Disclaimer: These are my personal thoughts. You are very much entitled to develop a horrible rash as you read this post because you probably have a strikingly contrary opinion and might have the urge to comment/ instigate, please be my guest. If you want to have a friendly discussion even, send me a note and we can chat.
While the best feeling about being a mother was watching my new born breastfeed for the very first time (because you are wondering where the baby even learnt how to do this!), breastfeeding on a regular basis gets very mundane and it makes you want to multi-task like read, watch a video or just indulge in plain old stalking. It all started with innocent curiosity when I started exploring the “explore” tab of instagram while I spent hours feeding Berry. I don’t post any pictures or follow anyone there, except my sister.
Someone had once told me how Instagram stalking can be quite therapeutic as you just look at beautiful pictures unlike Facebook which is just filled with opinions, rants and forwards and so, it began. In the beginning it was fun, but then I started to notice that Instagram had started showing me more pictures of new mothers. I wasn’t sure if it was because I had led the algorithm into believing that I cared or Instagram was sneaking into my Facebook profile where I had 1-2 pictures of my baby. Nevertheless, it was creepy and here’s why.
I had discovered this new tribe of mothers who posted pictures with a billion hashtags about baby-wearing, cloth-diapering, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and what not. It didn’t quite end there, some women went to the extent of posting pictures of them actually delivering, breastfeeding or displaying stretch marks on their bodies as a result of childbirth which attracted a lot of mixed opinions. On the other hand, there were also women who posted pictures of all the hard work they were putting into get their bodies back in shape because they didn’t want to settle for what childbirth had done to them.
Personally for me, it was all a bit too much. I might be quite naive or ignorant here in saying that I didn’t think it was such a big deal to breastfeed or co-sleep because we’ve been doing it for centuries in India and I didn’t think it needed any special lobbying right now especially because it is so easy to do this (provided your body supports it!), let alone the rise of exotic professions like mommy bloggers, momprenuers, etc. I was not breastfed because I didn’t take to it, but I turned out fine. My mum didn’t wear me but I turned out fine. She used cloth diapers on me but she didn’t post pictures of it anywhere. But I turned out fine.
Or wait, maybe I didn’t, but so what?!
Why should doing something that’s so natural, intuitive and convenient become a cult?! If you breastfeed your child, fantastic! If you want to post a picture of it on Instagram, go for it. But what is with all the lobbying? I genuinely don’t understand, but I am more than willing to have a conversation with any one of you if you have the patience to explain what is going on. I know that some of these women have spun off businesses inspired by their pregnancies/ motherhood and hats off to them but I wonder what these other mothers do for a living? You can’t possibly have full-time jobs AND be running a well orchestrated lobby on Instagram!
I have one theory about this – In the previous generation (mum’s times), women fought for equal education and equality at workplace while they struggled to balance raising their children. Thanks to these women, we now know that women are actually capable of standing alongside men when it comes to career. Having nothing left to prove, maybe a lot of us are going back to staying home so we can raise our children stress-free? Although we might have little to prove, we are probably not completely comfortable with the idea of not wanting to prove our ability to manage full-time jobs and home? Hence, we need the shelter of a cult to make us feel more secure?
Of course I am making generalisations here but I know that every case is different and quite personal, so take my thoughts with a pinch of salt because I am just an outsider. What do I know about orchestrating a coherent story of Instagram? I am just your regular person who will take whatever life throws my way, be it a job or a baby and not make a hashtag out of it.