This post could be reeeaaallll short. Like one sentence.
“Why don’t I fit into the mommy blogger culture? Cause I don’t want to.”
But it’s more complicated then that – cause sometimes I DO want to fit in.
When I started to blog and get more followers on my social media accounts, I started to look at other blogs and account that I admire and look up to. I wanted to get a better idea of what I ‘should’ be aspiring to. And I felt pretty defeated, I’ll admit.
A lot of the accounts had 10X the amount of followers I did, a lot of the bloggers were talking about things I didn’t want to talk about, and a lot of the photos being posted looked identical and whitewashed.
I couldn’t compete with these moms and social media movers, and I wasn’t really sure anymore why I was ‘supposed’ to.
Do I think it’s awesome to have 10,000 followers? Sure. Would I like to have sponsors and brands I rep and get free stuff? Absolutely. Do I wish my Instagram feed was gorgeous and flawless and picturesque? I guess. But really – what’s the point??
If I have to become someone else in order to do what everyone else is doing, in order to get all the followers, in order to get the sponsors and free stuff, in order to accomplish ____________, is that really worth it? Cause from where I’m typing, you can find a dozen identical looking accounts with white toned filters on their gorgeous photos, just by clicking on the hashtag #momlife. And that’s not a criticism – it’s just a fact. And maybe that is a true representation of their #momlife – it’s just not a true representation of mine, or of me.
That’s one of the reasons I don’t identify as a mommy blogger or social media account – because I don’t just want to focus on my motherhood. Yes, being a mom has impacted me more then almost any other life change, but it’s not the only thing I do. If anything, being a mom has encouraged me to find MY OWN identity, more then ever before.
Another reason I have a hard time fitting into mommy blogger/IG culture is because I don’t feel cool enough (which is a pretty un-cool thing to admit). I see what the cool kids are doing, and I just can’t compete! I can’t afford to dress my kid in specialty boutique handmade clothing only, and I don’t know how to perfectly curate a photo of my adorable and clean (when are kids ever clean!) child, while having my own make up and hair done, WHILE holding a Starbucks latte – I AIN’T GOT THE CASH OR THE SKILLZ. Or the care, really. I don’t care enough about the coolness of my ‘brand’ to put the effort in to appear effortless! Though I will take several hours to put together a silly and ridiculous lip-sync video, without hesitation.
What I’m really saying is that instead of asking “Why am I not like these accounts/blogs?” and feeling like I should try to fit in more, I’ve started asking “Why are all these accounts so popular / identical to each other?” and “Why should I want to be like them?” Nobody told me I had to be like them, but I’ve felt this internal pressure to be more like the mommy blogger norm, andd I didn’t know how to even begin to curate myself as they had.* It would never feel natural to me, so I just decided – it’s not for me. That’s not me.
If someone wants to collaborate with me and send me cute free stuff, that’s great! If people want to follow me and I end up with 10,000 followers, that’s great (and terrifying)! And if my account takes on a certain curated look that is genuine and authentic, that’s fine too! I’m not the authentic police – but I am a mom who blogs and spends a lot of time on social media, and I can’t say that I feel like I ‘fit in’ with the accounts I have the most in common with – mommy bloggers.
AND THAT’S OK. I don’t need to change. I don’t need to tell them to change. I can only stay true to myself (online and IRL) and assume that others are doing the same (or unfollowing accounts that feel overly curated or uninspiring to me). And I hope that’s what you do too! Don’t worry about ‘fitting’ into a subculture of social media or focus too much on ‘branding’ your account or blog to fit in somewhere. As someone who has found a fantastic online tribe, I can tell you that’s not how to find authentic connection online. I have’t done much to curate myself besides branding myself as AUTHENTIC, and I have found loads of woman I connect with and have true friendship with. And if who you are is sepia filters and adorable baby clothes and neutral tones and starbucks selfies – THAT’S COOL TOO.
The best thing you can do for yourself, for the internet, and for your tribe is to show up 100% as yourself. Not as anyone else, not as a curated version of yourself in order to get more followers or to get free stuff – just yourself. Even if yourself isn’t so cool 🙂
As always friends, I hope this post inspires you to continue to strive for authenticity and encourages you on the journey to self-acceptance. Cause we’re all in this together ❤
For more raw and real insights into mommy blogger culture, check out this article at Refinery29! http://www.refinery29.com/2017/02/141897/mom-blogger-instagram-reality
*I can’t speak to any specific mommy blogger / social media accounts and say what is or is not authentic about them. I can only say that I see these accounts develop a large following (and therefore sponsorships and a type of success) and wonder why so many of them seem to be much of the same thing. Not a criticism, just an observation. And really, this is more of an observation about my own personal feelings about the ‘culture’ of accounts like these, not a comment on the actual women behind the accounts.