Rebecca Ellen Bingham was asked to investigate her best five inspirational Insta-Mums on Instagram. Here’s how she got on…
I’ve undertaken the impossible task of choosing my 5 most inspirational mums on Instagram. These are ladies who are juggling the crazy world of parenting with their own careers, whilst also finding time to build huge social media followings from their extra-curricular activities such as writing books, raising money for charity and changing perceptions left right and centre. In the past year, I’ve become a mum of two and, along the way, have discovered some amazing and inspirational mothers online who are doing it all. These are women who have really helped me to feel less alone on those doubtful days, made me laugh on the tough days and motivated me to follow my dreams. They’ve shown me that as a stay-at- home mum, you can achieve things from your living room with a baby on your hip and a toddler round your knees.
I was never really into Instagram. Like Twitter, it seemed an utterly alien environment and the politics of ‘following’ people in order to gain followers for yourself went right over my head! In total contrast, Facebook was a little comfort blanket; sticking with what and who you know. It wasn’t until I had a lifestyle overhaul and found a huge support network of others on their own health and fitness crusades that I realised Instagram was actually a place you could really feel a part of something. With like-minded allies at your fingertips, all it took was one little hashtag for me to find an international team of parents who were honest, supportive and nothing short of inspirational.
In my opinion, Instagram is revolutionary for those of us who are stuck at home; let’s face it, there are times when parenthood can be very lonely. On the poorly days (these really increase with baby number two, don’t they?) when you’re all on lockdown, there can be a real detachment from the outside world and, sure enough, those little seeds of doubt begin to nestle in, trying to convince you that you aren’t as good as the rest, and that you’re the only parent who dreams of returning to work sooner rather than later. Oh the guilt!
Some of us may find ourselves becoming the first of our friends to have children, and no matter how supportive they are, they will never quite ‘get it’. This is where social media can really come into its own; it was on those Netflix fuelled hours in the dead of night, that I stumbled upon some really wonderful ladies sharing their honest journeys and their own coping mechanisms. I knew it was love when I was still scrolling and hadn’t noticed my daughter had long since fallen asleep, whoops!
I’ve listed the ladies (and one hilarious dad also features) that kept me sane in those wee hours and continue to make me smile one year on.
1. @theyesmummum – London Hypnobirthing founder, Hollie de Cruz created the company after her own positive birth experience. Hollie shows her clients how to reach a level of relaxation and therefore enjoy an entirely different, and most importantly, completely positive birth. Hollie has had numerous high profile clients lining up to use her birthing methods, but she is also encouraging mums all over the world with her own collection of affirmation cards. ‘Yes Mum’ cards are for every significant moment in life, whether you’ve just found out you are pregnant, struggling with fertility, or even setting up your own business. Hollie has curated a set of cards for situations of doubt or anxiety and is showing us how we can achieve it all with mindfulness and positivity. If you are on Instagram you’ve probably seen her cards in many a flat lay or coffee break shot, and rightly so. Find her cards here.
2. @mother_of_daughters – Clemmie Hooper is not only a super human mother of four daughters (two of which are gorgeous 1 year old twins) but she is also one of those heroes that most mums are in awe of, she’s a midwife. Clemmie started a blog ‘Gas and Air’, sharing women’s true birth stories and giving advice and wisdom based on her years of experience as a midwife and mum herself. She has now written a fabulous book ‘How to Grow a Baby (and push it out)’ that collates all of this wonderful wisdom into one beautifully illustrated and lovingly written ‘no nonsense’ guide to pregnancy and birth. Some of the amazing women that I feature here also appear in the book giving advice on their areas of expertise. So she’s in great company! If you follow Clemmie on Instagram you will quickly realise that her husband @father_of_daughters is a must follow too, with his hilarious behind the scenes look at Dad life and his inability to do as he’s told. Warning – you will quickly become addicted to this gorgeous family and their hilariously relatable insta stories. You can find Clemmie’s book here: How to Grow a Baby
3. @mother_pukka – Anna Whitehouse, a journalist and editor for some high-profile brands and, according to her website, a previous Vice Editor at Time Out Amsterdam, has set up her website and blog as a place for ‘news, reviews and honest comments for people who happen to be parents’. Her honest, open and friendly approach to sharing has earned her 72k followers on Instagram. Anna recently gave me her thoughts on how the photo-sharing site can be a wonderful community for parents, “No mama is an island. While many feel social media leaves you disconnected, I disagree. I remember that 3am breastfeeding loneliness and for me Instagram offers some solace in that darkness. I’ve met brilliant women through this platform and continue to be inspired by the genuine support for each other out there. Finally it’s cool to be kind.” Anna is also an advocate for flexible working, something she believes should be more widely available and not just for mums but for everyone looking for a better work/life balance. She is leading a flash mob in Trafalgar square on Friday 31 st March for The One Show to spread the word about #flexappeal. To see what it’s all about and get involved you can find the latest information on her website here or follow her Instagram for more regular updates.
4. @dresslikeamum – If fashion is your thing then Zoe de Pass is definitely worth following. Zoe is standing up to the stereotype of ‘dressing like a mum’ and that as soon as we become parents, fashion and style goes out of the window. She has an eclectic and fun sense of style; showcasing clothes from high street favourites Marks and Spencer and Topshop as well as introducing you to some brands you may not have heard of. It’s a colourful array of motherhood with lots of pink, and the weekend simply cannot begin without her infamous Friday lunge! She also has a dedicated website where you can find lots of inspiration for mum and children’s fashion, recommended beauty products, lifestyle tips and insights with stylish mums in mind. You can peruse her website here.
5. @selfishmother – Molly Gunn has been a journalist for over 15 years, she now edits her blogzine selfishmother.com as well as selling her hugely popular #GoodTees which are a selection of tshirts and sweatshirts with empowering and relatable slogans such as ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Winging It’ and the simple statement ‘Mother’. The sale of these cool products has raised over £500,000 for various charities as of February this year. Some of the charities they support are Mothers 2 Mothers, Help Refugees, Women for Women International, Stand Up to Cancer and Save the Children. This Mama is doing incredible things for families not only in the UK but internationally as well. The Selfish Mother blogzine is an open place for mums to write their own blog pieces and contribute to the site; it’s a great place to support other parents and be supported. If writing isn’t for you then why not invest in one of the clothing pieces, spotted on celebrities such as Tom and Giovanna Fletcher, Gillian Anderson, Lauren Laverne and Jamie Oliver!
If you are already on Instagram, why not follow some of these incredible ladies and see the amazing things that they get up to for yourself. Be sure to comment and tell us about the people encouraging you on social media, too. Or perhaps this blog has inspired you to become a social media hero? In which case go and share your ideas and experiences and find the amazing women supporting and encouraging each other…changing the idea that social media breeds negativity and disconnection.