Social media gets bad press for making users feel bad about themselves, putting pressure on people to achieve this ‘picture perfect’ life, but for me its been quite a different experience.
Following on from my previous blog post about tackling my PND, I feel that social media has actually aided my recovery. I was a bit of a late-comer to Instagram, but from the very beginning I’ve been hooked.
There is such a ‘community’ for mothers, whether you are working, single, stay-at-home, or anything and everything in between. I’ve always felt a bit ‘different’ to a lot of mums; I didn’t breastfeed, I didn’t even try to have an ‘all natural’ delivery but I do want to be the one who puts the kids to bed every night, and try to get them eating healthy food. On Instagram I found other people like me, that weren’t ‘supermums’ but they were trying their best, they had some contradictions in their parenting philosophes and also saw the humor in some of the hideous situations you find yourself in as a Mother. Having beautiful photos is one thing but it’s the story behind the picture that really matters (don’t get me wrong, I do love good lighting and perfectly composed images) and that’s what helped me.
From the blatant (hilarious) reality of @mother_pukka, to the comedy of @mother_of_daughters (and @father_of_daughters), the inspiration of @selfishmother, and all of those others out there making the rest of us feel ‘ok’ and like we are not the only ones who are a complete mess! On a more serious note there are also really good resources out there on Instagram, such as @pandas_uk which is a perinatal mental illness charity providing information, support and encouragement to mums and families.
For me Instagram has helped me laugh at situations I find myself in (thanks @mother_pukka, @mother_of_daughters, etc), provided me with useful information (thanks @pandas_uk) and inspired me to get on and focus my creativity (thanks @selfishmother). As well as my posts about my #instafamily I have also started a #gigilovesblake store selling clothes and accessories for the whole family based on well known and used hashtags (e.g #instamum, #dadlife, #instakids etc) and also cutomised orders (e.g. #gigisays). When this is fully up and running its my intention to donate some of my profits to PND charities….first one being @pandas_uk….but I would be interested in your ideas for others???