New Blog Series: Super(Bad)Moms

Moms so rarely get the recognition that they deserve. Moms get shit done on a daily basis, yet rarely receive any accolades. At the same time, we try to hide our faults for fear of judgment or that our facade of perfection will be shattered. This leaves moms feeling isolated, defeated, and inadequate. Not anymore!

Mama Tries Blog is thrilled to announce a new blog series: Super(Bad)Moms. Super(Bad)Moms will feature incredible, inspirational women who are perfect on paper, but beautifully flawed. These amazing women are not superhuman. They are real.

For me, that’s where the inspiration lies. Because if we can share lows, we can certainly work our mom asses off and accomplish some highs along with inspirational women whose lives we often see as unattainable.

Remember – there are no Supermoms. There are just moms who hide their “bad” side better than others… until now!

Our first Super(Bad)Mom will be featured this week!
In the meantime, if you are a Super(Bad)Mom and/or know someone who is, and would like to be featured contact me at: contactmamatriesblog@gmail.com.

What to Know Before You Compare Yourself to A Photo on Social Media

alb lady project launch

This is a picture of my friend Lea and me, taken two nights ago. As of right now, it has received over 140 likes and around 30 comments. I can’t recall if the photos announcing my children’s births got that much action. As the accolades were pouring in yesterday, a vain part of me was a little thrilled, but that bigger, empathetic mom voice in me was stronger. “You are contributing to an unfair Facebook highlight reel. This is not your real life.”

Except, it is. But it’s only a part of it. A tiny part of it.

This was taken at the end of an incredible night that we’ve worked hard for and a post to celebrate our success was warranted. We have been working for months with a team of incredible women to launch a local chapter of Lady Project, a nonprofit women’s group celebrating awesome women doing amazing things. This was the night of our sold out launch event. We’d just hosted a room full of inspirational, driven, passionate women excited to support one another and our community. We had reason to celebrate with a selfie. But, before anyone feels deflated upon seeing a glamorous snapshot in their news feed, they must know that none of this came easy.

A picture might speak a thousand words, but this one speaks a thousand lies. Let me tell you the real story.

  1. I did not wake up like this. While my husband took my children to run errands, I spent an ungodly amount of time on my hair. We’re talking hair dryer, straightener, and two different types of product – neither of which was dry shampoo. It was excessive.
  2. I am wearing about 13 pounds of makeup in this picture. I used foundation primer for God’s sake! This was covered in actual foundation and two different types of concealer. There were then roughly 17 other makeup items piled on top. I think Kylie Jenner would have told me to tone it down if she, you know, hung out with moms in their late 30s.
  3. Lea and I both hate shopping, yet spent two full hours at the mall days before this picture was taken in order to find perfect ensembles. I ended up wearing a blouse I bought in desperation, and she ended up wearing an old one of mine because she’d left her brand new, steamed blouse at home in her rush to leave a house full of kids. She realized she wasn’t wearing a bra when we got to the event.
  4. Shortly before this picture was taken, I was standing barefoot on a city street because I could not tolerate wearing my stiletto heels for one more second. I literally ripped them off my feet on a freezing, dirty sidewalk so that I could rummage through my bag to find a pair of flats I had packed for such an occasion. Sophisticated.
  5. Two Words: Photo Tricks. I don’t really look like this! Are you kidding me? First we found a spot out of harsh light. We then worked on the angle. Several shots were deleted until we settled on this one. And then, the piece de resistance – Instagram filters. After that process, I could make a picture of my elbow look hot.

And then there’s the event itself. We bombarded our Facebook pages with event teasers and advertisements. We used words like “excited” and “thrilled” but we left out the ones like “terrified” and “freaking out.” We didn’t put up any posts bragging about letting our kids watch two straight hours of YouTube so that we could figure out how to sell tickets on Eventbrite. There were no pictures of the pile of laundry that was accumulating at the top of my basement stairs posted to Instagram. I most certainly did not tweet about the amount I sweat the day leading up to the event or the stress dreams I had about speaking in front of a crowd. Nope. To the world of social media, we seemed like two confident working moms doing it all. Ha!

So, before you go comparing yourself to pictures and posts you see floating around your social media page, it’s best to know the truth. Sure, I might have a special evening once in a while, but most of the time, I’m rocking dirty hair and jeans I’ve worn two dozen times without washing. And you better believe that those special evenings mean that I’ve dropped the ball somewhere else.

If you don’t believe me, allow me to share a video my daughter took of me literally licking wing sauce and blue cheese off of a plate – taken less than 24 hours after the aforementioned photo. Also note that I didn’t post this one to Facebook, even though it’s more “me” than a night spent in stiletto heels.

Video

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make that first photo my profile picture in case any ex-boyfriends happen to search my name…

Mommy’s Facebook Felicitation

If a mother cuts the crust off her child’s grilled cheese and doesn’t post a photo of it on Facebook, did it actually happen?  

You can’t log in to Facebook without discovering how inadequate you are as a mother – nay, a human being.  Guess who ran 8 miles before work?  Guess who cooked a macrobiotic meal for her four children?  Guess who crafted a bidet for their master bathroom made entirely out of re-purposed ocean waste?  The easier question is, guess who didn’t.  You.  As a result, a casual stroll down your news feed may make you feel anything from inadequate to enraged at the audacity of that bitchy braggart mom. The thing is, I suspect that a lot of Facebook posts aren’t as much about bragging as they are about our desperate human need to have someone – anyone – appreciate us. A need that motherhood basically rendered permanently unfulfilled.  

I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by polite human beings.  I’m not saying strangers on the street were offering me kidneys, but I have, for the most part, experienced life in communities that seem to value basic human kindness. My mom thanked me for loading the dishwasher (even though she probably had to tell me to do it seven times), strangers thanked me for saying “God bless you” after they sneezed.  Teachers thanked us for pushing in our chairs before leaving class. All fairly minuscule occurrences in one’s life, yet I was acknowledged and appreciated for them.  As a result, trivial offences such as not thanking me if I hold a door open for you send me into the kind of fiery rage a more reasonable person reserves for occasions resulting in blood loss or dismemberment.    

And then you become a mother.  And your entire life becomes the equivalent of not getting a wave from a driver you let pull out in front of you.  Being a mother means doing more for a human being than you ever imagined possible, let alone have done before.  I may have held a friend’s hair back as she puked after a party in college, but I certainly never willingly held out my hands as a welcoming receptacle for the vomit.  I most assuredly did not stay up for the rest of the night cuddling said friend until the next bout of barfing occurred…all over me.  Yet, you know what drunk friends are really good at?  Thanking you.  You throw a blanket on them before they settle into a fitful sleep and you are rewarded with simply dozens of slurred “thank yous”.  But the precious toddler you just changed the sheets for 3 times in one night?  The one whose back you rubbed until you’re fairly certain you’ve acquired carpal tunnel?  The one you made jello for at 3 am? That kid’s lips are sealed.  

As a mother, it is my job to help my children acknowledge and appreciate generosity and kindness. In other words, to not be complete assholes. I am constantly reminding my girls to say please and thank you.  If, on a particular occasion, they need more reminders than usual, we have a private discussion about the subject. My husband and I are trying our best to not raise a couple of complete ingrates, and we’ve been fairly successful…when it comes to someone other than their mother. Because gratitude very rarely comes Mommy’s way. I can remind my girls to thank me seventy-five times a day, but they still will probably forget to show any gratitude when I bring them a cup of water an hour after they should have been asleep.  

And so mothers turn to Facebook to fill our void.  Your children didn’t appreciate the dinner you prepared for them?  Post it  – you’re bound to get a few likes.  Your children didn’t kiss your feet for planning and throwing them a successful birthday party?  Post it- with pictures – and you’re bound to get some “Gorgeous!” comments.  Your children didn’t express utter reverence when you and your husband made them the coolest freaking Halloween costumes ever?  Post it – with pictures – on Facebook AND a blog you started – and you’re bound to earn some adoration elsewhere. (Ahem).

IMG_7572

So the next time you are tempted to roll your eyes and are considering writing a snarky comment that says, “congra-feckin-lations” under some supermom’s post, reconsider. Maybe she just needs someone – anyone – to appreciate her.  Or maybe she’s an arrogant little bitch who wants to remind you how much better she is than you.  What do I know? Go with your gut.