Feb 7, 2017
A couple weeks ago my good friend Marae and I were at the park with our kids and we got to talking about instagram moms. Not just people we happen to follow on instagram who happen to be moms, but women–moms–who are an entirely different subset. The women whose number of posts about going to the park or on vacation or getting out and doing cool stuff in general is wildly disproportionate to what real life looks like for the rest of us. The women whose husbands don’t work full time jobs, but instead hang out with them all day taking pictures to post or joining them on (paid) family vacations. I’m not upset about it. In fact I think it’s great they’ve been able to make a living doing things together as a family. I just wondered how it was possible. Marae and I each follow a handful of these women and we had our theories.
Fast forward to this morning when I read this article from The Atlantic that Marae sent to me last night. Turns out our theories were right. The husbands don’t have full time jobs. The women do have photographers (either hired or their husbands) following them around taking pictures all the time. They do make bank from paid sponsorships. Ok. Mystery solved.
After reading it I sent Marae the following reply:
“Just read the whole article. Can’t help but feeling that we’re geniuses and had totally understood the whole insta mom thing.
“And also it makes me want to get famous off a super lame blog with no pictures, about real life parenting with a pudgy body, no sense of style, zero know-how about hair and make-up, and a husband who works full-time.
“In fact I think I’ll make that my witty tagline.
“Maybe I’ll get famous and rich enough to have my own custom home built with an indoor shower.”
While I’m not sure there’d be any money in such an endeavor (certainly not $1-$6 million a year), I was surprised to find myself thinking about it all morning. What if I did write a blog about just being a normal mom? Not a seemingly normal mom, but the real normal mom and woman that I am.
Transparent about income and student loans and personal successes and failures and the good and the bad and the normal. The folding table in our dining room. The sewing room I gave up so our kids could sleep. How lucky I am to have Bryan home for lunch every day. How we only started successfully using a real budget about a year ago. Our religion on a day-to-day level. Our embarrassingly vast knowledge of super obscure West Wing quotes.
Not with a filter of undue optimistic joy or pessimistic sarcasm, not with an agenda, not with all the answers, just regular real life as it comes.
In a world full of photographs and pin-worthy homes and big reveals, could such a raw and unscheduled endeavor be of worth to the masses? Would it even reach them? I wonder.
For the rest of February I’m going to give it a try here. Make it my focus. See what kind of things I’d write. Find out if I’d run out of content and what I’d feel comfortable sharing with the public. I don’t want to make a spectacle of myself or my family, but for years I’ve felt this urge to push back–just a little–against the notion of having it all. To act as some kind of representative for normalcy and true, earned-through-all-the-regular-days joy in family life. Maybe it won’t be all that different from what I’ve been sharing here already. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll be worthwhile.
What do you think?