The next #MyDayOfParenting is Tuesday, 16 October.
#MyDayOfParenting is a social media campaign of sorts – although that makes it sound fancier than it is. And it’s not designed to promote anything – other than community and support for one another.
On these days, any parent who wants to take part posts hourly (ish) updates of their day – whether they’re with their kiddos or not. After all, whether we’re being treated like a climbing frame or child-free for the day, we’re still parents. Most people post their updates to IG Stories but if you don’t use Instagram, some people have posted to Facebook Stories instead. Or you could even use Twitter or a blog post, if you’d rather.
The idea isn’t to compare ourselves to others but hopefully to see that whatever we’re going through, someone else is right there in it with you.
The idea came about because it seemed like I spent my first three months as a mama on our couch. I’m surprised there’s not a huge, me-shaped indent permanently imprinted into it.
It felt lonely & joyful & boring & irritating & confusing & blissful & isolating & just plain weird.
I’d see other mamas online with babies of similar ages and it seemed like they were all out travelling or doing activities or writing books while their babas napped – and don’t get me started on the ones posing with their “I slept through the night for the first time!” milestone cards.
And there I was with a baby who was (ands still is) a complete boob monster, who wouldn’t sleep unless he was attached to me. It felt like a huge accomplishment just to shower and feed myself. Netflix and biscuits were my main sources of nourishment. I regularly called my husband at 3pm desperate for him to come home from work early. And when he did get home, he’d give a well-intentioned “What have you two been up to today?” And I’d want to shout, “THIS! THIS COUCH IS MY WHOLE LIFE NOW!”
Don’t get me wrong: there was so much joy too but it was completely disorienting.
It was hard not to let the self-doubt creep in. Even though I was following my intuition and deep down knew that it was all completely normal, I would still wonder: was I doing this wrong? Should I be getting more done? Was anyone else spending so much time on their sofas? Were they as bored and restless and confused as me?
I desperately wanted to lift back the curtain and peek into the lives of other mothers. How were they spending their days, behind the highlight reels of social media?
In many ways, mamahood is much easier for me these days. But I still spend a lot of time on that couch, a lot of time in the mundane, a lot of time alone with my baby. And I’m still desperately curious to see what it looks like for others. Not so I can fall into compare and despair but because recognizing my experience in theirs is so comforting. And if I can pick up any tips to make it all flow a little easier, all the better!
During each “campaign” we post hourly updates on Instagram Stories to really give a sneak peek of what life looks like, both with our children and on our own. And then we can share a post on our grids using the hashtag, giving a little recap of the day or any thoughts on our parenting lives.
Whether you’re a SAHM getting cabin fever at home. Or you’re at work and suffering from major mom guilt. Whether you fill your day with activities or are more go-with-the-flow. Whether you’re rocking the 9-5 and loving that you have some space just for you Or if you can’t imagine anything better than a day with your littles. Whatever you’re going through, whatever you’re feeling, and whatever decisions you’re making, it’s all valid and normal. And by sharing it we can show other parents that they’re not alone and that what they’re going through is valid and normal, too.
I hope you’ll join us.