I’ve never been one of the popular girls and it’s always something that, rightly or wrongly, I’ve aspired to be. Now that I’m not at school the definition of “popular” has changed from the big group of friends who just seem so cool to those gorgeous insta-famous mamas. And yes I would count even 1,000 followers as insta-famous. Let’s be honest, wouldn’t everyone love to have that many people appreciating their photos and what they write? These women, to me, are an inspiration and not to be looked upon negatively at all. I wish I could capture my life as beautifully as they do.
I can be a very obsessive person and towards the end of my maternity leave this became somewhat an obsession to me. I spent too much money (that I did not have) trying to keep up with these accounts and trying to gain followers and I spent more time trying to get a cute picture of Saskia than actually enjoying her – guilty mama alert!! I’d lose sleep over why people weren’t interested in my account and every time my follower count went down if feel a stab of pain in my heart. (I’m not sure why I’m using the past tense, I try not to feel like that anymore but I definitely still do!)
I think a lot of the reason why I became so obsessive was nervousness about going back to work. Focusing on something unimportant so that I didn’t have to think about something much bigger! But the end result was the same.
It all came to a crunch a couple of days into being back at work. I’d noticed my followers falling dramatically (50 in one day?!) And I panicked – it turns out my account has been shadow-banned, whatever that is. (I think it’s when instagram won’t let anyone, who doesn’t follow you, see your account.) It really upset me (and if I’m honest it still upsets me) because it’s made me feel like I’ve done something wrong but I’m not sure what. I spent all day focusing on my instagram rather than my work and shed actual tears over people who are effectively strangers unfollowing my account. I don’t know why my account was banned but to say it pushed me over the edge is an understatement. Everybody has their own battles they’re fighting and this was one more battle than I needed. I had to take a break from Instagram and those days have given me more perspective and helped me to relax a bit. I realised that I don’t need to keep up with everyone else and I’m trying to convince myself I’m good enough just the way I am.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I’ve picked myself apart a million times trying to work it out with no luck, but this is me freeing myself and saying I don’t have to focus on this and I don’t need to take it personally. I’ve started a new account and I’m going to carry on taking photos and doing what I’m doing for me. Because I love it and it’s something that I enjoy doing. I’m going to stop comparing myself to these other mamas because it really doesn’t matter. They inspire me and that’s enough. Hopefully one day I will inspire other women but I’m going to try not to get caught up in the insta-world. I’m going to live my life and enjoy my bubba. Everyone has their own battles to fight and I’m not going to let Instagram be one of mine. Instagram can be such a beautiful and supportive place but it can also be so lonely. Maybe one day, when I’m feeling stronger emotionally, I’ll revisit my goal to become like one of these insta-mamas but until then I’m going to relax about it all. I appreciate every single one of my followers (and those who read my blog) and hope, just hope that I can have a positive impact on a few people out there. Whether that be from making them smile over something to empowering them and giving them confidence, who knows. But if I can’t be one of these women who inspires thousands then I hope that I can lift at least one person up and improve their day.
Love, Anna xox