Mama and Mini Adventures: Filling my cup in life and on Instagram
If there’s one thing I’ve come to learn in motherhood, it’s that small adventures really go a long way in leading a full life during quiet days at home with a baby.
When a friend reached out for a day at the park, I couldn’t have anticipated just how much I needed her company and the scenery. We planned to meet at Tudhope Park (where we first met for a photography session – see some photos from that session here) for a mid-morning stroll with our sons (and tall lattes, of course). Almost immediately I began commenting on every single tree, piece of the waterfront, and slice of nature we walked past. Of course, I equally gushed about my beautiful friend and her darling son, but I couldn’t help but be struck by how very much I was in need of this change in scenery and her company. Evidently, I had fallen into the monotony of the easy and routine and forgotten how invigorating it is to see new places and converse on the simple and yet rich, conversations I always share with this friend.
As my friend acknowledged, small outings with interesting people often provide your day with a sense of fullness that’s enough for busy moms. Most days, all I need to fill my cup is a slice of nature and the camaraderie of other mamas. But, on those days when I’m left with the quiet of my own home, I have discovered a community of mothers in a place that surprised me.
At some point during those first few weeks with Finn I discovered the indispensability of my phone in whiling away the those long, dark hours of the night spent nursing. It wasn’t long, however, before I had exhausted the newsfeeds of all my social media accounts. When I wasn’t preoccupied with endless Google searches of whether or not to introduce a soother or remedies for plugged ducts, I found myself in search of more beyond the posts of my friends and family. Here, during those late nights, I discovered a world of other mothers on platforms like Instagram just trying to do their best at motherhood and sharing their efforts along the way.
Why I love Instagram
Instagram is my favourite platform because you can choose who winds up in your feed and follow accounts that post pictures of interest to you. For example, my sister who is an avid knitter, wool rug-braider, fermenter, and general homesteader who tends her children as well as the chickens, ducks and cows she and her husband care for during the warmer months follows an array of similar-minded hobbyists. For me, I’m more drawn to other mothers who are walking this season of life alongside me. And let me tell you, there’s an army of mamas out there. If you are wanting to reach the mamas, this is the place.
On Instagram, posts are mainly all about the photograph on this platform, but there is also space in the caption for added value. There you can write about the moment captured in the photograph, something else entirely, a quote, excerpts from a short story, novel and blog, or simply an emoji or hashtag that combined with the photo just says it all. It’s rich with content, but better yet, this community is one that has no patience for negativity in the comments (unlike Facebook), making it a safe, friendly and supportive space in which to while away your time and perhaps sit comfortably in vulnerability.
As I began exploring this social media platform, I came to discover some incredible mamas doing amazing things and documenting their daily hustle in some admirable ways. Moms who on top of parenting multiple children, run businesses, balance full-time work, blog some incredible things, make time for creative pursuits, or who just plain mother their beautiful babies and invite us along for the ride. Here I found some beautiful handmade or carefully curated small shops and brands that I’ve begun to support over your run of the mill big box companies.
Here, I discovered some Alaskan mamas, @brookefield@pearlsonastringblog and @northcountrylittles who share the ins and outs of their days with some of the most gorgeous backdrops. They recently teamed up with small shops, @chocolate_milke, @omaandjo, @littlearrowapparel, @camplight_apparel, and @littleandspice for a contest and giveaway. Typically on Instagram, giveaways require you to like a photo and comment tagging a friend with the idea that doing so will spread the word and increase the following for all involved. Offering something a little different, these Alaskan mamas invited other mamas to go on an adventure every day with their little ones, photograph (of course) and share using the hashtag, #MiniandMamaAdventure.
Well, I couldn’t resist this invitation and enjoyed the excuse to kick off summer by getting outside to explore. Wouldn’t you know it, I won the contest!
Here’s the winning photo:
We were sent some incredible items from some really great shops.