ONE of the reasons I used to think I was missing the maternal gene was my default reaction to baby photos.
People would proudly present me with pictures of their newborn and… let’s just say I didn’t quite give the reaction they expected.
To me, all babies looked alike (and a lot like Grant Mitchell or Winston Churchill) and I’d be more interested in the cushion or the rug said baby was propped up on.
I learned the hard way that “Ooh I love that blanket, where’s it from?” is not the acknowledgement of their little miracle that most new parents are looking for.
But, true to form, now I have my own little egg-head thug/portly politician to stare at, I can’t get enough of taking baby photos. Should you be interested, I now have approximately 4 million images of my child yawning, sleeping, and doing this funny thing with her little hand.
No doubt this is an evolutionary response – we are programmed to think our baby is cute AF so that we willingly become their slave 24/7. But the difference is our ancestors didn’t have camera phones to snap every angle, or an Instagram feed to post them on.
I always thought that if I ever had a baby, I would never post pictures of them on social media.
To me, there is something a bit odd about how much we all know about the offspring of certain influencers, who document everything from a nappy change to a tantrum.
If your kid hasn’t had a say in it, and those pictures will be there forever, then it seems a bit cruel to plaster them all over the internet.
According to a report from the London School of Economics, almost three-quarters of parents who use the internet at least monthly share photographs or videos of their children online.
But when your social media following isn’t just friends and family, or if you make money from your account, it feels different. And that’s before you get into the safety concerns of posting pictures of children naked or in their school uniform.
BABY SNAPS TRIGGERING
I also know how triggering it can be. I have friends battling miscarriages or infertility who say seeing endless photos of other people’s broods can feel very painful.
It wasn’t so long ago that I was single and wanting a family, and I remember how hard I found it scrolling through images of seemingly perfect #mumlife.
Although we’re now a lot more honest about the reality of parenting, no one captures the moments where your baby projectile vomits into your face (like mine did this morning) or takes a selfie at 4am when your baby won’t stop crying.
Now that my entire existence revolves pretty exclusively around Blake, I’ve backtracked a bit on my sharing baby pictures stance.
New motherhood combined with a global pandemic has meant that social media has become a lifeline.
It’s not about racking up the likes or followers any more – posting pictures of my baby (albeit not her face) has been a way of connecting with people, staving off loneliness and getting reassurance and advice.
So, despite only being a few weeks in, I haven’t been able to resist the odd bit of “sharenting”. But I’m going to try to keep it to a minimum – she’s a person, not content. Her blanket collection on the other hand…
This week I’m…
Lusting after… Dryrobe
Designed for outdoor swims, but also perfect for all that al fresco socialising. Brr.
Listening to… Nothing Like I Imagined
Mindy Kaling reading her essays about
single motherhood on Audible is proper LOLs.
Excited for… The Crown S4
Charles and Di’s wedding and Gillian Anderson as Maggie T – what a treat!
- Follow Kate on Instagram @katewillswrites.
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