Four years ago, balancing career, motherhood, and military family life was a daily dance with self-doubt for new mother Noëlle Boyer. Today, Boyer has found her niche as a motherhood blogger and Instagram influencer, sharing her journey to happiness while pulling back the curtain on her Marine Corps family’s life.
“I try to be as real as possible in my Instagram stories, sharing the behind the scenes,” Boyer explained during a phone interview. “Like right now, while I’m talking to you, I am looking at a basket full of laundry that is clean but wrinkled up in a ball. It’s Thursday. Maybe I’ll get to that on Sunday.”
Boyer, 31, admits she wasn’t always as nonchalant about laundry, a less-than-squeaky clean house, or the realities of parenting. She first began sharing her motherhood journey through Facebook posts as she struggled with breastfeeding her newborn son.
“I had all these expectations about what motherhood would look like,” Boyer, who had her third child last month, said. “I had to remove those expectations off myself because certain things like breastfeeding didn’t come naturally to me. I wasn’t able to do it so I had to remove that layer of raising a breastfed, organic wearing, only eating homemade food baby. I remember feeling completely defeated in those first early weeks as a mom.”
While the realities of military life had helped to derail Boyer’s journalism career aspirations, social media provided an outlet for her writing. She shared her breastfeeding journey on Facebook, a story that resonated with a host of friends who reposted her narrative. It was the encouragement she needed to begin sharing more about her life on social media, in part to provide a window into military life for family members and civilian friends.
“My Instagram and Facebook became like my blog before I had a blog,” said Boyer, who uses the “Rule of 3” productivity principle to start each day. “It became my practice getting back into writing and trying to encourage others in a similar boat that I was in at the time.”
Boyer confesses she had been talking about starting a blog “forever,” but didn’t do so until her friend Kirstin Kruip, a freelance content creator, surprised her in 2019 by creating a website based on her top Instagram posts. As the website grew in popularity, so did Boyer’s Instagram account, which now has nearly 6,400 followers, lifting her to “micro-influencer” status.
“Once the Band-Aid is ripped, I just keep going,” Boyer said. “But it really helped having that friend who wouldn’t let me keep waiting for the perfect time.”
“Doing motherhood with less guilt and more joy” is Boyer’s Instagram bio tagline and her posts reflect just that. Her Instagram stories range from a behind-the-scenes look at a typical day with her 1- and 4-year-old sons — which is best summed up by the Marine Corps motto “adapt and overcome ”— to the family’s cross-country move from San Diego to New Bern, North Carolina, and a tutorial on “plopping” naturally curly hair. As an interracial family, Boyer also has tackled weighty topics such as race.
“So much has changed in just the last 10 years in the sense of what people want and encourage you to share,” Boyer explained. “Obviously, there are things I don’t share about. I never share where my husband is located [during a deployment] and things like that. I primarily share about my relationship with my husband pre- and post-deployment, how I manage moves with my kids, how I explained to my kids why their daddy is gone. It’s always about how to help other spouses find their footing because that’s exactly what seasoned spouses did for me.”
Kruip, a Navy spouse, says her good friend “epitomizes the modern military spouse, someone who is unafraid to share honestly about their life and say, ‘Hey, this is hard. This isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.’
“I believe her role as a social media influencer in the military community, and in the broader civilian community of moms and parents, is valuable because so many people can relate to what she posts about,” Kruip added. “Through her content, Noëlle gives people within the community the opportunity to feel seen and validated in their own experiences and struggles.”
Boyer acknowledges leaving San Diego was challenging. After four years in California, the Ohio native said she “finally felt rooted in one place,” which made it that much harder to leave the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar community, where she gave birth to two of her children and found her voice on social media.
“As a military spouse, you make a friend, you leave a friend,” Boyer says of the military lifestyle. But she adds social media can be a valuable tool for making connections before setting foot in a new duty station.
“Whenever I move somewhere, I always try to find someone to connect with. Whether it is a friend of a friend, I try hard not to show up in a new place not knowing a single person or without a plan to know somebody,” Boyer said. “So, putting myself out there is something I’ve had to learn to do.”
A decade after failing to build the career she had envisioned as a journalist, Boyer’s talents as a writer, vibrant personality, and frank talk about motherhood and military life have translated into an income-producing and rewarding vocation inspiring other military spouses and new mothers.
“What my mentors or more seasoned military spouses have shown me is to do whatever you can to reach your hand out to help another new wife coming into this world,” Boyer said. “A lot of my friends are 10 years younger than me. They’re just starting the journey and don’t know where to start, so to be able to have something to write to encourage them, that’s my whole goal.”
Follow Noëlle Boyer online at www.instagram.com/noellerboyer.