I’ve always been thirsty for information and an avid researcher. That kicked into full swing when my husband and I decided to start a family almost nine years ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago but things were quite different back then. Buzzwords such as holistic, organic, and non-toxic were more obscure… and alternatives to the mainstream weren’t readily available. I had to dig deep to find good information to make healthier choices for my body, baby and home. I became somewhat of a resource for friends and family who were also expecting or interested in a more holistic lifestyle.
At the suggestion of a friend, I created Natureal Mom to share information and ideas with others. It also became a creative space for me to learn web design, make and share recipes and gave me an opportunity to pursue a new hobby, photography. After a challenging labor and birth, and overcoming breastfeeding challenges, I felt compelled to support other women and families and became a Certified Birth Doula, Lactation Educator/Counselor, and Childbirth Educator. I drew upon personal and professional experiences to offer evidence-based information with my readers as well. In 2013, I stepped away from a career in social media marketing to fully pursue this path and spend more time with my growing family.
As Natureal Mom picked up traction, my web traffic and social media following grew. I didn’t set out to become a micro-influencer (I had over 25K Instagram followers and good engagement) and intentionally declined advertising inquiries and monetary compensation for posts. I genuinely enjoyed connecting with people from all over the world and felt like I was making a difference, even if on a smaller scale. Many treasured doula clients who are now dear friends found me through my site.
Despite the good, Instagram has become oversaturated and was slowly becoming the antithesis of what Natureal Mom was all about. I felt tethered to my phone and pressure to put the face behind Natureal Mom out there. In The Psychological Toll of Becoming an Instagram Influencer, psychology professor Danielle Leigh Wagstaff says Instagram — more so than any other platform — confuses our social comparison radar. We’re constantly trying to figure out if we’re more or less attractive, smart, and accomplished than everyone else. Moms are already susceptible to comparison and competition and I became increasingly aware of the weight each post carried. Nice family vacation or date night pictures could make someone feel less than, and the “authentic” real mom moments often feel the most contrived.
I took an extended social media break to reflect on how I want to spend my time and energy. Now that my children are older, life has become “busier” (I don’t love this word but let’s face it, we live in a faster-paced world of distraction and noise that wasn’t as prevalent when we were kids) and my priorities have shifted. There are 24 hours in a day and sacrificing fleeting time for myself and my family is no longer an option for me. I’m also mindful of how my children see me using technology and media and what messages it sends them.
Closing the chapter on Natureal Mom, deleting some social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) and cleaning out others (Instagram is going through a mass Exodus and has been switched from a Business Profile to a private account) means I can live a more peaceful and present life. In her post Your Digital Life is NOT Your Life, Faith Janes writes, “Your life is made up of real moments in time that include real human interaction. Your life is a living picture of your personal priorities.” I am not eschewing social media altogether, just the way I use it.
Perhaps in the future I will revisit the world of blogging. At this time, most of the posts on Natureal Mom will remain published for anyone who wants to read them. Thank you for listening and following along on my journey!