I follow a few writing prompts and usually, they inspire a post that I hold on to but on rare occasions like a previous prompt from WordPress, I get to urge to write immediately. Usually, it’s something that has been on my mind and the prompt just draws it out. I have spoken previously about my intentions for this blog about finding my voice online and my niche but I have been very firm that this is a place to write, for me to express myself creatively and to stay in touch with old friends.
I posted a version of the image above on Instagram and like so many other images on that platform, it gives a brief glimpse of a person’s life, a snapshot of moments. The illusion that all is right with the world and as you scroll you can get lost in that beauty. Do not be fooled, these images are curated and edited and I only wish I could look as fantastic as some of the parent bloggers out there. My own feed is something that I have never been comfortable with. I wanted my children in there because it reminds me of them when I’m working but I also didn’t want their life in photos for the world to watch them grow.
What has happened is the illusion of a life, one of perfect balance between motherhood, freelancing from home and a bountiful garden. Is it wrong of me to shatter that? My life is far, far from perfect. Just like ever other parent out there, I do my best to balance the needs of my family with those of my own. I only recently decided what I want my Instagram feed to be. I wanted to pull back from the need to post because I’m told I have to in order to grow my following but to post because I want to.
Instagram is an art, to take images and showcase them to a viewer in an enticing way. It can also be just about sharing images with friends and keeping in touch but for me, I need there to be a reason to post that isn’t about blog growth or statistics. If I don’t enjoy doing something it is immediately apparent that I am doing it because I have to. Recently I started using Instagram for reflection, to house all of my thoughts along with sharing images that I thought I had learnt something valuable and fun while taking them. Guess what, the community responded.
Because I wasn’t pitching my blog posts or podcast or just posting random images my profile has seen more growth and organic interaction than ever before. You can see exactly the point where I changed my mind and decided what I wanted that platform to be for me. It will be based in real life but curated to form an illusion of a picture perfect life here in the cottage. It will be moments of our lives but what you won’t see are the tired toddler tantrums, the 3 am feedings, the day where I couldn’t even find the time to get dressed out of my PJ bottoms because I don’t want to remember those days. I want to remember the ones where we played in the sun, where my toddlers helped me style photoshoots, where my garden was blooming at it’s best and I found the time for a peaceful coffee or to knit a few stitches.
If I can’t hold on to those perfect moments then it makes those tough parenting days even harder. I’m comfortable with building the illusion of my perfect life, it will pick me up on the days when all I want to do is give up and sit on the bathroom floor and cry. I will be able to see my garden as it should be in full bloom when it’s raining and the winter chill is setting in and all I can see are bare patches that need work. In my life, I need to wear so many hats as a mother, a wife, an employee, a business woman, a writer, a creative to name a few so I have to have somewhere to draw strength from and if that needs to be an illusion of my constant perfect life than I am comfortable with that. After all nothing is perfect, those moments are fleeting so grab them with both hands and hold on tight because around the corner is another moment akin to a toddler tantrum.