This week we have Journalist Sinead Corcoran Dye join TBIYTC. Sharing her challenges with mental health and motherhood, Sinead discusses her hope for the future social media in becoming a more open and relatable space for women and mothers.
"My hope for the future of social media, and my daughter’s future, is that women – especially mums – also start to share the bad times, along with the good – so that Instagram is more of a reflection of reality, instead of just the highlights reel of our lives."
I’m a journalist, writer and mother. After I became mentally unwell a few years ago I had to leave my full-time career in the media industry and go freelance. I then became pregnant with my daughter and suffered severe hyperemesis and post-natal depression as a result.
As I was no longer writing for big publications fulltime, I decided to start sharing my stories on social media – in the hopes that by sharing the struggles I had been through with my mental health and journey to motherhood, I might help other women and other mums who might be going through similar hard times.
Since having my daughter – who is now nearly four months old – I've written about my struggle with breastfeeding, the shame around elective c-sections and how difficult it is raising a child while battling with a mental illness. I’ve shared photos of myself in the mum and baby psych ward in Starship and written about how I initially struggled to bond with my baby due to hyperemesis trauma and PND, and photos in my underwear showing my real post-partum belly - no Facetune, all rolls and stretch marks.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve since had an outpouring of gratitude from my followers, and a wave of new followers, who DM me on the daily to say that by sharing my stories, and the (often tough) realities of being a mother, I’m helping them feel less alone.
They tell me that by me shining a light on these often unspoken about tough things, I’m encouraging them to be more open about their own struggles. Lots of these appreciative messages come from new mums – who seem to really appreciate me sharing what it’s really like to be a parent, no filter.
Since sharing my stories on Instagram – a platform that is traditionally and most commonly used as a “highlights reel” of our lives – where people post the best-lit, most flattering, “27 takes to get the shot,” content, I like to think I’m (as cringe as it sounds) making a difference by sharing the “not so grammable” stuff.
While yes, I still post lovely photos of the good times, like my wedding anniversary for example, in the caption I wrote about having a fight with my husband that night over whether or not to have another baby – and that we Ubered home in awkward silence LOL.
My hope for the future of social media, and my daughter’s future, is that women – especially mums – also start to share the bad times, along with the good – so that Instagram is more of a reflection of reality, instead of just the highlights reel of our lives.
I think by doing so, scrolling Instagram won’t be something that often makes us feel bad, or not hot enough, or envious that our lives aren't as good as everyone else's seem.
Instead, it might become a platform of sharing the truth, and it’s the truth that helps us feel less alone.
Written by Sinead Corcoran Dye
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