While I’m taking some time out to spend with my family and our new arrival I asked a few lovely bloggers if they would like to guest post. Amy from amyliz.co.uk sent me this post and it rings so true with me. Head over to her blog and give her a follow.
Whilst I was pregnant, Instagram was my unlikely creative outlet. I’d never really found my groove with the app before, sharing photos in fits and starts, but whilst pregnant all of my other creative pursuits became too much effort and Instagram really came to the fore. I hesitate to say it, but it felt like whilst I was creating life, I didn’t have much bandwidth for creating anything else. So all of my other hobbies took a backseat in favour of those little squares and the accompanying captions.
As well as being an accessible option for creativity, I also unwittingly stumbled upon a source of support and information that I will be forever grateful for. To the outsider, Instagram may seem like a place simply to share your selfies, but there are so many communities waiting to embrace you there.
Becoming pregnant and starting my journey to motherhood unlocked a whole new community for me, and I found that the mothers of Instagram welcomed me with open arms.
My Instagram became a place to not only document my pregnancy and share little micro-blogs to help me remember those early days, but a place I went when I was feeling unsure, emotional or overwhelmed.
Whether it was just observing the other mothers that populated my feed, reading what their days were *really* like behind the glossy pictures, or sharing my own struggles and asking for advice, it was a comfort to know that I could always go there and feel a little bit better.
I am naturally an over-sharer, so discussing the reality of pregnancy – which I hated – and early motherhood felt like the obvious progression from years of blogging (I come from the era of blogs that were more like diaries than glossy magazines – it’s in my Internet DNA to over-share). The more honest I was, the more I got back; it is a truth universally acknowledged that whatever you are experiencing as a mother, someone has walked that path before you. What I found by sharing my own story was that those mothers were not only walking ahead of me, they were reaching their hands back to pull me along with them.
Motherhood is many things; it is difficult and exhausting and joyful and heart-warming and anxiety-inducing and rewarding and somehow the same and different for everyone. The world likes to pit mothers against each other; breast v. bottle, stay-at-home v. work-at-home v. go-to-work, and any number of other false conflicts are set up. But rather than these weird wars, I have found nothing but support and encouragement from the mothers of Instagram, and I don’t doubt that my journey into motherhood would have been very different (and a lot more difficult) if it had not been for those comments, conversations and connections that I found on Instagram.
This post has been scheduled in advance whilst I take a little time off to spend with my newborn & family.