By Anna Gannon
Last month when I started losing Instagram followers I got really excited. Yeah, you aren’t seeing things, I just said I’m excited about people NOT liking me.
And here’s why…
Recently, I made a decision to not share anything on social media that wasn’t the truth. I decided I was going to be more open about my struggles being a mom. With this came me sharing pictures that were messy. Pictures of a disorganized house, an unshowered mom, a crying baby, as well as the happy, warm moments too… pictures of my real life.
Within a week I lost 30 followers, and for the first time in a while I knew I was doing something right.
You see, when I became a mom last year a lot of things changed in my life. I lost myself, went through a depression, felt completely uninspired, found myself again, got out of a depression and had a spark of inspiration reignite. However, those changes were to be expected (kind of). What wasn’t expected is how much of a bond I felt to other moms the moment I became one.
This all started when a friend who is also a new mom said to me “I mean look at you, you are living in New York City, working from home full time and raising a baby. You are killing it.” This is how she perceived my life through social media and she meant this as a compliment but when she said it, my stomach turned.
Because I don’t ever want other moms to think “I’m killing it.”
Every day of my life is different. Some leave me on my couch, hands over my face, crying from frustration because my daughter Annabell has been screaming for hours. While others have me crawling around on the floor with her laughing, wondering how I ever lived a day without this kind of love.
There are both ups, and downs.
But although I can’t control my baby’s moods, there is one thing I can control, and that’s the way I show up for other moms. I believe that when I gave birth I joined the best group I could have ever asked for: The mom group. And with that came a responsibility to speak the truth, to be vulnerable and support women everywhere.
And for me, this support starts with sharing the truth about what’s really going on. It starts with knowing wholeheartedly that I am not alone in my struggles and when I share them with others they will know they are not alone either.
It starts with saying…
I love being a mom but not always.
It starts with not being afraid to say things like…
I don’t love breastfeeding. I’m constantly trying to get my milk supply up and when my daughter eats, she kicks, bites and screams. This part of motherhood hasn’t felt beautiful, it’s felt hard.
Or being open about how…
I worry about my relationship with my husband. I worry if he still finds me sexy. Mainly because I don’t feel sexy, I feel tired.
And not feeling less than when I talk about how…
I’m trying to be more positive about my body image but I miss my old body sometimes. I know I’m supposed to feel empowered by how my body changed during pregnancy but sometimes It makes me feel self-conscious instead.
It starts with saying I’m not killing it and I’m completely fucking cool with that.
So if speaking the truth makes me less appealing on social media, so be it. I’ve decided that I’m not here to paint a pretty picture, I’m here to make other people feel less alone. I’m here to share my thoughts, the good, the bad and the ugly in the hopes that other women with the same feelings know they’re not bad mothers or bad people for feeling them as well. I’m here to make a difference, not to set a standard.
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