Sometimes I question my decision of creating habitual mama. Why would I plaster myself and my family all over social media? Why would I choose to remain so “connected”? Why would I be so daringly honest with complete strangers that I’ve never met before? Yes, these questions go through my head daily, but there is something that I am so deeply passionate about in this world and the feedback I get from people, those “complete strangers”, reaffirms the reasons why I created the blog (and my insta @tracy_and_littlejay) in the first place.
All of my family live in New Zealand and I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby, so when I was pregnant I pretty much had nobody to talk to on a daily basis about what my body was going through. My mind was full of many emotions, my body was pumping with crazy-lady hormones and my stomach was literally being punched and kicked from all angles. During such an overwhelming stage of my life I felt lonely, isolated and scared. I had so many unanswered questions about pregnancy, labour and how to look after a baby, so I turned to the online world for advice.
As I started googling pregnancy symptoms (note to self: don’t do this, it only scares you) I came across an online forum Babycentre.com.au where I was able to anonymously ask hundreds of women the most disgustingly personal questions. It was a place where first, second and third time mums came to check that what they were thinking and feeling was normal. We could share our most intimate thoughts and not be picked apart and judged. It was OUR safe place. Throughout pregnancy and post-birth this group was my saving grace and I am so thankful that I have had such a wonderful group of women to turn to. Even to this day I still message them to share the joyous moments of motherhood and to help me get through those shitty days too. Although I have never met these women before (well, I’ve only met those located in Melbourne) I consider them to be my friends. Weird, I know, but if you had a group like this then you would understand. These women are amazing.
Having found such an awesome support network in this group, I had this constant yearning to connect with and share my experiences with other first-time-mums. During my pregnancy I felt so uneducated and alone, and I didn’t want any other person to feel this way. I know it sounds strange, but I felt like I had an obligation as a woman, to pass on my knowledge to other mums-to-be and what better way to do that then through social media. The problem was that I felt like insta was a big fat fucking lie. The gram is smothered with beautiful imagery of women wearing high heels every single day through their pregnancies, “bouncing back” one week after having a baby and living in these beautiful CLEAN mcmansions with their angelic smiling babies. This is NOT real life and for somebody to send that message out to a sea of insecure women is just wrong. I wanted to read about the heartburn, struggling to love your baby, pregnancy insomnia, swelling vaginas, postnatal depression, anxiety, varicose veins, stretch marks, shitty nappies, teething, crying babies, puke explosions and the fears of just bloody looking after a newborn baby. I basically wanted my support group but I wanted it to have an online presence. I wanted it to be transparent to the world, open and honest and to have a discussion in place where people didn’t give two fucks about what others thought.
For every handful of insta pages that depicts the “perfect” mother or mother-to-be, there is at least one REAL woman out there sharing the beautiful and not-so-perfect side of motherhood. I want to be this woman. I want to share the good days, the ugly days and everything in between, because this is what life as a mother is about. Its a crazy roller coaster ride of shit explosions, tantrums and unconditional love. I’m not even sure what I’m going to write about in this blog (and you’ld think I would’ve had that down pat by now right?) but I know that I want it to have content that I would have liked to read when I was scared and preggo. Its not about the likes, comments or shares, to me its about connecting with my audience and naturally sharing from the heart. Watch this space. xx