Lately I have seen a very unfortunate trend with my Mom friends. I’ve heard it at parties, seen it on Facebook, and even discussed it at book club. Moms are mad, frustrated and upset. And who is this rage directed at?
Mom Bloggers. Or Moggers as my friend likes to call them. People like me.
Apparently women are ticked at the perfect way Mommy bloggers are portraying their lives, and it’s too much pressure to live up to on a daily basis.
“No one’s cupcakes come out that way,” screamed my friend the day she lived out a Pinterest-fail of tie-dyed cupcakes for her daughter’s 7th birthday party. I actually thought they came out pretty good, but clearly not as perfect as the picture she showed me on her iPad.
Another friend vehemently exclaimed the other day: “It’s not like parenting three kids isn’t hard enough, but now all these ‘perfect’ Mom bloggers are out there talking about organic food, no screen time until they turn eighteen, keeping your kids in car seats backwards until they’re nine…enough is enough!”
I get it. I really do. I am one of those moms that is creatively challenged. My youngest out-paced me in the craft world at four years old when she took the glue gun out of my hands to put the feathers on the turkey we were creating for Thanksgiving. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than spend a day scrapbooking, crafting or baking cakes that involve words like fondant. If I judged what kind of mother I was based on this, I would get a big fat F.
And sometimes when I read about the food a blogger creates from scratch every day to feed her nine children or the organic garden a New York City mom cultivated on the roof of her apartment, I feel pangs of guilt for the cheez-its I sent in for group snack (although they did have letters imprinted on them, you know, to make the kids smarter).
But a few years ago, I had a life-changing experience. I met a mom through my daughters’ My Gym classes. She also had twins, but that was where our similarities stopped. She had lost all of her baby weight, had no muffin top, and was constantly pulled together. She had her own successful business she started while breastfeeding her twins for 14 months and teaching them sign language. Because their father was from Montreal, they were already speaking two languages and had travelled extensively by the tender age of three. No joke.
Despite the fact that this mom made me feel like an utter failure, she was very friendly, so we decided to hit the local Chick-fil-A for lunch after class one day. As we chatted while the kids were eating, I looked over at her son who continuously picked his nose, and yes, ate it. Her daughter had a meltdown of epic proportions because she had white milk instead of chocolate. They had to leave early because her son threw his shoe at the back of a stranger’s head. It was not pretty, and she was mortified.
Apparently perfect hair does not make you immune to booger-eating. Because I had lived this scenario myself (several times), I was relieved to see this mom also succumbed to the same issues that I had with my kids. Although the image she projected publicly was much different, at the end of the day, she was as frazzled as I was.
It is no different in the blogging world. As bloggers, we project the image we want our readers to see. We carefully choose our words, images and topics that we think our readers will embrace. And although there are the mommy bloggers that believe honesty in parenting is what they want to portray, most of these women are building a brand, and that brand is their carefully-crafted persona.
While it may be hard to believe, most of the moms writing blogs are not doing it to make other moms feel bad; but let’s be honest: how many of you would attempt to try a recipe if the cake looked lopsided? I always equate blogging (and in some cases social media) to publishing your own magazine — an opportunity to share what you are passionate about whether it is clean eating, fitness, crafts, make-up, decorating, or just your kids. They are trying to put their best foot forward to their audience, just as they would showcase their best products in their storefront.
I believe the rage against the mommy bloggers, Pinterest-ers, and perfect Facebook posters is symbolic of what has always been going since the dawn of mommy-hood. So many of us strive for perfection and use other parents as a benchmark for our own self-worth. When we look at others though the lens of resentment, there is no way we can support each other or encourage our kids to treat each other compassionately.
There is no way to parent perfectly, and having a child absolutely guarantees you will be imperfect. It doesn’t matter how many perfect cakes you bake, marathons you run, or crafts you create, your kid still may eat his own booger in front of somebody else.
What can you do to sublimate your rage? Instead of feeling guilt and resentment when going on social media, digest the information and decide what you want to do with it. You may want to embrace having your own chickens for free range eggs or you may go back to buying your egg McMuffin.
Because while some bloggers do try to shame us into thinking that their way is the only way — using fear and judgement — we often forget that we, as readers, have the power in these situations. Bloggers are only as successful as their followers make them. Trust me, I know.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think we all need to remind ourselves of this as parents in today’s digital age.
Or you can just start your own blog…
Whitney is a freelance writer and blogger at Playdates on Fridays, a blog inspired by her former Friday afternoon playgroup (for the kids of course!)———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
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