Instagram or it didn’t happen

This weekend, Madelyn and I took a trip to Tirau with a special friend of ours. It was a lovely day, wandering through antique and artsy stores while Madelyn slept in the mei tai, pies and hot chips for lunch, Madelyn running freely down the street, and fun with finger puppets (three of which she got to take home).

And then, just as the day drew to a close, I actually said, “Oh, I should take some photos so I can write a blog post about it.” So I took quite a cute photo of Madelyn looking smug with her finger puppets, and then (I wish I could say I’m kidding, but this actually happened), I had my friend take photos out the car window while we drove away. What’s worse is that I was disappointed, thinking “Oh, I should have taken photos of her playing with the finger puppets…I should have gotten a photo of her sitting up at the booth at lunch…Her sleepy face peeping out from the mei tai would have been such a cute photo.”

It’s not that I was sad about not getting photos that shocks me, it’s that I wanted photos specifically to put on social media. I wanted to put a photo up on my new Instagram account, and then write a soppy blog post about special mornings that happen off the cuff, complete with photos of my adorable toddler.

Is this my life now? Only lived through the lens of a camera? Only experienced on social media?

Yes, I had a beautiful day. Our little random trip to Tirau can stand as a memory on it’s own, it doesn’t need to exist on the internet in order to matter. It doesn’t need the ‘likes’ and comments of other people for it to be validated. I could have set up the perfect pictures, I could have made it look amazing, and made every one else think I have the most incredible, not-quite-hipster life. But that wouldn’t have made my day any more amazing. In fact, I think it would have ruined it. Posing the perfect photo and choosing a filter for Instagram is not living.

I will put the photo of Madelyn walking with her finger puppets in hand on Instagram, because it’s a cute photo and it’s waiting to be uploaded (I haven’t connected my iPad to the internet at home, because I want to be present with my family at home). But I vow to never again nearly ruin a day with my obsession for capturing the moment to share on the internet. My life doesn’t need ‘likes’ in order for it to be validated.

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10 Blogs I Think You Should Read

I spend a lot of time reading blogs these days. Madelyn is going through a “I won’t nap unless you hold me” stage (which includes, for the moment, not napping in the front pack, because if I’m moving around then she wants to see what’s up), so a good three or four hours of every day, unless I’m out and she sleeps in the car, are spent either at the computer, or on the couch. I am absolutely not complaining, I love this stage in our lives, and am so thankful to have the freedom to hold my sleeping baby every day. But, yeah, it lends itself to a lot of extra blog-reading time.

So I thought it would be fun to share the blogs I’m reading at the moment. This is by no means an exhaustive list of my favourites, but these blogs certainly are among my faves at the moment. You should go over and check them out, I think you’ll really like them too (all links should open a new tab).

1) Solo Mama
I started reading this blog when its author, Lindsay, and I were both pregnant. Her little cutie is only 9 days older than Madelyn, so it’s really fun to see how another mother with a baby the same age copes with life. She’s also into all the some baby stuff as me – breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping (though she’s about to move her daughter into her own cot, so I’m looking forward to reading how that goes), baby-led weaning, basically just a whole lot of following her intuition. And her little Evelyn is utterly adorable.

2) Nurse Me Mama
I came across this blog on Facebook (because I spend a lot of time there, too), and I love it. Its author is a lactation consultant, so she has a lot of awesome information about breastfeeding and all that goes along with it, as well as beautiful posts about her family. At the moment, in honour of National Breastfeeding Month, she has been sharing a photo a day of herself breastfeeding her baby, which is such a cool idea that I’m kind of jealous I didn’t think of it myself.

3) Some Stuff About Stuff
This is a blog I’ve just recently started following. ┬áThe author, Jessie, has two adorable children, including Sparrow, who is having her third heart surgery at the moment. I’m sure she would appreciate your prayers, but she’s also really talented, and her blog is worth a read.

4) Katesurfs
This is another blog I’ve only just recently started following. Kate, the author, is an American who now lives in Australia. She is another parent who is into doing a lot of the same stuff with her babies as I do. She also does Elimination Communication with her kids, which is really interesting to read about because I’d heard of it before, but hadn’t really understood how it works.

5) Mrs. Odie
Mrs. Odie is like a breath of fresh air, because she doesn’t portray her life as perfectly wonderful, and so many bloggers do. She’s honest, and a very talented writer. Mrs Odie (not her real name) is a high school teacher, and her anonymity allows her to be very candid in her blog posts.

6) The Struggler’s Handbook
I came across this blog a while ago, when the struggler wrote about his daughter’s wedding (his daughter is roughly my age). He is wonderful, as is his lovely wife who has been known to comment on my blog using his WordPress account. He is a fantastic writer, and I love his way of looking at life.

7) Life With Pink Princesses
This is the new-ish blog of a young mum who, I’m pretty sure, lives in the UK. Jodie, the author, shares about her life as the mother of two gorgeous little girls. She has also written a couple of books that are available for purchase, and is a talented writer.

8) Housewifing
This blog provides me with a lot of inspiration for being an amazing housewife. Michele, the author, shares candidly about her life looking after her family. She’s currently doing a Motherhood With A Toddler series, which is a really interesting and informative read.

9) Flow Thyme
I found this blog on the Breastfeeding NZ Facebook page, and I’m so glad I did. The author is another attachment parenting New Zealand mother, with a beautiful baby daughter, Alyssa. I love reading about her life.

10) The Pattys
This is another blog that I started following when I was pregnant, and the author’s little girl is a few months old than Madelyn.