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How I Became The Honest Mom and Grew my Social Media Community by 10,000% in a Year

March 15, 2022

Becoming the internet honest mom changed my life

The number one question I get asked?

“So, how did this all start?”

As a full time content creator my days are filled with filming, writing, editing, networking, engaging online, replying to hundreds of DM’s, and doing all the behind the scenes work of running a business that you don’t even realize is part of the job.

I get to talk about the beautiful and hard parts of motherhood, women’s mental health, and breaking cycles of generational trauma. And guess what? They are all connected.

It’s a privilege.

To spend my days creatively pursuing my passion of reaching moms all over the world to make them laugh, make them think, and make them feel seen is a dream come true. 

But how does one get to this point?

I mean, being a “Tiktok influencer” or content creator weren’t career options presented to me back in my highschool careers class. 

Let’s go back to March 2020.

It Started For Fun on Mom Tiktok, and It Became a Community I Could Have Never Expected

Libby Ward in a dark blue tank top and jeans smiling at the camera

Here’s what I didn’t know when I started:

  • That Tiktok wasn’t just for half dressed teens
  • What the heck an influencer was
  • How to film a short form video
  • That other moms struggled to enjoy motherhood as much as me
  • That other moms craved community and support as much as me
  • That other moms struggled with their mental health as much as me
  • That other women didn’t have fairytale relationships with the own mothers
  • That you could make money from brand partnerships once you had a platform
  • That my whole life would change in the span of 2 years

A story:

Prior to the whole world shutting down in March 2020 I was an educational assistant and spent my days supporting the physical, academic, emotional and social needs of children who required special education assistance. It’s a HARD JOB, albeit rewarding. 

I was working in a grade 7 class when the kids started telling me about Tiktok. I told them that they were too young to be on Tiktok (I’d never even logged in) and that the internet is a dangerous place for kids (it actually is). But I based my opinion on 0 knowledge of the platform.

 So they were probably shocked to find me weeks later, fully addicted to the authentic and highly relatable and engaging content, posting daily and sharing increasingly raw and real portrayals of how hard motherhood is  and all my imperfections.

Becoming a Tiktok mom and finding my niche

I started with funny, relatable videos about the struggles of mom life with little kids, and slowly, after seeing others open up I began to share my experiences with mental health, lack of a support system, childhood trauma, my attempts to be the mom I never had, and so much more. 

And what happened?

People listened. They shared their stories back with me. They thanked me for letting them know they weren’t alone, and in turn I realised I too was not alone.

I also realised there was an enormous untapped audience of women who felt like no matter what they did it was not enough- and I made it my mission to find them. 

And I did. 

After 6 months I had a community of over 100k actively engaged followers who came to my page daily for laughs, for inspiration, and for honesty about the rollercoaster of a life we were all living. 

Libby Ward pregnant belly showing with daughter kissing it as Libby smiles.

How I Grew @diaryofanhonestmom on Instagram to 200k in Just One Year

In the past, I always felt shame when I logged into Instagram. 

Curated feeds. The highlight reel. The filters. The lack of transparency. The inauthenticity. The lack of seeing anyone remotely in my situation left me feeling like I was not enough. 

I joined instagram as The Honest Mom only because there were rumours Tiktok would get shut down and I didn’t want to lose my new found people.

Little did I know that only a year later I would find 200k more of them and that I would look forward to going there daily to share my life.

But it’s HARD to grow on Instagram. That’s what I’ve been told anyway.

Here’s what I think happened(because I’m honest):

  • I had 0 expectations which meant that I could create the most authentic content possible without being concerned about the algorithm or growth

  • Instagram reels were newly released and short short videos were my jam

  • There had been a shift in what people wanted out of social media, they were ready for real life, deeper connections and authentic engagement

  • I had loads of old videos in my back pocket, which made it easy to post 3x a day

  • Most importantly? I talked about things that weren’t really being talked about

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Honest Mom (Libby) (@diaryofanhonestmom)


The average mom does not live a life that looks remotely similar to most influencers. 

So while the content that was being put out there prior to this big social media shift was beautiful, inspiring and aesthetically pleasing, it was not always relatable. And often, it is shame triggering for moms. Moms were really craving authenticity and vulnerability which is what I was serving up. 

I’ve come to know and love many influencers. They work hard and they provide value. I love so many of them:

To name a few…

But I think my community grew because they resonated with my imperfections, my honesty about motherhood, my truth about trauma, and openness about the realities of mental health. 

I continuously offer up my truth in a way that people can see themselves in. I put the feelings and experiences many moms have into words in a way that brings clarity and connection. I challenge myself and others to both take care of ourselves and prioritise ourselves as moms, so that we can be better for our kids

I am shame aware. 

I know that perspective means a lot. 

I know that socioeconomic status matters, that where we live matters, that support systems matter, that race matters, that gender matters, that our relationship status matters,  that how we were raised matters, that our tax bracket matters, our mental and physical health matters, that our kid’s personalities and abilities matter and that the tools we have been given or not been given matters. 

Being Honest About How Triggering Motherhood Through the Social Media Lense Is

With every post I make I not only think about how it can help moms, but how it might make them feel. And while I am not responsible for anyone’s else’s triggers- I care about the impact of my work. I aim to make my content in a way that nearly any mom can come to my page and say “yup, me too.”  

So how did I do it?

I was honest and I was consistent and I talked about hard things.  

I guess that’s why they call me the “The Honest Mom”

Check out some of my favourite viral videos over the last 2 years and if you aren’t already, I welcome you to follow along: 

If this has resonated with you, join my Honest Mom’s Insider Circle where you’ll get all my latest updates, special offers and promotions and exclusive content only for subscribers. 

- Libby

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