Saturday, June 1, 2019


Recently, Instagram has been prompting me to pay to promote my page. Increase likes! Get more hits! Have more followers! On the home front, friends have suggested the same, recommending I put up ads to increase my reach online. While sponsors posit exact timings and days of the week to put up stories and posts, so as to maximise exposure.

My (often delayed) response is usually to say ‘no’. I shake my head laughing and their suggestions. Not because I belittle these well-meaning advice, but more so because the truth is this – ‘I am no influencer’ and here’s why –

My primary career is motherhood. From the minute the first child wakes up to the moment I kiss that sleepyhead goodnight, I am a mum. When they go to bed, I then become a writer, editor, learner and a whole host of other things. Part-time Seminary student, part-time editor, part-time author, part-time event host and lots of other odd jobs in between. As you can imagine, these take up more than fifteen hours a day. From food prep to grammar checks that is.

When I had 50 followers, I drafted posts a certain way. When I have 5000 followers, I want to be doing the same. Documenting the children, sharing my journey as a mum, writing about the struggles and injustices I see around and so on.

The reason why we keep up to date with an Instagram account is because we love having a digital record of our children’s lives. When Humblet starting cruising, when Singlet started eating, what we did on our holiday to Taiwan, how we managed those hospital stays and so on. Whether the good or the bad, we want to remember them all. And we thought Instagram gave us the best way to do it. Least effort required for a succinct photo journal of our family life. (Definitely NOT a sponsored post.) Twitter, Facebook, Dayre and the like have had to go in the interest of time.

That is why I tell sponsors and friends alike, these paid ads, these timed posts are not for the ordinary folk like us. Family will always come first. If a day comes when the safety of my family or the health of my children takes a turn for the worst, I know Instagram will be one of the first things to get culled.

We do not want a day to come where we coerce the kids to do an activity because a sponsor said so. Or we are made to change our lifestyle and priorities as dictated by the unsaid rules of social media. That thought scares us and continues to keep us on our toes. We ask ourselves each time, ‘what are we doing this for?’ Perhaps even, ‘who are we doing this for?’ 

Don’t get me wrong. I have friends who are influencers and they are wonderful human beings. But the thing is being an influencer is work to them, and work that brings them much joy. That is great! I am sure it brings their followers much joy and they should keep at it.


We are happy where we are. Putting up the occasional sponsored post or reviewing new products. Hosting this and that giveaway. Supporting local businesses and especially entrepreneurial mums and young start-ups. But still mostly keeping records of our little family. Sharing our struggles as parents, the never-ending amusing antics of the #jiblings and more.

 Truthfully, the only people we seek to influence are Humblet and Singlet. To live abundantly and to love generously. That is hard work enough already. If in the course of trying to win over hundreds of likes and garner the attention of thousands of followers we lose the love, affection and respect of our children, then we would have lost what is most valuable in our lives. 

For those who have stayed around all this time, we are so grateful to be able to share our lives with you. Thank you for loving us and our children. For sponsors who still bless us generously knowing we cannot afford to purchase, please know that we are extremely humbled and thankful.

If at any point, you feel my feed becomes too hard sell, too attention-seeking, too un-@jieames like – I give you the license to shout out. Thank you for journeying with us on and @jieames thus far! May our stories inspire and encourage you, as you do life on your end.


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