Finding the perfect work-life balance: Magic or myth?
Finding the perfect work-life balance: Magic or myth?

Sinead Brady

Adare Manor review: We found the most luxurious mother-to-be treat in Ireland
Adare Manor review: We found the most luxurious mother-to-be treat in Ireland

Dominique McMullan

WATCH: The trailer for the new Monica Lewinsky crime series is here
WATCH: The trailer for the new Monica Lewinsky crime series is here

Jennifer McShane

It looks like Electric Picnic isn’t going to go ahead this year after all
It looks like Electric Picnic isn’t going to go ahead this year after all

Sarah Finnan

Everything we know about Netflix’s must-see series ‘Inventing Anna’
Everything we know about Netflix’s must-see series ‘Inventing Anna’

Jennifer McShane

Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock are back with a second collaboration
Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock are back with a second collaboration

Holly O'Neill

10 brilliant Netflix picks worth a repeated watch
10 brilliant Netflix picks worth a repeated watch

Jennifer McShane

Does the sale of Reese Witherspoon’s company spell the end of female-led movies and television?
Does the sale of Reese Witherspoon’s company spell the end of female-led movies and television?

Sarah Finnan

Behind Closed Doors: ‘I’m an IT consultant by day and a dominatrix by night’
Behind Closed Doors: ‘I’m an IT consultant by day and a dominatrix by night’

Amanda Cassidy

40 of the best sun-bleached and desert-inspired summer nail shades
40 of the best sun-bleached and desert-inspired summer nail shades

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

The Rise Of The Instamum


by IMAGE
03rd May 2015
blank

Woman holding baby

Perfectly styled kids, immaculate interiors, and thousands of followers to show for it: meet the Irish mums curating perfect lives online. By Sarah Breen

As of last December, Instagram, the photo and video-sharing app, had over 300 million registered users worldwide. The majority of ?grammers snap and share little more than their pets and brunches; but in a small, beautiful corner of the internet, there is a community of chic mothers who post endless pictures of their adorable kids wearing this season’s must-have designer clothes.

Instamums are all about the aesthetic. They’re visually astute, only posting the most picture- perfect snapshots of family life. You won’t find any Frozen pyjamas, battery-operated plastic toys or snotty noses detracting from their ad-quality shots. If it’s not Pinterest-worthy, it’s not posted. Simple as.

I’m guilty of following plenty of Instamums. Too many, probably. And I can’t help but feel a little inadequate. While their clean and shiny toddlers are dressed head to toe in designer duds, playing with handmade toys, lovingly crafted in reclaimed Scandinavian wood, mine is enthusiastically smashing blueberries into the couch wearing hand-me-down dungarees. Somehow, I feel like I must be doing something wrong.

Claire Hall is a mother of two from Bangor, Co Down. She ?grams under the handle @kawaiigirl79 and has almost 50,000 followers who can’t get enough of her pretty pastel home and four-year-old daughter Ruby’s enviable wardrobe.

?I was always into fashion for myself, so when I had kids, it was only natural that I would like kids? fashion too,? she says. ?When I joined Instagram just over three years ago, I think it just fuelled the fire. I was hooked from the beginning.?

With five kids between the ages of two and 16, you’d think Julie Farrell from Sandyford, Co Dublin would spend any free minute she gets alone locked in the bathroom. But she somehow still manages to share snippets of her youngest ?ber-cool monochrome outfits at @dancewithdirtyfeet, where her 15,000+ followers continually applaud her style.

?I prefer the visual aspect of Instagram to the chaotic conversation of Twitter or Facebook,? she says. ?From really stunning stylised accounts to real life family chaos, I think it gives a much better insight into everyday life.?

For Sooby Lynch, a Dublin mum?who posts pictures of her two-year-?old fashionista daughter Penny?at @standingbythewall_, Instagram has been thoroughly life-changing. She befriended Dublin photographer Lili Forberg, who has a two-year- ld son, through the app, and the two have since launched Mutiny Kids (mutinykids.com), a children’s fashion and interiors magazine.

Instamum

?I recognised Lili’s little boy Leon one day in the supermarket from her photos,? Sooby says. ?It took me about five minutes to work up the courage to say hello to her. But it turned out we lived close to each other, so we became great friends.?

The idea that someone might recognise their child in a public place, and approach them, doesn’t appear to be a problem for Instamums, but it gives me the willies. Protecting children’s rights to privacy online is a hot topic right now. Once pictures are uploaded to Instagram, they can be downloaded by anyone, anywhere, and used for any reason. As children can’t give their consent, some people claim it’s unfair to post their images so prolifically.

?I only put up online what I’m happy to share with the world,? says Sooby. ?If I want to share something more private with my friends, I send them an email. I try to see the world in a positive way, while still staying sensible.?

?It’s really just pictures of cute things, kids? clothes and my home,? says Claire. ?But if you put your life on a blog or social media, you have to be open about sharing certain aspects. I just don’t like to over-share.?

Staying on top of the latest kids? fashion trends is a top priority for any Instamum worth her iPhone. That can mean spending big bucks on must-have items and staying up until midnight to snap up new season collections from the likes of Nununu Baby, Bobo Choses, Beau Loves and Rock Your Baby. It has to be done, if you want your kid to be rocking the same romper as her online friends.

As my daughter’s second birthday draws closer, I’m starting to become more aware of what I post about her online. My own Instagram is private, and I only have a few hundred followers, but it concerns me that I could be potentially putting her at risk. Will I close my account? Unlikely. For one thing, my mother would complain. But more importantly, I’d miss trying to keep up with the Instamums.

Follow Sarah Breen on Twitter @sarahjaybee. This article originally appeared in the April issue of IMAGE magazine. The May issue is on shelves now.

 

Also Read

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
Book gift ideas for every kind of reader

Anyone who said books and socks make for boring gifts has clearly never received a delightfully absorbing book or a...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
RELATIONSHIPS
The psychology of nostalgia and why we can’t get enough of it at the moment

There’s a reason we love being reminded of things that happened in our past. Amanda Cassidy explores why our trips...

By Amanda Cassidy

Full House, onscreen father Danny Tanner
EDITORIAL
We’re remembering our favourite onscreen dads for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner (this Sunday 20h June, so yes, you do have time to buy yours...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Totally allowed but totally shouldn’t: Welcome to the Great Irish Pandemic Paradox’

In a time when cool heads are needed – it’s more than the current heatwave that’s melting minds, writes Amanda...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
TV presenter Kate Garraway says husband Derek is still “devastated by Covid”

Kate Garraway’s devastating Covid story is a reminder of why we must keep each other in mind as an invisible...

By Jennifer McShane

house for sale in Rathmines
EDITORIAL
This beautifully finished end of terrace on Rathmines Road is on the market for just over the million mark

Built around 1860, the Victorian house for sale in Rathmines has all of the period features you would expect with...

By Lauren Heskin