I recently read a post on Instagram where a lady opened up in a raw and incredible way that really spoke to me. In the post, she was sharing about the feeling of defeat that she sometimes feels in the battle to be seen on social media. She was frustrated with how the algorithms impacted her visibility to her followers. Most importantly, she wondered if she’d made a difference in the lives of those who did see what she shared. As someone who creates a lot of online content, I could relate to everything she shared in that post. She also admitted that while her focus was on point, her mindset wasn’t and she was going to take the steps needed to readjust so they were more inline.
As you can imagine, this resonated with me on a deep level. I decided to reach out and see if she might be interested in sharing her story with my community. What initially started off as a way to support fellow women spread their message and get exposure for their business has grown into a much deeper project. Although neither of us knew it at the time, this Follow Friday series ultimately transformed into a project to remove the mask of social media.
Women just like the one I’m going to introduce you to in today’s post are sharing their experience and the story behind the profile in a way you might not see on social media.
I decided to reach out to Jenny and share that I knew where she was coming from in that post. I also extended her some encouragement and asked her if she’d like to share in a more in-depth and personal way. She kindly accepted my request to share her story with us. After admiring and digging into her Instagram feed, it didn’t take long for me to discover where her heart was. Many of the square images were filled with a long-haired playful little girl. As I read the captions of images and revisited her Instagram bio, I began to understand her intention more clearly. Jenny is building a community of “perfectly imperfect parents”.
I only imagine that Jenny knew what this was like from experience. There’s so much pressure to do things the “right” way. It’s evident by the number of labels, definitions, and teams to categorize parents based on their choices. I love that she’s creating a space for parents to open up and share their experience because at the end of the day, we’re just all doing the best we can to raise our children (no matter what their age!). With so much comparison happening on social media, I find what she’s building to be incredibly important for parents.
We live in a society where we’re basically addicted to perfection. We’re confusing curated images with everyday real-life. I wanted to know how Jenny reminded herself to lean into self-love and extend herself grace especially when navigating social media. She shared that she has to disconnect and reset herself. She often has to remind herself that
what’s being shared in pixels isn’t the whole story behind the picture.
I love how she mentioned that because it’s something that’s become so normalized it’s easy to forget. Of course, this is something we know in a moment of clarity but that’s often hard to practice when we’re feeling like we don’t measure up after scrolling through several posts and photos on social media. Jenny shares that she’s no exception and is focusing on practicing self-love more intentionally this year.
I couldn’t help but notice the love and tenderness in the photos of Jenny and her daughter. If there’s one thing I know about being a mom, it’s that we learn so much about ourselves through the experience of raising a little person. I inquired about the things she’s learned about herself in the 4 years she’s been a parent. She was just as tender and thoughtful in words as she was in the photos. She gushed about her daughter’s innocence, vivaciousness, and confidence. She also shared what a great teacher her young daughter is. She’s taught her to the importance of having fun as well as practicing responsibility, trust, and patience.
We all know what it’s like to feel like we aren’t good enough in some way. I asked Jenny to share what practice she could implement in an area she struggles in based on a lesson from her daughter. It came as no surprise to me when her answer was unconditional love. Young children are so full of love, they have such a special way of seeing the best in us even when we have a hard time recognizing it for ourselves. One thing that’s important is to show them self-love by example. Children might not always listen to the things we say, but they’re always paying attention to what we do. When Jenny struggles with feeling like she doesn’t measure up, she chooses to lean into gratitude. When you find yourself in a moment like that, she encourages you to remember that you’re cherished, loved, perfectly imperfect and enough just as you are.
Thank you so much, Jenny for taking the time to open up to me and for graciously allowing me to share your experience with my community. Thank you so much for reading! Feel free to share what spoke to you most in the comments. I’ll be sure to let Jenny know her message reached who it was meant to.
I encourage you to check out Jenny’s community here to see what she’s building and the space she’s creating for moms and dads alike. If you’d like to join the conversation she’s having on social media, you’ll enjoy her Instagram feed.