can’t think straight let alone write an interesting caption.  A lot of people seem to have their views of what should be put up but I think that is entirely down to the individual.  No one but you can tell you what is right or wrong.  It’s your page after all.  I’m a sucker for a nice colourful image but I completely understand that some prefer a more real life stance.  There are so many motivational accounts out there that continue to inspire me daily but still I have days where I get insta block and for the life of me can’t decide what to post.

ABSOLUTE HIGHS

I have loved having an output for all my thoughts, passions and interests.  Instagram has allowed me access to the most talented, inspiring bunch of people, ones I feel privileged to now know.  Museums to me are vital to our children’s upbringing and getting to spend much more time in them because of this little Insta project has been bloody fantastic.  The opportunities that have come my way since doing this, writing for a magazine, attending previews to exhibitions and meeting the incredible people behind the scenes, were only previously dreams and I cannot thank the world of the GRAM enough for this.

ADDICTIVE

And lastly how flippin addictive is it all though!!!  I have parent guilt daily, should I be on my phone a lot less in front of the kids, should they even be on social media, am I sharing way too much of my life and should I be in reality a lot more, is it even good for my mental health?! All things to think about in this little Insta bubble I guess but a bubble I currently enjoy a lot more than not at the moment.  The day that changes I guess you’d stop right!?  And speaking of bubbles…🍾

13 thoughts on “Social Media, my highs and lows of being an “Insta mum””

  1. Hello lovely,
    Really thought provoking post. Like you my Insta experience has opened new doors and led to meet some truely inspiring and wonderful people, some of who are now friends IRL. Yet at the same time sometimes I feel like it can become a little all consuming, and I definitely do sometimes wonder and compare myself to others. But I totally agree these are our little squares and we should post i our voice and just be us. Also think I sometimes need a breather for it, but at the moment for, like you, the pros are out eating the cons. X

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  2. Ooh, I love this! I’ve not been on instagram long myself, and you’ve completely voiced a lot of what I’ve experienced too over the past few months. I can relate to so much, you’re certainly not alone! Xx

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  3. I agree with you! Instagram can be addictive at times – and frustrating too as some people do all sorts of tricks to gain more followers, like buying from companies or following/unfollowing hundreds at a time. This is an interesting read about a marketing agency showing how easy it is to create an Instagram account with a large following to make money – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/social-media-experiment-fake-instagram-accounts-make-money-influencer-star-blogger-mediakix-a7887836.html

    I’ve been growing my account organically for two years and it took me a while to figure out what works for my account – it’s been a slow process but I’d much rather do it this way than have spam bots or random followers. I’ve stopped looking at the app that shows who has unfollowed you – just remember that a lot of people do the follow/unfollow automatically or hire a company to do it. You have a great account with fun, helpful content and I’m glad it’s bringing you such great opportunities, working with museums and also meeting other like-minded people.

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  4. Instagram is a strange and wonderful world.

    I’ve over stressed regarding followers, not getting the likes and even getting jealous and I’m not a jealous person!! It’s mental haha.. When I finally noticed I was getting my knickers in a twist over social media, I stopped posting for few days and took a step back. It did me he world of good!

    I’m nearly back to normal – just need to take a chill pill regarding what to write and posting at the “correct times”

    Love how open you are – It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

    Keep at it xx

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and the great feedback!!! I absolutely think you must take a break off it if it starts to affect you!!! Isn’t it funny though?!? What it does to you! So pleased I’m not alone! Xx

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  5. I’m just going to echo what the other commenters have said – I feel the same! I follow you on insta and am also a huge lover of museums in all their guises and other cultural opportunities. I set up my blog to try spreading the word about stuff I heard about and wanted to share with more people than just my real life friends (I’ve worked in Dance and Theatre since 2004). My main challenge is that I’ve tried to keep it anonymous which I know isn’t great for engagement but I’ve got my reasons. My kids are older so the privacy thing’s a bigger deal and some of my reviews and recommendations I just don’t want to link with my name and face as never took a career break and don’t want my views being perceived to be the same as the arts orgs I work for. What I meant to say in this rambling comment is I also feel the FOMO – why the fig is everything in London? How do these other mum bloggers afford to dress in what they wear?! How do their kids always look well dressed? How can they afford these houses? A friend this weekend said she lost all faith when she saw “them” going on holidays together and what not. I don’t want to make real life friends with mum bloggers – I’ve not got enough time to socialise with the friends I already have!!!! Anyways, keep doing what you’re doing – it’s a cute but well informed feed that’s more focused on doing stuff and going places than fashion and I love it. x

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