Or, is it better yet a really good marketing strategy? If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the motherhood journey is that life beats Instagram. Big time. And it’s all messy, fun, yet unpredictable, confusing, empowering, chaotic and filled with joy and doubt. So contrastingly beautiful, that one day you feel like the Children Goddess of the Earth, and the next day you have laundry piled up so high next to your bed, that you actually start using it as a cave to hide from your kids. Anyways, one thing is for sure: real life motherhood and Instagram motherhood are two opposite dimensions in which we constantly try to co-exist, for the sake of our sanity or…our business.
Todays’s social media savvy women are embracing their role as mothers on Instagram and are building empires out of it – all while making it look really, really good and effortless. Crisp, white sheets and couches, spotless kitchen islands, expensive art hanging on the walls, and beige-toned decorations are the norm. And in those moments where we need a break from reality, one short scroll through Instagram brings you straight to endless posts of perfectly polished kids dressed in white while running through sunflower fields, wavy-haired moms sunbathing on remote islands or swimming in oceans around the world while flaunting their subtle baby bumps and feeding their well-behaved toddlers. It all seems like a far-away fantasy, available to us with just one click, yet like an unattainable reality for the majority of moms.
The lives of these moms are always full, eccentric and adventurous, their wardrobes include all the latest pieces we would like to own, and their multiple kids seem to always be following them everywhere – chic restaurants, photoshoots, work travels. And the thing is? Many of them don’t even have a job or a well-defined business, yet they have hundreds of thousands of followers and their Instagram bios read “mom“. Or “mamma”. Or “mommy”.
But more often than not, this description comes along other attributes, such as fashion addicted, beauty consultant, travel lover, pizza aficionado, adventure seeker, soul searcher, yoga practitioner, gourmand, and my list could go on. We seem to have this undisguised need to add to the list of “things that we are, things that we do”, even though we don’t actually have to (it’s just an Instagram bio, not a professional resume right???).
So I couldn’t help but wonder: in this world where Instagram is basically our go-to Bible, our way of self-expression and also a platform to make money, is it still socially sufficient to this day to be… just mom? So many successful (and rich) moms out there make a living from just being moms, period. They aren’t doctors, lawyers, interior designers, or accountants in their 9-5 weekday lives. They are full time moms, who care for their one, two, or five kids, and who are aware that being a mom IS a full time job, that requires so much more than most regular jobs. They are independent, confident, dragon women, who have the courage – because yes, these days you need the courage – to admit that they are JUST MOMS, and nothing else. They don’t need to be defined by extra Instagram bio descriptions, they just are. The topic of “working” vs. “stay-at-home” moms is such a tabu subject now, that it turned into a no-go conversation starter.
Oh, you’re a working mom, how difficult it must be for you to wave “bye” to your kids every morning at 7 and then try to hurry home each evening to catch dinner with them, or put them to sleep, while a nanny cares for them all day long. Oh, you’re a stay-at-home mom, that must be so exhausting, what are you doing other than feeding, wiping, burping, entertaining them all day? Wouldn’t you want to get away from the house?
No matter how you put it, no way is the right way for everyone. Each mom is different – and each mom tries to make the best choices for herself. Still, I think that one should be aware of the accountability of portraying motherhood on social media, as it can be so deceiving at times when Instagram posts tend to exceed human perfection. Motherhood is not the most elegant and sparkling job, and nobody has their shit together all the time. Yes it’s nice to see your perfectly-kept house where housekeepers make sure there’s fresh tulips on the dining table every morning, and the beds are rigorously made and your happy kids are always wearing their Sunday best clothes. But I find it so refreshing to see the other side of the story (see @rubytuesdaymatthews my all time favourite real mamma on Instagram, a.k.a also my mamma obsession), where moms keep it real and sometimes roll their eyes to their kids, and sometimes there is laundry piled up in the living room, dishes in the sink, and milk and cereal for dinner. Oh, how comforting the mere thought that you are not the only “irresponsible” mom out there who’s way too tired or lazy to cook an elevated Sunday dinner.
Moms who work, or moms who stay at home and are “just moms”, or run their businesses while watching the kids are all superwomen. And if being a mom pays their bills, all the power to them! Stick to who you are, unapologetically and elegantly, and breathe confidence through each pore. It’s OK to stay at home and be “just mom”, it’s OK to be a mom-preneur, it’s OK to have a full time job, to have no nannies or 3 nannies, it’s OK to be everything you want to be as long as you take all credit for it and are proud of who you are.
Let’s stop judging and feeling insecure about our duties that never seem to be enough. You are enough, I am enough, we are enough- even though we will always strive for more. More will come, when we will just be.
These are the Realmomsters I want to be inspired by every day.