Mum and blogger, Esther Tan, debunks the myths of Instamoms – spoiler alert: it's not as glam as it seems...
It’s official. Instamoms have taken over our Instagram accounts. And seriously, what’s not to like? (Literally!) Cute chubby faces, little bodies stuck in adorable tiny outfits and baby kicks, charmingly decorated and spotlessly clean nurseries complete with sticker designs on their walls, not a toy or colour scheme out of place.
Even for people who aren’t parents, it’s probably hard not to creep on these perfectly curated images of a reality a non-parent might feel so far from. Just like how we would binge scroll through a Victoria’s Secret model’s page – it feeds our need for a crazy fantasy. At the same time, not knowing what their reality truly is like might create pitfalls for misconceptions.
As a Mom myself, I hope to clear up some common misconceptions about Instamoms, and hopefully shed a bit of light into our world as mothers in a modern world.
1. Once you have a kid, you instantly become an Instamom
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it isn’t that easy. It is true that once you have a baby, you immediately level up with Mama street cred. C’mon, carrying a human being to full term and birthing a living thing is possibly one of life’s greatest feats. But after that whole shebang, to be an actual Instamom takes a lot of time and effort and hashtags. This is not necessarily something all of us mothers have the time and energy for. Posting one or two pictures of our babies while we enjoy a moment’s peace on the toilet bowl is often the highlight of our day. We don’t do it for the gram, we do it for our sanity!
2. We post happy photos of our kids for likes and personal validation
Please don’t look upon us with scorn when we try to capture happy moments with our little ones to look back on. Don’t judge us when we rather not commemorate the massive poop explosions or embarrassing public meltdowns.
Yes, there are times when these snapshots might feature our faces with makeup on. But don’t you feel a little happier and more inclined to take a selfie when you have some eyeliner and blush on too? Now take that happiness and multiply it by about three or five times. That’s how happy we feel when we manage to slap on some face, with a hyper three year old breathing down our necks.
Most of the time, we really just want to share our joy with you. Many of my single friends would literally thank me for letting them have their daily dose of cuteness. If you don’t appreciate it, just swipe left and move on. We won’t take offence.
3. Looking at other Instamom accounts make us feel envious and competitive
Quite the contrary! We know what being a real mom means, and we share our struggles and a common understanding. On Instagram and other social media platforms, we often look to other mothers for inspiration, knowledge and encouragement. We understand that sometimes, our posts and captions are more aspirational than anything. We all have our own image of motherhood in our heads that we want to live up to, just like how you have your own image of success that you aspire for.
4. We feel pressured to do certain things because of Instamom culture
As a Mom, we can’t help but put our kids first because it comes to us naturally and instinctively. It’s literally in our biology. Call it #momguilt or #mommadness, but it’s definitely not Instamom culture that tells us to obsess over our kids. It’s innate and we can’t fight it! Our obsession might come off wrongly when we post about what school we are deciding to place our kids in, or which pediatrician we should take our sick kid to. But think about it. It’s not that far off from how you’d post a poll about with a picture of you in Uniqlo’s changing room about whether you should get that outfit, or if you should just ditch shopping and get bubble tea instead.
5. Once you become a Mom, you lose your personal identity
Not true. Rather than losing our identity, we simply take on an additional Mom identity in our multifaceted lives. After all, we are all not one dimensional beings! We switch from different modes and roles all the time, from being professional at work to casual lunches with friends, and nurturing Mom at home. There’s no denying that being a Mom is a dynamic identity and responsibility to take on. It’s easily the most challenging one for sure! But deep down, we are still the same. You might have to dig us out of the mess of diapers and wet wipes to find us again, but we will thank you for making the effort.
In the end, I guess we Moms are just tired of constantly being judged. What we put up on our Instagrams is really our prerogative, as it is for you and your own social media accounts. If you don’t like what you see, feel free to swipe it away or mute our accounts. We promise we won’t take any offence. We’ve been through much worse, trust me.