I was going to call this post “thoughts of an #InstaMum” but then I reconsidered (thank God) because that sounds like the most self entitled wank ever.
So if you know me, you know I like to worry a lot. It’s kind of my hobby, I’m training for the Anxiety Olympics™ I think. So naturally, when I started blogging and posting on Instagram about my life, my thought process went something like this…
Oh my gosh, you’re so self-involved, who’s going to read your half-gestated drivel?
You’re going to give it up in 2 months tops anyway, you won’t have enough steam or subject to make “content”.
But the overriding worry, the focal point of my anxiety:
You’re exploiting your baby
This thought enters my mind almost every photo I take, every post that’s centered around Ellie. There are all of these thin, fine lines that govern what is apropos.
If I take a quick, hurried photo and put it on my Instagram stories, is that more innocent and less immoral than a staged, styled photo for a #collab?
I’m not claiming to be an ~influencer~ or anything as Millenial as that, but soon after I started my Instagram, brands began to reach out. Ellie is a cutie, I think it, and so do marketing people.
This is where I think well shit, am I a bad mum for “using” her? We’ve partnered with some pretty cool brands, been paid amounts that aren’t nearly enough to classify as full time or even part-time employment and of course, been “gifted” things we would have otherwise bought, had we had the funds. Is this ethical?
I want to contribute to my families income, I want to feel as though I’m not completely, one hundred percent dependant on my husband. I want to take the family’s entire financial obligation off of him in any small way that I can. Not to mention how validating it is to collaborate with brands and to help small businesses get their message out.
I love writing, I love Instagram also and connecting with other Mums. Yet these doubts come around at least once a month like some kind of judgemental menstrual cycle.
What’s the difference between a mum taking a picture and putting it on Facebook for her family and friends and a mum putting a picture on Facebook or Instagram with the intention of garnering interest from a brand or business?
I think it’s important that I recognise there’s no ill intent behind my actions, as long as I stay sincere to only representing and showcasing things that align with my values. AKA, don’t just take any collab that comes my way, even if I’m tempted. I’ll admit, it’s nice to feel as though I have an occupation outside of being Mum.
This I think, is where I could potentially run into difficulty also, trying to escape #mumlife by being online 24/7.
SAHM’s are so often viewed as having taken the easy road in lieu of returning to work. This line of thinking has, at least for myself made me feel as though I’m not doing enough by being at home and I should undertake some form of activity outside of the home.
I think of the future a lot, I think of what Ellie will think when she’s 7, and she sees all of her baby photos and videos online that highlight was a cute, nakey baby she was.
What if all she sees is her privacy violated and her trust broken? I want to be the place where she feels safe, I need her to know the currency of love isn’t a like or a heart.