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Social Media Mum's

Thursday, 28 September 2017  |  Admin

The rise and fall of the social media mum?


I am a keen advocate of the social media mum, after all if it wasn’t joining Instagram on a whim I would never have discovered the wonderful world of parent feeds. I connected with fellow CHD and NICU mums and began to feel normal again, I found some amazing ladies on Instagram who I now count as my friends after meeting in real life. I learnt to laugh again when someone put something hilarious on the gram’ about a nappy explosion or toddler tantrum. It was through these squares I then discovered parent blogs, mum blogs, dad blogs and people documenting and sharing the highs and lows of raising small humans.

I too, began a blog when I noticed the lack of blogs centred around NICU babies and what happens when things do not quite go to plan. This was a year ago and I am proud to say in that year I have achieved over 100,000 views, write for some amazing parenting sites and have even begun writing my own book! Some of the leading ladies on social media are such powerful champions and are doing some amazing things for all of parent kind. Take Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka campaigning tirelessly for all to have access to flexible working, Amy Ransom aka Surviving Motherhood who is a brilliant ambassador for maternal mental health and one of the first mum bloggers I ever connected with! Jenny Raymond has created a non-judgemental social parenting environment with Mamazou. Mums, Dads and even Grandparents have started their own businesses/ magazines/empowering movements or written their own best seller all via social media. Giovanna Fletcher, Clemmie Hooper, Sarah Turner and the fabulous Scummy Mummies have all written amazing books which are storming up or topping the best seller lists.

It seemed that social mums (and dads) were rising to the top and helping so many by raising awareness, staring campaigns, determined to make a change or just making you feel normal by sharing there honest and normally hilarious parenting adventures. When I first started by blog, and began attending meet ups and seeing the other inspiring parents I felt like never before. Slowly and surely, I gained more and more confidence both with my writing and in normal everyday life. I had an amazing community of parents who empowered and supported me and those who I looked up to with what they had achieved whilst juggling parenthood.

However, in recent months there seems to be a sour note, a tide turning in what I once considered a comforting environment. The positive messages were still there, the campaigns still going strong and attracting mainstream attention but there seemed to be a cattiness that wasn’t there before. People attacking others in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Shaming each other and I began to take stock that although it was just a few people it was having a massive influence on the social media community. Then it came…. that article in question on the Daily Mail publicly shaming some of the most influential social media mums that had become in some ways heroes to me.

Anna May Magan calling out the social media giants, Sarah Turner, Scummy Mummies, Clemmie Telford and Steph Douglas on why they are boasting about being a ‘slummy mummy’. As far as I was concerned none of these ladies were ‘slummy mummies’, they were normal fish finger cooking, gin drinking, and occasionally swearing mothers like the rest of us. They are not bad parents. There was an air of attack as the article moved on to say that it was these ladies making crafting, home cooking and baking mothers feel like they were in fact the inadequate ones. My son loves a fish finger, I love Gin, I craft with him and bake with him too so what does it make me? Why does it matter? Why can we not just be appreciative that these ladies have shared their lives in a real and honest way and in doing so have revolutionised a generation of parents. We are after all, just doing the best we can. They have kept people sane, they have made them laugh and have supported and raised awareness of some brilliant causes. It isn’t knocking those who make organic home cooked meals, or spend the weekends rambling and crafting with lolly sticks. We are all in this together, we ultimately all have roughly the same goal in mind, to raise our little humans the best we can until they can go off into the world and do I for themselves. Whilst trying to keep sane at the same time.

One thing that came from this article that frankly was not just an attack on the ladies named but on many a parent, I myself a social media mum who has built a successful blog on being honest too, was offended. Call me a ‘slummy mummy’, I am an honest and real mum.  As the article broke, parent kind stood up went to their freezers grabbed their fish fingers and showed their support. If you search #solidaritea on Instagram there is over 1,700 posts trending about it. The unity, the positivity to come from this vicious article is why I always felt supported, comforted and empowered by social media. Yes, there will be those who take having an opinion and sharing it to a whole new level, and instead of trying to civilly put their point across will shame and troll others to do so but there will also be the ones who move you, pick you up and care about you even though you may never have met them.

The waves of social media change, as does the rise and fall of the social media mum. I hope we can all just remain kind, supportive and help one another when it comes to raising our humans. Social media has it faults, people can use it in the wrong way, but it can also save someone. Just like a mum who had a baby in NICU, who had a mental illness and began to no longer feel alone, who felt normal and began to laugh again.

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