There’s been a bit of a storm in the mummy blogging world in recent weeks with that Mumsnet thread. I spent a couple of hours the other night reading through the comments, and while some of them were uncalled for (many of them have been removed now), I kind of understood where people were coming from.
The phenomenon that is “Insta Mums” has left people divided. The main players are now quite famous (I’d recognise one of them before a TV star these days), and are all obviously making quite a good living by marketing themselves, their families and promoting brands.
I personally don’t have a problem with it, in fact I would go as far to say that I am quite addicted to following these people on Instagram, and I watch their stories day in and day out. I like having a glimpse into their lives, and most of them make me laugh out loud (Mother Pukka and Suzie Verril in particular are hilarious).
However, there does seem to be a recurring theme in that the majority of them are London based, get invited to exclusive events, are given loads of free products, have the most stylish “instagrammable” homes with white walls and go on quite frequent luxury holidays.
Herein lies the undercurrent of people’s annoyance. A lot of women on the thread took offence at being told that “we’re all struggling in the same mummy boat” when clearly they aren’t. The Insta Mums appear to have it all…expensive clothes, nannies, cleaners, and free stuff handed to them on a plate. All while flogging brands on their posts that most people can’t afford and using the “sisterhood” hashtag. Is this a class divide? Probably.
I get it, of course I do. I’ve been in the blogging world for about a year now (minimal effort though), and know that that’s how you make money. Good on them I say, they’re generating an income for their families and it can’t piss that many people off as they wouldn’t have so many followers.
There were a couple of things I agreed with on that thread however. One person said she couldn’t believe that a mummy blogger was promoting products while her premature baby was in the background in NICU. Another said that she unfollowed a daddy blogger after he posted live updates of his children being rushed to hospital in an ambulance (paramedics in the background and everything). The comments of a very famous Insta Mummy basically being a bully and hounding another mum off Instagram for disagreeing with her was also quite worrying (I don’t know how true this is though).
For me, this is too far. I’ve never understood parents posting pictures of their kids lying in a hospital bed (my personal opinion). I’m assuming (hoping) their reason for this is to help other parents who might be going through the same thing, not to generate more likes or followers. When Molly ended up in hospital a couple of times I could barely function with the anxiety and worry, never mind get my phone out and update my social media accounts.
It seems that people feel that the most popular accounts are now just basically media machines (a few of them are managed by the same agent), and have lost that personal touch. With ad after constant ad and everyone wearing the same clothes standing in front of an ‘interesting’ wall, I can totally understand why people are getting fed up and hitting that unfollow button.
When I first entered this world I followed any parent blogger account going, trying to get a feel of what it was all about, be inspired and to find mums in the same, tired, scared, exhausted boat. However, that boat is now overloaded and I’ve had to jump off, so to speak. There’s just so many of them.
I was following around 2000 Instagram accounts of basically exactly the same content. Everything was identical, and my feed was just boring me. I realised then that I’m just not into monochrome interiors or looking at relentless pictures of other people’s children that I’ve never met. All with “sponsored posts” thrown in (mainly about wooden watches that I will never ever wear).
This is not a dig at other mummy bloggers at all, it’s just that I have to be true to myself and only follow accounts that I’m interested in and can relate to. My daughter is three now, so I don’t need baby-based products or posts. My time is precious and the internet is vast, so I’ve had to condense it.
It’s also given me perspective. I’m not a “mummy blogger” in the true sense of the phrase. Yes I’m a blogger and yes I have a daughter, but the reason I started doing it was because of me and my anxiety. I could post everyday about our life, but who wants to read about going shopping to Aldi or playing in the same park or soft play each week? I don’t want to have my phone constantly in my hand posting updates or taking photos of Molly, as it’s not fair on her.
At the moment I’m happy in the slow lane, writing when I want to write and posting half decent photos on Instagram of anything that takes my fancy (not following any kind of theme). This is probably why I’ll never be a successful blogger, I’m pretty sure I’ve scared any PR person off by writing about taking drugs and supporting the McCanns!
I love Insta Stories, they are so addictive, and much better than actual TV in my opinion, but my feed is much more tailored to my likes now…I can actually see different accounts popping back up of music artists that I love, rather than a constant barrage of babies I don’t know. It’s only taken a year but I’ve finally found my blogging feet, and the best part is knowing that I can walk in any direction that I choose.