bonus layouts

washington dc


opening hearts and eyes
to a thoughtful life


How Instagram Changed Me

November 30, 2022

I used to be an elementary school teacher and ed-tech consultant; now I'm a mom of twins and aspiring children's book author.

This blog is a place for me to write about personal life experiences, gleanings from books I've recently read, past and current DIY projects, and reflective thoughts that need a home outside my heart. Here at HeartEyes, I am opening my heart and eyes to yet another new chapter of my life, and my hope is that by joining me here, your heart and eyes would be opened to a more thoughtful and intentional life.

Hi, i'm tiff!

Blog Categories:



Books + Podcasts

read more >

DIY Projects

blog home

Ah, 2020, our favorite year, no? When I look back on 2020, I see two distinct parts:

  1. The first part, where the world shut down and we were trapped at home struggling through a new normal while trying to do all the things with our children/spouses/family/pets home with us 24/7.
  2. The second part, where I discovered an entire community of mothers on Instagram who not only had the same hobbies as I did, but through befriending and observing how they lived their lives, completely changed my view of motherhood.

For the longest time, I felt like being a twin mom was my one and only identity, and considering how dark and lonely those first postpartum years were, I’d say that was pretty accurate. But I never wanted being a mom to be my only identity. I just didn’t know how to figure out who I was outside of that since 1) having twins drained me, 2) my anxiety and depression consumed me, and 3) life kept happening which prevented me from going back to work.

In 2020, my mom retired as an RN and came to help us as we live on opposite coasts. I finally had some breathing room to resume my DIY projects (mainly building furniture and painting), something I had always done since I was a little girl, but had stopped once I had the twins. That summer, I began to share my projects publicly on Instagram @HeartEyesDIY, and a whole new world of motherhood opened up to me.

Social media can be incredibly awful, but it can also be an amazing place to meet like-minded, genuine people who really understand you:

  • When I saw other mothers with littles on Instagram trying to be the best mom and still having a hobby at the same time, I felt validated.
  • When I saw other mothers explain that their hobby was a satisfying outlet while their children were napping or in bed at night, I felt seen.
  • When I saw other mothers switch effortlessly between spending time on their hobby and spending time with their children, I felt inspired.

It was around this same time when I found Jess @OurMamaVillage on Instagram, who is a therapist for parents. Two things she repeatedly said completely changed me and have stayed with me to this day:

1) “This is important.”
2) “Two things can be true.”

I used to get really irritated and flustered when I was in the middle of a project, and the twins would interrupt me with something they wanted/needed, thus taking me away from what I loved doing. I often felt like, “ugh why can’t they just leave me alone and let me have my me time?!” But when Jess shared example after example of tending to her children’s needs, whether it be a physical or emotional need, having the mindset of “This is important” completely changed my perspective of motherhood. (I want to expand on this in a separate blogpost because there’s a lot that goes behind this mentality and what I ultimately discovered about myself.)

Then Jess expanded on that and shared, “Two things can be true:”

  • This is important, and I don’t have to love it.
  • This is important, and parenting is really hard.
  • This is important, and I can wish I wasn’t interrupted.

It’s almost as if this mindset, coupled with seeing other mothers on Instagram be joyful with their children and spend time on a hobby for themselves, gave me the freedom to stop feeling like my children were a disruption to my life. Because it doesn’t have to be one thing or the other:

  • It doesn’t have to be, that having a personal hobby meant my children were a disruption to me.
  • It doesn’t have to be, that becoming a mom meant I couldn’t desire other things.
  • It doesn’t have to be, that because I desired my own hobby meant I was a bad mom.

So now, when I’m happily working on a project and the twins need something in the moment, I whisper to myself, “This is important,” and my demeanor immediately softens because I’m reminded that my projects bring me joy, and every little thing I do with my children is important. Both can be true.

And this is how Instagram changed me.

+ Show / Hide Comments

Share to:

  1. Melissa says:


  2. […] a previous blogpost, I mentioned how Instagram changed me as a mother. While it did cause me to become a better mother […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


view category

Pondering thoughts, personal life experiences, things I love, mental health, marriage life, and everything in between.



view category

Everything from my birth story to postpartum anxiety and depression, from c-section recovery to mom guilt and judgment. Prepare for raw and emotional posts!


Books + Podcasts

view category

Gleanings from books I've read and podcasts I've been impressed with, with the occasional children's book recommendations!


DIY Projects

view category

DIY project tutorials from six years of projects in my home! Very much a work in progress, migrating tutorials from my Instagram page to my blog!


Join the hearteyes fam!

Be the first to know about new blogposts, insightful reads, favorite things & more
in just a couple emails per month. Let's set those expectations low HAHA!