This blog has always been about helping working moms, and over the last 4 years (!!) on the internet, the definition of “working mom” has evolved for me. I am currently a stay-at-home mom with a 5 and 1 year old, and there is no debate on whether or not that alone is a full time job. I used to outsource childcare and now I don’t. But just like any job, I still find pockets of time to feed my instagram addition.
It’s a classic case of burying my emotions with indulgent activities. I’m usually worn out and disappointed in myself. I should be more productive and intentional with my time, but instead I’m stuck on the couch breastfeeding baby boy or trapped in the car circle line. This is how I’ve learned to cool myself down when I’m dying to pursue my goals but just… can’t right now.
The mom-of-small-kids gig is a very consuming phase but while I’m bumming because my free time is spent consuming instead of creating, I’m still thinking about my readers and how I can help fellow moms in the same position.
use your instagram addiction to be a better and happier parent
No matter how much (read: little) time I have, my feed makes the list of things-to-do. But I’ve found ways to make my time on there more pleasant and productive during this challenging/fleeting/fascinating season of life.
So while I don’t listen to my phone when it tell me that I hit my scrolling limit for the day, I’m happy to say all that time spent perusing my feed doesn’t feel “wasted”. These are the rules I follow to make my instagram addiction seem less indulgent and help me be a better mom & happier person!
how to make instagram a more valuable use of time
Instagram and social media will consume a lot of our day before we even realize it’s dinner time (and nobody else is cooking…), but luckily it’s so easily curated. During this super intense season of motherhood and especially throughout the whole quarantine situation, I want my feed to cater to the hobbies I wish I could pursue. And I always heard that everyone should have three hobbies:
- one to make us happy
- one to make us healthy
- and one to make us money
So here we go.
figure out what your feed says about you, and what you want it to say
The first thing I did to make instagram less indulgent/potentially toxic was taking a good hard look at what my feed made me feel. Now I love to laugh, and there’s a ton of hilariously relatable content around kids and how ridiculous parenting can be, but a lot of the mommy-meme accounts made me feel bitter, angry, and strung out.
The jokes can crack me up, but they tend to make me think “everyone is struggling too. I shouldn’t try too hard”.
But after thinking that, I realized that I want to try hard. I want to be the best mom I can during these critical formative years. And I needed to find places that left me feeling empowered and inspired to grow as a parent.
Unfollowing is the easiest thing you can do to clean up the clutter that brings you down. It’s not uncommon to get a case of FOMO when you ditch some of that clutter, but remember you can always re-follow later. Also, it’s free soooo….
feed your creativity and passions
Seek out inspiration. My entire social media experience is by no means parenting related. I follow so many creators and brands that get my creative juices flowing. In a way that could be tied to parenting I guess, because we need to hold on to parts of our own personality. Like, with a death grip, never let those passions go!
My favorite creatives to follow are DIYers, woodworkers, and professional designers. But I know many moms who live for fashion bloggers, fit-fluencers, and foodies.
Find what feeds your soul and leaves you feeling fulfilled and inspired to make time for something you love.
seek out entertaining educators
On top of your passions, there are so many things you can LEARN on any platform. You don’t need to learn everything about a subject, but getting little snippets of valuable information regularly builds up. Just like in traditional school, the knowledge gets compounded over time.
I love following investment/finance accounts to keep a pulse on the market and keep our savings, budgets, and investments in the forefront of my mind.
But there are also pro-marketers and other entrepreneur teachers that teach me more about running the thriving business of my dreams.
The beauty of instagram and any platform is that the content performs best when it fits into the preferred format. So creators can be expected to make short and sweet snippets there versus youtube which prioritizes 30 minute videos. NO THX.
connecting with others
Instead of simply lurking, sharing what you’re up to, responding to people’s stories, and asking for input has some seriously positive effects. Maybe it’s just the serotonin boost that “likes” give us, but hey! Count it. We are social creatures and social media has made responding seem… weird… sometimes. But push past that because it’s literally the purpose of these platforms.
I don’t do it as much as I should, but I do manage to stay in touch with friends better through DMs. We’re all there lurking about, after all.
I’ve started showing up in my instagram stories in order to share ANYTHING which makes my creative side feel productive, but it’s still not quite satisfying. (Stories are so shortlived whereas blog content lives foreverrrr)
muting bad vibes*
Little bonus here, because I realize not everyone can necessarily be unfollowed. Utilizing the mute function has been very helpful for me to spare myself the sickeningly perfect details of some friends.
For example, I know a girl, fellow mom, and all around perfect person with a perfect house/husband/mom friends and everything awesome. I won’t lie, I am straight up jealous of her sometimes. Every time she popped up I felt sad and I had to mute her. For my own mental health.
I took a break and she’s back in the rotation now but I needed that time to better understand where the heck all those bad vibes were really coming from. You know?
Instagram’s best Parenting resources you need to follow
Now because I love to help busy moms, I’m always grinding on some content that I think is helpful. Unfortunately it doesn’t all come to life as quick as I’d like. My best ideas live amongst dozens of drafts, and believe me they will be LOVED, but they need more attention than I have to give right now. So for now they live in an incomplete state. Still, I can share what I AM doing which is a lot of consuming other people’s helpful content.
And currently, I seek out all the information I can get from parenting experts. This is the most valuable area to me right now. Of course I’m looking forward to pouring all of myself into exercising, traveling, growing my business or some combination of those in the future, but while my babies are young, I’m focusing all of my effort on how to be the best mom I can be while I have the opportunity.
My baby girl won’t want me to walk her to the school gates forever, and baby boy won’t nap on me every afternoon for the rest of my life. I’m soaking it up now because that’s all we really get. So while I’m scrolling through my feed, DMing old & new friends, and fueling my passion projects, I get slipped some incredible parenting advice.
It’s like micro-dosing mom skills. There are so many professionals sharing their expertise to help us be better, more compassionate parents and raise well-adjusted adults. So when I get hypnotized by instagram’s addictive algorithms, these accounts bring me back to reality and inspire me to put down the phone and connect with my babies in meaningful ways.
Dr. Siggie Cohen | Dr.Siggie
For the best tips to handling tantrums and communicating with tiny people <3
Dr. Becky Kennedy | drbeckyatgoodinside
So many situational examples and SCRIPTS to influence our kids to behave and respect boundaries
Toddler PROs with awesome ideas for burning their energy and understanding those baby brains
For understanding the science behind babies thoughts & feelings
Because she’s great at guiding us through the most relatable mom-of-toddlers struggles
My favorite example of no-guilt gentle parenting advice because she gives grace to moms like me who tend to lose it.
for mom therapy because it all comes down to where we’re coming from.
I had to share this list because I don’t think these topics are discussed nearly enough! Everyone points to the “no manual” excuse for parenting, but these incredible resources share so much reliable, effective, and FREE information that every parent needs to see.
My own overindulgent instagram use might be a perfect example of bad behavior stemming from unregulated emotions driven by exhaustion and frustration (this is the crap our kids are going through too, btw), but I’ve found a way to get more out of it and help shape me into who I want to be during this crazy stage of life. Hopefully I can help at least one person clean up their feed and learn more about parenting from real professionals too.
Thank you for reading & happy mothering!