{THE ORDINARY MOMENTS 17} #16 ‘SOCIAL MEDIA, LIFE CHANGES & NOT FEELING MYSELF’

In all honesty I sat here this morning, ready to write this post and I literally had no desire to open my laptop. I’ve always tried to be honest on my blog or on social media, but these days it sounds silly but I occasionally feel a little stifled. Afraid to post something in case it is taken in the wrong way, or I upset anyone, or make any feel bad. Does that make sense? Because I know I am incredibly lucky, so incredibly lucky to be leading the life we do, and a huge result of that is because of social media, because of this blog and all I have worked for.

Five years ago our life was very different. Jon had just got another job in a little design agency in our town, having been made redundant from his previous job, I was working part time at my job in the travel industry after going back for three days after having Mads. We had a tough year from a financial aspect, there were times when we had to go to family and ask us to help them because we didn’t have the funds in our account to pay our mortgage. I remember crying at our table because we couldn’t afford to pay our bills. Of course this is all relative, there will always be people in a worse position than you, whether that’s financially, emotionally or just generally, but you can only experience things from your point of view and the life you are leading. Just like there will always be people in a better situation too.

Over the last few years our life has changed dramatically. For the first five years of Jon and I’s relationship he was working 70 hours a week and was gone most evenings and weekends. He then switched career very much due to being in the right place at the right time, and then a couple of years ago he got a lucky break in the terms of a long contract (it was due to end last year and they extended it another year, but whether they will do so again remains to be seen) and decided to set up his own business and work from home. He’s been doing it two years now and it still makes us nervous every single month, two of us working for ourselves supporting our family, but it was the best risk he ever took.

I didn’t go back to work after maternity leave with my middle daughter, I started freelancing and doing social media marketing and blogger outreach for clients, while also earning money as a result of this blog. This in itself is something which regularly still makes me stop and be thankful for on a regular basis. When I first started it six years ago, no one was making money as a result of blogging, and if they were it was because of other strands of income like ebooks, or photography courses. I still remember the very first time I was contacted by a brand, it was to see if I wanted a little pair of their soft leather baby moccasins for Mads. I actually rang Jon at work saying ‘Oh my god, how exciting and amazing is this?’ I remember my heart pounding when I got that email, that a company had actually read my blog and wanted to send me something. It was so different then to how it is now, but over the years it has changed dramatically.

I still get those ‘Oh My God’ moments. All the time. The thing about me is that I am a heart on my sleeve person and I am a grateful person. That will never change. I will never be one of those people who is too cool to be grateful. I am grateful for every single bit of this experience. Every single day I say to Jon how lucky we are. I’m the person who will cry down the phone to a PR who wants to send us away because I can’t quite believe they want to invest in our family. Which is silly because they aren’t doing it because they think ‘oh those guys fancy a holiday,’ they are doing it because for whatever reason they can see that by working with us it will benefit them. In December of last year I gave up my final freelance social media client (although I still do a bit of blogger outreach occasionally) to work on this blog full time, that thought in itself still blows my mind. I have worked on this blog every single day for six years, worked so hard, but sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t say that. How can being paid to take photos be hard work when there are people out there working 60 hours a week saving people’s lives? Or educating our children? Again it’s back down to that whole point of being it all being relative, we may work really hard but it’s not hard work in the literal sense. It’s genuinely the best work I can be doing and like I’ve said a million times I am so grateful for every single second of it.

For all of the above reasons, I therefore often feel like I shouldn’t say how I am really feeling because yet again I know how lucky we are. But that’s not the point, I know that constantly, being honest doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful. The thing is at the moment I am feeling a little bit like I have lost my way recently. I’m finding social media really quite hard. I’ve never been one to feel the need to grow, to feel the need to have the highest numbers or the biggest followings, I’ve been happy doing what I have been doing and coasting along. I have some wonderful people who have followed me on my social media, since the beginning, who have been loyal and kind to me always. But recently I really feel like social media has changed. Of course from day one there have been people ‘tricking’ the system, buying followers, buying subscribers or whatever other latest thing comes along. I’ve just carried on doing my own thing and letting people do theirs, we are all trying to do what we can, however which way we do it. But recently it all has got a little bit too much for me.

Underneath it all I’m actually a very self conscious person, bizarrely I really lack in my self belief and I don’t have much confidence. I will never be one of these people who will shout from the rooftops that I earned this or that from blogging, or write blog posts with my top tips, because that just isn’t me. I still can’t believe I am actually doing this sometimes. There is a part of my personality that loves to over analyse and as a result recently I have been questioning myself. I’ve also been comparing myself which is most definitely not healthy. Of course I have done that before in the past, but recently it has become almost unhealthy. Why is that person growing faster than me? Why has she got more likes than me on that instagram photo? Why can’t I look like that in a photo? Instagram especially, which used to a place of joy for me, a place that I loved to go on and look people’s lives in tiny squares, has become something which has completely changed. I now often get nervous posting a photo because I am worried it won’t do ‘well’, or I can see accounts I used to love obviously feeling the same. I can’t put my finger on it but something has changed over there, it all feels very strategical nowadays. And I hate the bloody algorithm they are using too. But then at the same time, I think ‘Katie you are being absolutely ridiculous, who cares? Just keep posting your memories like you have always done and who cares what ‘likes’ it gets?’ The problem is that of course when your passion and your hobby becomes your job, there is a need to always be growing and doing well. And when that job is down to posting about your personal lives, you can see where that unhealthiness can really come into play.

There again is the argument that you could just stop, do a different job, or cut back on the amount of time you are working. But the problem is, much like other things, it’s a bit of an addiction. You get used to this being the way you earn a living, you get used to the incredible perks. And the thing is I don’t want to stop, 99% of the time I adore this world I have weirdly stumbled upon. I adore the community, I adore the friends I have made, it is an absolute dream come true for me to be able to work doing something I love, to be able to express my creativity doing this. For so long I felt a little lost, I had a good job and a good career but I didn’t feel fulfilled in my work. I feel so fulfilled doing this, I am thankful every single day. But I guess like with anything, every so often you have a little blip, a little moment of questioning yourself or not feeling good enough. I have had a couple of little ones over the six years I have been doing this, but this is probably the biggest so far. Plus I am well aware I won’t be doing this forever, there will come a time when it will stop, so I need to enjoy every moment while it lasts.

When we look at someone’s social media accounts it is really easy to compare ourselves. Its also really easy to cross the line between admiration for what others do and wishing what you do was better. I am sure I have made people feel that way in the past, just the same as I get it on a regular basis. But we need to remember that we are seeing just the tiniest part of a person’s life. You might look at that person with a shiny new car, but for all you know they got it on a ridiculously expensive loan that deep down they can’t afford. Or that person with the big new house might have lost someone dear to them who left them inheritance. Or that person posing against a wall with brand new gorgeous clothes, might take them off at the end of the day and get into bed and cry because her and partner are having relationship problems. They might be far fetched scenarios, but I think it is important to remember, I need to do this too, that we are only seeing a small part of someone’s lives and that we all have many layers. We all have things going on that we don’t always share- thats life, and for many although they may write honestly, social media is still their highlights reel.

Anyway I have gone off on a complete tangent, but we have lots going on behind the scenes here. Some really exciting things that I will talk about soon (no I am not pregnant- why do people always think that when women say that? I do too), some not so good things which hopefully will get better soon, and also we are really busy. We have an exciting work trip coming up and some very big life changes too which I haven’t really spoken about for fear of tempting fate. It’s going to be a busy few weeks for us so I might not be around as much for a while on here, although I do still have my California posts to keep putting up. But I will be about on social media and making some videos, just hopefully not comparing myself to others as much as I have been.

Do you ever compare yourself to others? On social media or otherwise?

A photo from yesterday- we went to Margate and had a lovely day together.  Our baby boy was asleep when my friend Alison took this.


22 Comments

  • Kerry says:

    I can relate to so many things you have said here. Although our accounts are different ends of the spectrum size wise, I get fear of posting too. I think perhaps when you’re doubting yourself, validation becomes even more important and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I haven’t a clue how I change that about myself. I love blogging though, I don’t see myself stopping in the short term, though I feel a bit lost at the moment. Do you ever feel like you don’t know what you’re doing? I would love to see top tips from you, particularly for video. I always admire the way you film and edit yours xxx

  • Oh Katie, I completely understand this feeling at the moment. I call it social media fatigue 🙁 I know it’s maybe a bit crazy to say but it’s so reassuring to hear I’m not the only one! I think, in terms of social media at least, refusing to play strategically is maybe the most truthful thing we can do. (I also just couldn’t keep up with that. Too exhausting!) Everything you do is so inherently genuine. You are at the top of your game, relatable and real. Chin up sweet lady. Be encouraged! Xx

  • Alex Gladwin says:

    It’s too easy to compare our lives to other peoples highlight reels isn’t it?! I think everyone that is on social media goes through this – probably multiple times. I always find that if I’m feeling a bit like it, I just step back and remember exactly what you’ve said.. platforms like Instagram show just one second in someone else’s day and nothing more. There’s ALWAYS more going on behind the scenes – always. I tend not to worry too much about algorithms, I honestly think it would drive me mad. I think as long as you’re doing what you happy with online and you’re paying the bills (if it’s your job), then that’s good enough. I always remember when a really popular company I worked with told me that they picked me for me and my family, when I asked why they didn’t choose someone with more stats. It made me realise that it’s not always about having huge followings. Hope you feel a bit better about it all soon. xx

  • Alice says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a few years and you have done SO well to get where you are. You’ve worked hard and you get to do some amazing things but it still always feels like it’s real and not just ad after ad. Well done 🙂

  • Della Mantle says:

    I have had social media fatigue recently too, and I’m not even a blogger! I left Facebook and instagram a month or two ago and feel so much better for it, more happy in myself and less comparing myself and my life to others. I was honestly getting depressed comparing my every day to others’ highlight reel. Keep doing what you’re doing, documenting your lovely family and try to ignore the number of ‘likes’. Love your blog and YouTube xxx

  • This is exactly how I felt not long ago. I didn’t word it as well though ha! Taking a week off really helped and trying not to take myself so seriously (not easy if you’re an over thinker like me). Trying to remember that whatever happens online, it’s my real life family right here that matters and we will be okay whatever the stats. I also wrote down lists of what I like about what I do and what I don’t. Why I’m doing it. Words to describe how I’d like it to be and now try to focus on those so I don’t get so lost. Probably sounds a bit crazy but it really helped. Hope things start to feel a bit more carefree for you soon x

  • I really feel like this so frequently. Sometimes I feel I need to take a step back and remember that this isn’t the be all and end all of everything. Thank you for being so honest, it’s really refreshing! You are one of my favourite insta accounts to follow, keep doing what you’re doing cos it’s perfect 💗

  • Notmyyearoff says:

    Keep doing what you’re doing Katie and never doubt yourself or change it. I am soooo grateful for what we have too, and not always in a bloggy way, but in a family way too and how our lives are changing at the moment. We’ve been worried about tempting fate and this last holiday time we even stayed off social media for an it because of it (which sounds a bit nuts). But it worked out well in the end!! Can’t wait t hear more about your new plans!!

  • Oh gosh how weird, I have written similar today too more about just being overwhelmed but it is hard not to compare especially growth and opportunities when you think how other people are doing it and I feel the same (although of course not to the same extent with work and numbers) but it is so hard not to in this world. It sounds like you have alot on, you work so hard and you deserve everything that comes your way, exciting that you have good things in the pipe line and hope the bad improves for you soon too x

  • Carie says:

    Oh I can so completely understand this, and that’s coming at it from the perspective of being very much a hobby blogger (with occasional pocket money posts!!). I love Instagram but hate that it hides so many of my friends’ posts that I would want to see, but there was a while when it felt like too much work to still be fun. And blogging took a bit of a hit too in the last year when I just couldn’t be bothered to post because then I’d have to promote it and play the game and I was just tired of it all. I’m not back at the balanced point yet, but I can see all too well how easy it is for things to get out of kilter, especially when you have a lot riding on it working.
    On the Algorithm question, Sara Tasker from Me & Orla asked the guy from Instagram who was at Hive whether they would ever offer a chronological feed as an Instagram option and he said no because Instagram thought that there wasn’t the market for it – so if she gets a petition up, that might be one to watch!

  • Katie, I didn’t want to read and run on this one. As you know, yours was the first ‘mummy blog’ I came across when Lottie was a few months old. Since then I’ve read it religiously, week after week for all these years. It’s because of finding your blog that I took the leap to start my own and I learnt to appreciate the ordinary moments. I’ve loved following your family adventures over the last 4 years and your the blogger / vlogger I aspire to be like one day (in my dreams, I’m nowhere near as talented as you 😂). I’m sorry you’re feeling rubbish about social media, especially Instagram. I don’t like it as much since the algorithm change but I have notifications switched on for you and I genuinely look forward to seeing your posts. It’s such a shame you feel like you do because it’s clear from your work that you’ve got such passion and love for what you do. Even the collab posts you write are authentic, which I think is important to the readers and that’s why people keep coming back. Keep doing what you’re doing my love because it really is incredible xx

  • Hannah | MakeDo&Push says:

    Oh Katie! I was having the same conversation with Nick last night. It just seems like such a competitive game at the moment – and it’s changed so much in the past 4.5 years that I’ve been blogging. I love how genuine and honest you always are – and that’s why people follow you too, because (as much as we adore your photos) it’s reassuring to know that everyone has a rubbish day, or has a child who doesn’t sleep! Thank you for hosting xxx

  • I feel EXACTLY the same. Constantly feeling like I need to out a disclaimer anytime I write anything incase someone takes offence and deems me ungrateful. It can make for a difficult task to write as you are constantly having to explain yourself, when in reality it’s my blog!
    I’ve said it so many times before and at the risk of sounding too much like a fangirl, your videos are utterly breathtaking and I will happily sit through a 20 minute vlog of yours because they are so wonderfully captured. In all honesty, if you didn’t worry or compare yourself you’ve probably gone into super dick territory of being a bigheaded unrelated knob!
    Look at the success you’ve had from minimal promotion! That’s because you are real and you’ve achieved it through talent and appeal, not from endlessly pumping out your links. Keep being ace. Keep being real. Keep being you! xxx

  • So sorry your feeling rubbish! It’s so hard to not compare yourself with others. Do men have this problem or is it just us women who do this? I just wanted to say I love your Instagram, you are one of my favourites. I love how authentic you are and I can tell when you’re a bit nervous but that encourages me to step outside my comfort zone too, so I really appreciate that, thank you!

  • Donna says:

    Oh Katie. I completely understand this. But, you and Jon have worked so incredibly hard, building the foundations to now be able to work the way you do, around your family and give them incredible experiences and memories that they will treasure forever. Keep doing what you’re doing. I hope the bad bits get better, the busy bits stay fun rather than stressful and that the trip comes around soon! I can’t wait to hear about everything when you can share it x

  • Katie your words and images always ALWAYS come across (to me) as being completely authentic and genuine. I love following your photos on Instagram, your blog posts and your videos – you inspire me hugely. I too work every single day on my little blog (around my other self employed day job) and hope that one day that and my photography will be my sole source of income. To date I’ve not earned a single penny from my blog but I’m ok with that – I know I’ll get there and actually, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about documenting my family growing up, which I’m guessing is why you began yours. Staying true to your reasons for doing it is key I think. The changes on Instagram are frustrating for sure, but I know which accounts I love and if they don’t show up in my feed I go and look for them – yours included. I hope you feel better about things soon (and yes, I compare myself constantly before I remember the saying that goes “Comparison is the thief of joy”). Always happy to have a natter if you fancy one. Sending love, Chloe x

  • I can get this completely. It’s so easy to compare ourselves. I’ve loved watching your blog evolve over the last five years, your photography is beautiful and your videos are mind-blowing. I’m pretty certain your videos are going to make you very rich someday! Keep doing what you’re doing Katie, you’re awesome! xx

  • I hate that Instagram has all the makings of something I SHOULD love, because it’s such a visual medium and photography is such a big part of my life. But sometimes it sucks the joy out of it for me. I’ve never liked having to have a curated feed on instagram. And I hate all the game playing. I just try and plod along, like always, but it is sometimes hard to ignore and to not compare.

  • Suzanne says:

    I think social media can be an awful place when you’re feeling a little ‘off colour’; I have learnt to avoid it on those days. I am certain that people look at me and think I have it all when they have absolutely no idea what goes on behind closed doors. I know that I have definitely looked at other people’s blogging ‘success’ and wondered what I’m doing wrong but it’s all so shallow and futile isn’t it? What’s happened to us over the last two years has helped me to put many things into perspective. It can’t be easy for you having to be all shiny and upbeat the majority of the time because your livelihood depends on blogging and social media. I would say to take a break when you feel like this perhaps it’s not possible? Sending you a big hug. xx

  • Jenny says:

    Oh Katie I am so glad you wrote this post and so honest too. I love that about you and your beautiful writing. I am the same and just the other day a few other bloggers and I were talking about how social media with all it’s changed first fb a long while ago forever hiding pages, and now instagram totally letting us all down is so many ways and twitter becoming a place of just scheduled shared tweeks on a circle, social media has made us all start comparing ourselves far too much, and making us feel bad about ourselves. I know in the last month as the changes slowly rolled out on ig I cried myself to sleep twice because my likes went from the highest I have ever got to almost nothing and followers are slowly tricking in instead of a constant flow like they use to be. I think I have worked so hard how are others doing it and it’s soul destroying like you I have to tell myself all the time stop comparing, and stop worrying about it there are always someone with less likes and followers that probably think that about me and I am little on ig. But the thing is it’s our business but it’s our babies too. It’s what we eat, live, breathe and work FAR TOO many hours on every single day. I don’t know any other job that requires so much heart, soul, time, and parts of you in it than our job. It’s HARD! You deserve whatever you work hard for and like you said it’s hard to just see holiday photos and not get jealous but don’t ever think you didn’t work your absolute ass off to become a fab photographer and an amazing videographer and working your way up social media and gaining the amazing contacts you have and the hours you must put in each day is the result of all that babes. You are bloody amazing. I love you girl. Love your constant honesty and I love following you along your business journey as much as your personal family journey. You are not alone in what you feel right now. So many of us in various blogging groups have been upset, crying tears, and trying to find answers to the social media change that just isn’t human anymore. I often wonder when our blogging bubble will burst or how it will change in the future with all these social media changes. Either way, I am always here to support you my lovely friend you are beautiful both inside and out and in everything you do and create. xoxo

  • alan says:

    Hi Katie, I’m a relatively new follower of yours, primarily for your photographic skills. However, I have studied law and psychology and now I’m a professional property investor and I convert homes into small boutique accommodation businesses. It is very refreshing to come upon somebody who is so honest. Social media is a drug for many, I personally ignore it and would rather do more constructive things with my time, but I know my wife spends time on it and she gets into these life comparisons also. The truth is, there are no truly relative people on this planet, that one can realistically compare oneself to. We are all different and comparing ones success, or lack of it, with others is an exercise in futility. Remember Forrest Gump; “when a man has everything he needs, the rest is just for showing off”, this is often so true. Appearances are deceptive, for example did you know that 70% of all new cars on the road are leased, not owned. Next time you go past a Range Rover dealership, see how many second hand 2017 Range Rovers are there with just 2000kms on the clock, because the purchaser could not afford the lease after just 2 months. I used to do some divorce work for high end clients and you may be surprised at how many of these apparently very wealthy people, were borrowing money from their business and family’s to keep there enormous houses over their enormous heads. Some people who appear very wealthy have negative equity in their family homes, because of the massive debts they are carrying. So your observations above are often correct.
    Keep in mind; that in the final analysis, we must all be allowed to be ourselves and we must accept ourselves, as ourself. Don’t ever compare one’s self to another, it is an exercise in futility. Be happy with your present and stay positive and excited about the future and you will succeed.

  • Mary Smith says:

    I do yes! I get really frustrated with people following and unfollowing in the space of a few hours to just get one up! It upsets me because I think why not just follow people you like and lets be kind haha and why buy followers or bots or whatever – BE NATURAL! haha I love social media because I like to see peoples lives and accomplishments, then cry with them when life gets tough – especially friends and loved ones, but I don’t like how set up it can all be too.
    Ive also literally lost sleep over trying to think and research ideas to improve my photography in the way I want it to look. I just feel on some days ill never be good enough at it and then get upset when I have put loads of effort in and it looks naff compared to others who I admire. I have to remember they probably have more tools and knowledge than I do, perhaps its less instant and more set up? Perhaps they are just better (Im not very creative) Who knows?? but this week I have been questioning all of these things too like you and lacking in confidence with it all. Im trying to figure out my strengths and take confidence in that! xx

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