Now that the summer holidays have drawn to a close, it’s inevitable that we start to look back and polish those memories into a gorgeous rose tint. To erase the grim moments from the archives of our mind and file the picture perfect sunsets on the sand under ‘K for keep’.
Despite my standard six week step down from usual blogging rhythms, I like many people couldn’t tear myself away from the pull of social media, and for once, I didn’t even really even try to. But, as I slowly see people returning to the blogosphere declaring their summer a blissful break from sharing, and a perfectly present summer, I wonder, was it my bad not to have joined them?
And so, here we are, my first blog post of the 2018/2019 school year and it’s got me wondering whether my summer should have been social media free. Of course it’s too late now, and life is far too short for regrets, but I suppose I’m writing this to represent another side to the story; one in which social media doesn’t play the bad guy.
Over the summer, my IG feed shared a couple of snaps a day – sometimes more, sometimes less. The main reason for this is because the summer months are to me the most photogenic of all. Being an amateur photographer inspired by nature means that all winter I pine for the moody skies, the blues with fluffy toy story clouds, the beach shots and the hilly landscapes. That couples with the fine British weather and the fact the kids are off, equals plenty of days out and photo opportunities which to me are irresistible to take, and wasted if not shared. You could argue they could be printed and put in an album of course – but don’t worry I do that too. I guess you just gotta make hay when the sun shines? I try not to overthink it, but if I have a lovely shot, it’s damn hard not to click share (writing captions though, I could happily take a six week break there!).
During our holiday to Greece for sure sharing on social media wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. But, even then, those quiet moments connected to wifi made it too hard not to pop a little postcard out on my feed. ‘Wish you were here’.
Social media is obviously a two way street and I can totally understand why some may feel the need to back off if all the ‘look what we are up to’ shots left you feeling a little ‘meh’, but the flip side of this is that in the right frame of mind, and with the right accounts, social media can be an incredibly inspiring and uplifting platform.
For example, a number of local bloggers inspired days out in and around Kent that I would have never known about. Thank you Jordan (@HelloMissJordan) for the tip about Meopham PYO sunflowers and the beautiful White Finch bakery tea rooms.
For body confidence, the months of soaking up Sally’s sparkles (@women_with_sparkle) let me for the first time get my bikini bod out of retirement and celebrate my post baby curves in a way I would never have been able to do before. (I even re pierced my belly button).
Thanks to The Organised Mum I totally feel empowered to get my shit together in our newly extended home – and despite sending me into some cleaning product purchasing frenzy that woman is going to make my house crazy levels of clean I never knew existed.
Reading about your health drives, holidays, family ups and downs is for me a soap opera I don’t want to switch off for six weeks. I need to know what’s happening guys; I enjoy it and it’s not hurting anyone provided I make sure it has it’s time and place.
I’m also forever grateful to the Mums who show a bit of honest solidarity in the six weeks onslaught and make me feel a little less alone. Yes my friends there were rainy days when the kids wanted / needed to zone out in front of the TV and in those moments, Mummy wanted to zone out too. Through a vast sea of honest parenting blogs, Instagram accounts and memes shared by normal Mums like me, there’s certainly a sense of camaraderie that perhaps can be lacking in real life whilst everyone else you know seems to be off doing something amazing (*probably).
As a stay at home Mum the summer holidays are a real mixed bag – a total joy at times and a test of endurance. With little space to breathe or to make time for yourself, there are some things you have to retain for your own sanity. If like me you are using social media in a way that makes you feel good, then you don’t need to feel guilty for holding your hands up and saying ‘yep I’m a sucker for it’. And so whilst I shut up the blog shop for a few weeks to take a breather from the commitments, I whole heatedly chose not to do the same with my social media accounts, because I actually love running them.
Equally, if you know you’d benefit from a break from yours, then that’s okay too – your life, your rules. No judgement here. I just might join you in the gloomy October months!
And so, although the kids may argue that they wanted 100% of my attention, and for sure, they REALLY did, I’m going Mum Guilt free that I’m kept a few % back for myself, and for you guys too.