I recently joined the world of Mum Blogs. Dewy eyed and optimistic, I set out to conquer this new world. The website was launched, content was published and social media platforms were created.
Starting an Instagram account for the blog, whilst exciting, felt disconcertingly similar to being a 14-year-old girl starting high school all over again. I had no friends (followers), no one talked to me (comments) and I was constantly looking awkward and out of place (my posts).
It was about this time that I first saw them: The A-list of Aussie Mummy bloggers. It was like a scene from the Movie ‘Mean Girls’. They might as well have been walking in slow motion, arms linked, with Missy Elliot playing in the background.
These flawless women dressed in stylish active wear, their hair in perfectly, imperfect mum buns, their adorable daughters adorned with top-knot headbands. They took effortlessly candid photos and their Insta stories managed to be simultaneously down to earth and outrageously enviable.
They formed an exclusive clique of Instagram mums. They attended styled events, were gifted free products and endlessly tagged each other in posts and stories.
Watching them in awe from behind my screen, I decided that these were the girls that I needed to get in with if I wanted my blog to be a success! I was determined to become one of the “popular girls”.
I spent hours curating the perfect Instagram posts, the ideal filters, the right hash tags. I persisted in trying (and failing) to use the boomerang function (seriously, why do I always look so bloody awkward!). I optimistically sent off DMs and emails to all my Insta-mum crushes. I mentioned them and tagged them in my stories and posts.
But the fruits of my labor produced nothing but silence. I didn’t understand. Why didn’t these women like or comment on my posts? Why did they ignore my messages? Why wouldn’t they befriend me?
The seed of bitterness had been sown. I had become a grown woman (a mother none the less) shrouded in self-doubt because the popular girls were mean to me.
And then I came to the harsh realization that the only mean girl in this equation was me. I had been viewing these women as stepping-stones to my own success.
These women weren’t actively snubbing me, assiduously determined to see my blog fail. They were busy running successful businesses, raising their children and living their own lives. How could my annoyance possibly be justified just because these women hadn’t jumped at the chance to endorse my blog?
The last thing I want to be is the kind of woman that begrudges another woman’s success (we have enough to contend with without tearing each other down!). I should have been admiring these incredible women as role models!
I realised that I had completely lost sight of my goal. I started a blog because I loved to write and connect with like-minded people. This was not reflected in the number of Instagram followers, comments or likes that I had.
So I have made the revolutionary move to align my social media strategy with my blog purpose; To publish content that is honest, relatable and articulates how we are all feeling (and not saying!). To hell with how many followers/likes I have.
Now, when I comment on a post, it is because I genuinely want to know if Mata’s little preemie has put on any weight or I want to commiserate with kristin about how hard daycare drop offs can be. I send DMs to mums that have experienced birth trauma and we connect through this shared experience. I tag products that I have found real value in, without any expectation for recognition or reward.
It turns out that I needed a little reminded of a lesson I learnt in high school; don’t measure your worth based on the approval and validation of others.
Let the A-list of Aussie Mummy bloggers do their thing and I will focus on me (whilst continuing the ongoing battle to master the ever elusive boomerang).
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