…mainly Instagram, I love Instagram. I wanted to write a post about my take/experience of social media. I think the topic gets quite a negative reputation in terms of people spending more times logged into their social media accounts rather than with actual people. But I think social media has had a really positive effect on my life. Granted I probably spend more time on there than I should (normally procrastinating before I work out!) But as a first time mum it has allowed me to form a support network of people who I may never have met, but I do consider friends.
My Instagram (@fitmumjess) is mainly centred around motherhood (there’s plenty of babyspam of Rafe on my page) and fitness. In terms of fitness I use the page to keep myself motivated and accountable but posting my workouts/food and following other fitness accounts from which I gather inspiration and ideas. I think when you follow some people like (some) fitness models and celebrities, you do have to take everything with a pinch of salt. Of course some images will be edited and a lot of people (including myself) probably only post photo’s of themselves on the non-bloated days when they haven’t just indulged in a biscuit binge! As long as you keep that in mind and don’t let anybody else’s account make you feel inferior or down about yourself then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with following people who you find inspiring. It gives you something to work towards and is incredibly motivating. I think also when looking at the fitness side of my Instagram when you follow people at different stages of their fitness journeys you all kind of have the same goal. Okay people might have different workout goals or diets but if you all share an interest in leading a healthy lifestyle and encourage each other than it can create a very supportive community. I personally love ‘liking’ and commenting (positively) on other peoples images. It doesn’t matter if that person is clearly 100% fitter than me it’s still nice to let someone know that they look great and that you find them inspiring and in turn it’s nice to receive the encouragement back!
So the fitness side of my Instagram is great and motivational and encouraging. But the other side of Instagram, the motherhood/ parenting side is where I feel like I have got to know genuine friends. When I went on maternity leave (before I had Rafe) I found that I had a fair bit of time on my hands. I decided to start a ‘mummy blog’ I still do post on it, it’s called ‘Beauty, barbells and babies’ and although I intended for it to combine fitness, motherhood and beauty altogether, it kind of just turned into a blog about Rafe (which is fine). Anyway I followed a lot of Insta-mums and fellow mummy bloggers keen to become a part of this community. And I am so glad that I did. Becoming a first time mum was certainly a shock to the system and I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. I started mainly posting photographs of Rafe with very minimal captions, but then gradually I started opening up about all the challenges that I was facing with my baby. Things like sleeping…or lack of sleeping, feeding, breastfeeding in particular and feeling down because lets be honest motherhood isn’t all cuddles and baby powder. It’s quite possibly the hardest job in the world, and everyone around you seems to expect you to be loving every second of every sleep deprived day, when sometimes you just want to have a good cry and devour an entire pack of Hobnobs! Plus babies don’t come with manuals and sometimes you want some non-judgemental advice or just to know somebody out there is going through the same thing. And that’s what all my lovely ‘Insta-mums’ give me! I also love that my account is like a diary in photographs of my Rafe. I post all his milestones, the hard times, the good times and just the cute pictures of him that I love! I like that I can document my first years of motherhood in this way and that I can always scroll back on it when he’s older.
Obviously there is a nasty side to Instagram or any social media platform aswell. I don’t think that should put anybody off though. In life we will all at some point probably encounter a horrible person or people, but in my experience there are more good ones than bad! Although I do not by any means have thousands of followers or anything like that I would urge anyone thinking about starting an Instagram account whether it be about fitness or motherhood to do it! It’s not all about creating a huge ‘following’ or posting beautiful, aesthetically pleasing photographs (although there’s nothing wrong with that either) it’s a great way to connect to people. By revealing a bit about yourself and your life other people open up with you and you can form very real friendships.