How to get mom-famous on Instagram

by Janelle Hanchett

In this post, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know to get famous on Instagram as a mother.

What? What’s that you say? I’m not famous on Instagram therefore what the fuck do I know?

Look. You’re getting too caught up in details. You need to calm it down a bit if it’s going to work between us.

I know this information not because I DO it but because I’m a writer, which means I sit in an office all day getting ready to write, which I do mostly by looking at pictures of Kate Middleton being “super approachable,” and scrolling through Instagram.

I also have insomnia, and everybody knows the best treatment for insomnia is 1-2 hours of blue light via the “search feed” on Instagram.

So, in other words, I’m an expert.

Alright, here we go:

The first thing you need to do is get pregnant. No, wait. First you need a husband who is hot,

that one time Mac got a super hip haircut and looks like he should live in Portland

that one time Mac got a super hip haircut and looked like he should live in Portland

tattooed, and bearded. Like this fucking guy >>

But you need to act like you have no idea how hot he is. That way, you can humble-brag with each photo like you JUST HAVE NO IDEA WHY ALL THE WOMEN AND GAY MEN ARE TAGGING YOUR SHIT.

Do not be like me, openly admitting you’re weirded out that your hot ass husband still lives with you.

Okay, THEN you can get pregnant. Once pregnant, you need to take innumerable photos of yourself in extremely soft light, preferably in draping gauze by windows. Look down, curl your hands gently around your belly, and let your hair fall in sweeping cascades down your face. DO NOT GAIN MORE THAN 20 pounds the entire pregnancy but hashtag huge, also #thatbellytho.

Do not talk about hemorrhoids, marital problems, or any sense of impending doom or nonspecific regret.

You also need to have professional maternity portraits done, obviously, in forests, at least 9 times during your pregnancy. With your hot husband, holding hands, wrapped in gauze. Not your husband. Only you in the gauze. Obviously. Your husband should be wearing suspenders.

When you have the baby, name it Fox or Freedom or Wilbur or Banjo. Something super fucking weird but also quaint and meaningful.

Look, I don’t make the rules here. Do you want to be famous or not?

Newborn photos may proceed as follows:

1. In a wicker bassinet wearing vintage bonnet and white onesie, near window, bathed in perfect light. ALWAYS PERFECT LIGHT.
2. White and black leggings with crosses, black onesie with “Born free” or something similar written on it, moccasins, sleeping on a bed of crisp white sheets next to a small sleeping dog.
3. Baby close-up, wrapped in muslin swaddle blanket with matching hat, on a piece of fuzzy lambskin.
4. On dad’s chest without shirt.
5. On mom without shirt, nursing, but only showing one perfect round breast bathed in sunbeams. NO FAT ROLLS OR STRETCH MARKS.
6. In a light blue striped linen romper, on a sheet with flowers around the baby. Or branches. Or stones. Be sure not to explain why the fuck your baby is encircled in small green branches and pebbles because that doesn’t matter.
7. Hold baby up in air in front of bricks or white wall. Make sure you cut off the face of the person holding baby. Baby should just be suspended there, kind of randomly.

You can also fold your baby up and stick her in a bowl or pan or basket or some shit, but honestly, I totally prefer vintage millennial chic over all other forms of Instagram fame.

Throughout your journey, you’ll need a very fancy camera and a willingness to strategically place stuffed animals and pillows near your baby to create atmosphere. Atmosphere is everything.

Of course, some asshole will comment that it’s not safe to have pillows or stuffed animals in the crib (even if they are made of repurposed wool by a SAHM in Oregon). Delete those comments. Fuck the trolls. Atmosphere forever.

You need to put your kids in maxi dresses and scarves and crocheted elf bonnets. You need your toddler son’s hair long and messy but somehow perfect in an entirely impossible way and yet possible because there it is on Instagram. Hair should fall over the eyes but not have snot in it, or food, which is hard, because toddlers pretty much always have snot and food on their faces and thus in their hair.

Figure it out. Sacrifice.

You may also photograph:


Leggings. Birkenstocks. Large sun hats.

$90,000 strollers.



Your feet.

Your feet at the ocean.

You on your side with your tattoos showing holding a salad and your baby. Hashtag sundayfunday.

Older kids may be lined against brick walls and/or garages. They should be doing something cute but aloof because they’re just being kids and happen to be perfect and adorable and clean and stylish. It’s weird. It’s a thing.

You can also go hippie. Or fitness. You can’t go hippie fitness though.

It’s complicated. You’ll do fine.


And remember, I’m fucking kidding. Do you on Instagram, and beyond, posed or messy, neutral or fluorescent, carefully placed pebbles or unfortunate snot.

Fuck it. We’re all putting on a show. Some of us are simply vintage.

And famous.

If lacking a dog, cats will suffice

If lacking a dog, cats will suffice

  • Jen

    This is fucking fantastic

  • Leigh Ann

    Don’t forget the triangles and arrows and other hipster shapes, also put your baby in a $200 teepee in your living room. And your baby needs antlers on the wall above his crib.

    • renegademama


      How did I forget those?

    • Penni

      Because chevron stripes are so yesterday.

  • liliana

    This is hillarious. Thank You. I do like some of those things, but I love Your writing more.
    …..But seriously, You ruined snot free hair pictures for me. I was trying so hard to accomplish one of those for the last 5.5 years, since I had my first kid. As well as both kids in the actual pisture. Sharp even. Three more things that come to mind: crocheted hats and matching boots. Also, 20% of black and white images or at least sepia is required for a popular mother on the Instagrams. Finally, lots of stain-free white linen and cotton fabric.

    • renegademama

      haha! Love this. And I LOVE THESE THINGS on Instagram too. sure, they make me roll my eyes and mumble “Oh come the fuck on,” but I’m also like OMG look at all the beautiful people doing beautiful things! And I love muslin and actually OWN a linen striped romper for my baby, leggings, and moccasins. I hate myself. I love myself. I hate love all of it. 🙂

      But yep. The snot. It’s always always there.

      • liliana

        “I hate myself. I love myself. I hate love all of it” LOOOOOL
        The importance of a good balance.

        On instagrams, besides hipster newborn T-shirts I love to see some signs of being human, like distasteful furniture or at least a non Marie Kondo-ed living room. Then some Etsy graphic prints make a nice accent 😉

  • Diana Cameron

    100% funny.

  • Kim

    I have been trying to figure a clever way to make a post about my current pregnancy. It’s my second, I’m 13 weeks and I have morning sickness, acne and so much gas. I’m thinking rather than a gauzy bump picture, this article is my best and only option. You’re hilarious. I love this so much.

  • christina

    Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I post a photo my lazy-bitch manicure and pedicure and people really eat that shit up. Boosts my self-esteem for approx. 20 minutes.

  • Kristy

    I literally just got with the times, today, and set up instagram to see what the fuss is about but now after reading this I think I’m gonna say fuck it because I have an 11yo with messy hair, constant chocolate on his face for some reason even if he didn’t have chocolate recently, and I’ve got ugly feet so what’s the point now?! You make me laugh as always mama!

  • Renee

    Hilarious! Laugh out loud hilarious!!

  • Kristin Von Till

    Nailed it!

    And just in time. The sad truth is, Instagram has been almost completely abandoned by tastemakers (i.e. teens). Now we need to work on our Tumblr game. Or Snapchat.


  • T.Ayllon

    I just peed my pants, dude.

    • Trisha

      Post that on instagram!!!! (Because come on!!! THAT is what those “perfect” babies do to us, they make us PEE OUR FUCKING PANTS WHEN WE LAUGH)????????

  • Yvonne

    The gram where everyone is a model,relationships are perfect,plus models are in and everyone is lying !!! Haha

  • Stacie

    Hashtag fundaysunday! Bwahahahahahaha I hate instagram…and yet….I can’t stop….looking! Argh!!! I really want to start a movement calling out all the fake biotches out there! ????

  • Cassey

    Great post as always 🙂

  • Cath

    My three sons never had snot on their faces. I’d rush away to find a tissue and when I came back the snot had miraculously vanished. I always hoped they’d eaten it, but I tried not to look too closely at the furniture.

  • Virginia Tauseef

    Don’t forget to cut your kid’s hair the slightest bit crooked and add #momfail (never mind that you are the only one who noticed). Also buy tons of adorable designer stuff on Etsy for them to wear (has to be local and handmade) that they will only wear once. Make sure that everyone knows this by adding #labelname and #soyesterday

  • Brynly Brown

    #7 SIIIIIMMMMBBBAAAA (Circle of Life music playing in background)

  • Jennifer @ WrittenByJennifer

    HAHA! I love it…all of it! Maybe include photos of the clean, sustainably sourced chicken nuggets you’re feeding your children while they’re wearing vintage overalls with no shirt.

    And Mac is looking extra hot in that picture.

  • Jennifer

    Hahahaha, I didn’t even see the baby in the picture, all I saw was the cute cat, hahahaha. LOVE your writing !

  • Michelle

    Absolutely love this post! You’ve given me so many ideas for my feed. I’m gonna go do the randomly suspended baby photo.. Oh wait, my kids are not babies anymore!

  • Mariek

    Just got back from a weeklong holiday. Looking at the cute picture of my muddy son in a muddy puddle, think: “what is that strange deformity on his upper lip?” Two long lines running from his nose to his lip and on their way down, looking like two super snotty vampire teeth..

  • AG

    I’m a programmer by trade. I spend 40+ hours a week writing lines and lines of code to tell the computer how to think and what to do. I’ve had Instagram for a year and have posted exactly 1 picture because I can’t figure that shit out. It literally took me 30 minutes to even understand what I was looking at when I signed up. However, I’m down with the Facebook and see the hashtags and “posted from Instagram” stuff all the time and this post couldn’t be more spot on. I’m in the process of trying to get pregnant and I’ve already accepted the fact that my Instagram Mom game is going to be non-existent. I don’t even think I follow people/things properly. Pumpkin the Raccoon and #VanityPlates are the only two things I really care about on there. Thanks for the afternoon chuckle!!

    • Emily

      Yeah, my “Instagram game”… All you have to do is follow My Kid Can’t Eat This, really, lol. Even if anybody followed me on Instagram other than my husband, who’s the one taking all the pictures anyway, I’d have to do so much culling to post anything where they’re actually wearing clothes that it wouldn’t be worth it. Besides, like–yeah, Instagram, but if I’m on my phone, I’m playing Fallout Shelter. Seriously. Can you level up in Instagram, or craft weapons? I didn’t think so.

  • Lor

    Don’t forget: NO ugly plastic toys in the background… ONLY wooden and vintage and/or black and white toys.
    (I love this post).

  • Nchole

    Omg somehow I missed this when it came out…. So damn funny. I needed the laugh after my rough day! Keep on keeping on!

  • Pearl

    This is amazing! I just discovered your blog and have been binging on it for the last 2 hours, even though I really should be sleeping because, 12 month old twins.

    One day, if I can find a wall in the house that’s not stacked full of baby crap and if I can get them to stop drooling for just a second, maybe I will become Instagram famous. I’ll let you know how it works out.

  • Hannah

    This is glorious. I’m crying.

  • Mona

    It is almost a science. You must consider many things. Your photos have to be perfect. Remember the timing. Write right hash-tags. Interact. To interact more effective you can also use , it has got database of Instagram users in different cities who would follow you.