I Was The Worst Kind Of Instagram Mom

Don’t worry, I’m not drunk-blogging this one although it was a nice buzz of confidence to deactivate my Instagram, which I started in 2010 (yep, right when it launched). I do feel a little guilty for just up and leaving so many amazing parent-friends I have come to know and laugh at with without as much a goodbye photo. Ironically, if you remember, my last photo was a very, very rare photo of the kids’ faces that I captioned “For old times sake.” By the sheer nature of that photo alone, I really had no idea that in less than a day after, I would delete the entire account. Yet I got up, logged into my Instagram.com on my laptop, deactivated 1000+ posts and said goodbye without saying “goodbye” to the specially chosen few on my feed view. I left the Instagram attachment parenting community because of Instagram parenting.

I would read things like, “Oh, I found you through the #cosleeping hash tag!” or “I saw your gymnurstics pic on FB!” The most common was “I found you through [insert Instagram mommy]!” As a mom, Instagram was great for a quick peek into others but you can move on with your day (or the rest of your Instagram feed). With a great and interesting community, I still managed to hate it. I quit Instagram for a clusterfuck of reasons but the main reasons were a little more deep than me not ever being selfie-ready:

Addictive It is truly addicting and the only way for me to kick that disgusting habit was to delete and be done with it.

Obligation It was nice to know people liked my pictures, humor and all that but I felt I always had to entertainment the masses. Once people see one meme, makes sense to make more, right? I’ve got issues.

Vain Instagram parents everywhere post about what they’re doing so you know they’re doing it. As mundane as it was, I felt I was cornered into this tiny corner of niches and I couldn’t break out of it. It was mommy-everything or nothing at all.

Playa-Haters I managed to piss off a few other Instagram mommies and I laughed and laughed because they weren’t that cool anyways. You don’t have to like me but you hating on me won’t make you less uncool.

“Frenemies” So, when I pissed those IG mamas off, our mutual followers seemed to not want to tell me about it and that hurt me. A couple of legit friends came through to let me know Offended Mom thinks I’m speshul enough to get my own screenshots. Like I said, “Not. Cool.”

Perverts Instagram role-play is just a horrible and wrong thing. I know how it was too easy to slap a photo up on Instagram so I had to shut down any and all excessive mentions of the kids’ physical identities. IG needs a mass-delete option though, pho real.

Babies I think I was just kind of over babies. Babies all over my damn feed. All the time. There were just so many back-to-back photos of your kid’s foraged lunch that I could stomach so I’m just over it.

My babies Oh, my poor neglected babies. How fucked up is it that I’m “spending” more time with other people’s babies than my own real-life ones? I’d be thwarting baby limbs just to find the perfect filter and caption. This was my wake-up moment and it’s not my proudest.

I’m here to change all that because I now have a new daily feed– real-life parenting! I’m vowing to be more present with my family, especially the kids. Here are some suggestions to kick the Instagram Mom habit:

1) Leave the phone in another room
2) Designate non-family time only for Instagram
3) Log out/in each time so it’s not so easy to open the app
4) Carve out an entire day without Instagram once a week
5) Ask, “Do I need to share this right at this moment?”

I was buried in this existential world and false lenses with strangers scattered across the planet while my kids saw my face buried in my phone screen. To be honest, I am already back on Instagram but have not found a healthy balance to dive into it quite yet. Also this account will not be any ol’ mommy account. Trust. Instead of showcasing my “parenting” through glossy film and filters, I will make sure I’m actually parenting .

What’s your social media usage rule?

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22 thoughts on “I Was The Worst Kind Of Instagram Mom

  1. Good for you! I tried the same thing with Facebook. I didn’t completely erase it but do make myself of on and off and reconsider what I post and question why. As for my Instagram it’s a private acct but even considering that, you make great points about vanity, time away from my family…I have got some thinking to do.

  2. This is me except Twitter rather than Instagram (too newfangled!) and I do the phone-in-another-room trick too. Works great. I found I was getting annoyed with my kids for interrupting my Twitter time – uh, not okay. I also take an occasional MONTH long break – did one in August, doing another in February. Though I will just end up obsessing about something else, email, WordPress notifications, – it’s a sickness!

  3. I have taken many breaks. I even go as far as removing removing the application. I think it can get addicting because its easy to miss something “good”. It’s not like FB where you popular feeds are subject to it the top of your timeline again. With instagram, time is of the essence…like when you post or how many likes you get. When my husband gets upset about me being in my phone I feel bad but then I justify it by not having much outside communication. I think we all would be better parents if we just did instead of showing what we did. Great post.

  4. Ahhh didn’t check my comment before I posted. Sorry for the gibberish. lol But I get so upset when my husband thinks (I think) my phone is more important than what’s going on in REAL LIFE. This post gave me an idea to put myself on a schedule. All of this stuff can wait instead of refreshing 24/7.

  5. Great post, although I miss you on Instagram. I completely understand what you are saying and at times I find myself deciding if what I’m posting is overshare 🙂 I hope you find your balance…cause I’m still searching for my own 🙂

  6. I left Twitter for similar reasons though I rarely use a cellphone. It was a total time suck. I use Instagram more as a daily photojournal…and really don’t look at anyone else’s stuff daily. I kind of felt shitty at first for not following others as they follow me but not anymore.

  7. Thank you for sharing this post! It’s funny, I never tried IG, but having seen so many IG pics through (my now deactivated) Facebook and Twitter, I knew it was addicting but had never heard anyone’s account of it being so! It’s so true that, as parents, we just want to (or NEED TO) reach out and connect with PEOPLE, but at the same time, we don’t need to be in contact with ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. And, once you’ve carved out your social media persona (esp in the parenting niche), it’s like you’re stuck there – that’s what people know you for and to deviate from that really ruffles feathers. Again, great post!

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