Mumfluencer Chaneen Saliee: “working on content left me with so much mum guilt”

Mum List winner Chaneen Saliee

by Maria Martin |

Mumfluencer Chaneen Saliee took the number 1 spot on Mother&Baby's The Mum List 2020, and has recently been awarded the Parenting Influencer of the Year at the Blogosphere Awards 2021! Here we find out all about her life, what it's like being a mum-of-two and how she maintains a positive relationship with social media.

Having not really seen many black mums on the scene, especially breastfeeding ones, Chaneen started speaking up more about motherhood when daughter Jasmine was born in August 2017. Second daughter, Ocean, was then born in April 2019 – enter a new world of tandem breastfeeding and life with two-under-two. In a bid not to lose her style, Chaneen then started creating her own clothes, and friends started taking note and asked for their own versions. Thus, Chic and Discreet was born.

The rest, as they say, is history. But enough from us, here’s Chaneen herself to tell us more…

It’s been a year and a half since winning the number 1 spot on Mother&Baby’s The Mum List 2020 and a lot has changed.

There’s still a lot I am learning and experiencing for the first time and there is so much I have learned, lived through and loved. I’m excited to tell you all about it.

Personal and parenting

My girls are 2 (Ocean) and 4 (Jasmine) years old now and we have very much landed on new territory. I am still breastfeeding Ocean which means I’ve been going strong with my breastfeeding journey for 1501 days (at the time of writing). That’s huge! I am also still running my breastfeeding clothing brand Chic and Discreet which I have exciting plans for moving forward (but for now I cannot say much more than that).

I’ve been documenting a wider range of topics online too and my community has grown. We talk about things like how to maintain a healthy relationship after having kids, how to love ourselves and teach our children self love, and there are lots of laughs with my take on parenting in my incredibly hilarious (if I do say so myself) Instagram reels. And, of course, so much more.

I’m helping other mums to see that they’re not alone and that it is totally okay to be who they are and parent how they want to parent. It’s the first step in also teaching our children to be who they truly are. They imitate everything we do after all, so we might as well make it good.

The pressures of social media

That being said, it’s not all been nice and good. A year and a half ago I said that, “social media is like a therapy for mums.” But I have now seen the other side. Social media has been very therapeutic at times but it has now also been a detriment to my mental health for a period in time. Both being a content creator, and a consumer of social media, I felt the pressure of trying to not only keep up with others, but also having to keep up with myself.

There have been reels of mine with numbers and comments in the hundred-thousands and while I had learned not to compare myself to others online, I couldn’t help but keep up with my previous numbers. It was a brief period where social media wasn’t about my craft or connection, it was about collecting - more and more numbers.

It affected me mentally because if I couldn’t keep up I felt I was failing. And trying to keep up meant working on content around the clock which led to me feeling, like … so much mum guilt.

5 ways I have a healthier social media relationship

Luckily, that period is over and here are some of the ways I ensure I do not get caught up in a detrimental social media cycle.

  1. I have ‘consume free days’ - on these days I do not consume any social media (and sometimes I limit all media). These days help me to get my creativity flowing and, since it’s usually on a Saturday - Sunday, spend the whole weekend loving all the randomness of my family.

  2. I don’t post every day - which takes off the pressure I had as a content creator to ‘follow the rules’ and post everyday.

  3. I create and connect with people in other ways - of course the pandemic is largely to blame. I spent a lot of time on my phone last year, connecting with people and creating my art. Now, I have a scrapbook with no real rules and I get creative in there for… no real reason. I also make an effort to meet up with others regularly so I am still able to connect with people offline.

  4. I follow other people who show the real, gritty parts of Mothehood and life, so amidst all of the beautiful posts, I get regular reminders that life online is mostly a highlight reel.

  5. And I don’t mind the numbers - Instagram now allows users to hide the numbers on their posts or to turn off the numbers in everyone else’s posts. I used these options now so it’s hard to be distracted by numbers.

It’s refreshing to see a little more diversity online. What that means to me is, whether or not everyone is being represented and treated equally yet, more and more people are beginning to feel confident enough to share more and more of who they are. There’s a wider range of the types of family unit we are seeing, ways children learn, the nuances in ethnicity and how people are work towards equality. It’s refreshing to be a mother amongst it all and to win another award this year for my work.

Parenting! Ahh, I never thought I’d be good at it, I’m probably not even the best at it (I don’t believe there is a best tbh) and yet, my normalness, my gratitude and my beautiful black family are winning awards for it.

I hope this goes to show that you, in your normal uniqueness are perfectly enough, just the way that you are.

Be sure to follow me @chaneensaliee on Instagram. For more award winning normalness, relatability and hilarious honesty.

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