Caitlin Murray of Big Time Adulting has 1 million followers on Instagram, a popular podcast and coined an iconic self-care catch phrase for moms: “get yourself a snack”. But her foray into social media started at a tough time in her life. “When I was pregnant with my third child and my oldest son was still in treatment for Leukemia, I knew I would need to stop working at my job in order to be fully available for my kids and family,” explains Caitlin. She says,“It was hard for me to leave my job because I loved the independence of being able to work outside of the home, but it opened up space for me to experiment with some creativity that I’d always felt I wanted to explore more, so I started an Instagram account to see where it would go.”
We asked Caitlin, who lives in Westchester, NY with her husband of 12 years, Michael, and their kids (ages 9, 7 and 4 – boy, girl, boy respectively) about going viral, parenting strategies and more.
Why do you think your content is relatable to so many?
I would like to think it is because I am honest and funny and I really hope that after people begin following me for a while, they also see the very human side of me.
Do you know when something is going to go viral?
It’s definitely a surprise. The only advice I would have for someone trying to go viral on social media is to stay consistent and keep posting content that is meaningful to you.
You’ve talked about the unrealistic expectations around certain parenting strategies like gentle parenting. Can you explain a bit more about that?
I strongly believe the influence of social media has put an incredible amount of pressure on parents, but more specifically mothers, to do everything and to do everything really well. Perfection is really easy to portray in a 30 second video or within a static image online and I hope that women and mothers can all just start being a little more gentle on OURSELVES.
Love that. Where did “get yourself a snack” come from – and is there a larger meaning?
I think I just said it one day and it stuck. I think in telling people to get themselves a snack my intent is really to say “relax, take a break, take care of yourself a little, you’re doing great.”
Do you set limits for yourself with social media, or have any strategies for it not taking over?
I wish! For me, social media is my job and it happens to also be really fun, so it can be hard to separate from it, as my content is inspired by life, but I do tend to stay off Instagram for the majority of the weekend.
What’s next for you?
This year I really started to take the “business” aspect of my account more seriously. My initial goals were just to see if I could build an audience online, and now that the community is there, it is giving me an opportunity to expand as more of a multi-media entity with my podcast, a couple of brand deals, and an upcoming e-magazine and some other fun projects. It’s been a cool experience to have this turn into a very real career, and I feel very lucky.