Charlie O'Brien - feeling the Instagram pressure

by Charlie O'Brien

I spend a lot of time online. Too much time. But my work is mostly online so it’s virtually impossible to avoid.

But one thing I’m seeing more and more is mums feeling massively inadequate as both women and parents.

And this sense of inadequacy is coming from the constant comparisons that are inevitable when you scroll through social media sites such as Instagram.

Does social media place more pressure on parents?
Does social media place more pressure on parents?

A quick scroll through my feed has just shown me:

- A mum who has spent hours making an elaborate Easter bonnet.

- A mum with a six-pack and an incredible post-baby body.

- A gorgeous family of six, all wearing matching t shirts with no one throwing a tantrum.

- A picture of a healthy meal cooked from scratch that was planned last week by Instagram’s most organised mum.

- A couple who manage one date-night a week and post their romantic pictures despite having three kids.

Now if I quickly compare that to the reality of my day:

- No Easter bonnets being made here, I hate crafts.

- No six-pack either, in fact I’m sitting in scruffy joggers and a sweatshirt with a Monkey

Music sticker on me.

- Forget matching clothes, I couldn’t actually find my baby a pair of tights this morning

without a poo stain.

- Insta worthy dinner? I had lunch at Pizza Express and I’m having toast and chocolate

for tea!

- Date night? At the moment we’re being woken six times a night and are lucky if we

manage half an episode of Homeland together.

But when we’re scrolling through these seemingly perfect feeds we need to remember that every single Mum is going through their own struggles.

They just don’t necessarily post them for the whole world to see.

My Kent Family blogger Charlie O'Brien with daughter Luna (1270905)
My Kent Family blogger Charlie O'Brien with daughter Luna (1270905)

I posted the above picture of me and Luna on my Instagram this morning.

It’s pretty idyllic I suppose. And calm.

What the picture doesn’t show is my husband and I rowing about running late ten minutes before it was taken and a frantic search for a new packet of baby wipes before leaving the house!

My advice for a healthy relationship with social media as a parent is take it with a huge pinch of salt.

After all, it’s not nicknamed ‘Insta-sham’ for no reason!

Charlie

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