Sometimes, social media can feel like fake news—particularly surrounding the topic of motherhood. Perfectly coordinated outfits, smiling family dinners, lavish vacations (and no plane meltdowns)…it can all make a mom feel like she’s just not doing enough or savoring the moments. That’s why content creators who don’t sugarcoat motherhood are so refreshing, and deservedly growing in popularity. One of our absolute favorite follows? Libby Ward of Diary of an Honest Mom.
With over 1 million followers on TikTok and more than a half million on Instagram, a lot of other moms are taking notice, too. Whether she’s sharing a video about skipping the exhausting zoo trips for QT time at home this summer break, or sharing raw takes on parenting after healing from her own childhood trauma, she’s 100 percent authentic. Libby shares equal parts hot-mess-mom moments and rare but welcome date nights or girl’s trips, serving it all up with her signature funny mom friend vibe—and we’re totally here for it.
We asked Libby to share why and how she launched Diary of an Honest Mom, how she’s parenting differently than the way she was parented, what she looks for in a mom friend, and more.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
I’m from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and I have two kids—a 7-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl. I worked in education for 10 years before joining social media and starting a career as a creator.
Why did you start your social media journey?
I started creating content on TikTok in March 2020 during lockdown when there was nothing else to do; I was struggling and I wanted to connect with others. I fell in love with the honest and authentic way people were showing up online.
Instagram had always made me feel like a fraud and the curated aesthetic version of people’s lives made me avoid the platform. I began to share more about myself and my journey as a mom when I realized how much need there was to talk about the often-avoided topics of motherhood.
Why do you think your content resonates so much with moms everywhere?
I talk about topics and experiences that are either universal or extremely common, and I do it in a way that’s both engaging and thought-provoking. I aim to start conversations about hard things, validate them and then empower women to make their lives and motherhood better. So many moms are isolated, overwhelmed, and dealing with a lot of other difficult circumstances that they don’t see reflected on social media, and my page is a place where they can come to feel seen but not to feel stuck. I like to think moms see me as a big sister type friend who is funny and real, but has wisdom to offer, too.
Love that! Why have you decided to share your struggles with mental health?
I choose to share because not enough people do and I would have done anything when I was really struggling to find out I wasn’t the only one. I carried a lot of shame about it for a long time and part of my mission is to make sure mothers and women no longer have to feel shame for having these experiences in motherhood.
Every day I get messages from moms letting me know that I have impacted them in a significant way and that because of my content they feel they can keep going, to seek help or to use the resources I share. Nothing bring me more joy than to know I have helped other moms.
You’ve documented some of your own childhood trauma and how you’re breaking generational cycles. Can you share a bit about that?
I grew up in poverty with a mom who struggled a lot herself. She didn’t have the knowledge, tools or resources to get the help that she needed and so much of what happened throughout my childhood came down to the trauma she herself experienced. So I am not only breaking the cycle of poverty, but of undiagnosed and untreated mental illness.
I am breaking the cycle of martyrdom. I am choosing to prioritize and heal myself so I don’t end up hurting my children. I am breaking the cycle of generational trauma and emotional abuse. There are so many things we do as parents simply because it is what we know, or its a part of our responses to our own unresolved trauma. To me, breaking cycles of trauma means I am aiming to raise children who don’t have to recover from their childhood and ending the cycles that have been carried on for many generations before me.
What do you look for in a mom friend?
I look for someone who is open, authentic and easy going. I don’t have a friendship type but my closest friends and most long-standing mom friends are the ones who aren’t afraid to tell you what’s really going on, and who won’t judge you for your stuff either. I need friends who get that mom life is hectic, crazy and that I don’t always have time to be there in person, but that when we do get together we can just pick up where left off.
I love a friend who can have fun, who has boundaries, can respect boundaries and who can handle my messiness. Goodness knows I’m not perfect and I need to be able to show up as me in my friendships and life.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I created The Honest Mom Journal: The Struggling Moms Guide to Struggling Less because we could all struggle a little less. It’s a 5-minute morning and night time guided journal that helps moms fight guilt, overwhelm, negative self-talk and learn to prioritize their time and energy. If there are any moms out the looking for a tool to help, you should check it out!