Modern Motherhood, An Exercise in Futility

I typically don’t make a habit of writing open letters on the internet or writing any scathing responses to internet articles, so consider this opus an exception to all of my rules.

The Elite Daily has published some rotten piece of rubbish that seeped under my skin and hurt me in a place I didn’t think was even going to be reachable. I have dedicated my adult life to my family and it’s anything but fabulous. Read all about how fashionable and luxurious it is to be a Modern Mom like me here, and get your own torch flame blazing.

The idea that motherhood can somehow be glamorous is smashed into pieces by the realities of actual living, breathing modern motherhood. I’ve never cared about matching outfits with my kids, because they require changing four times throughout the day. Wearing heels serves absolutely no point and a nude peep-toe isn’t going to earn me cool points while I chase my kids around the public pee infested pool, what counts is that I kept my two year old from nose diving into the shallow pool and ruining the potential for a beautiful, living childhood.

My sunhat keeps my wrinkles from rooting deeper at a faster speed, as I’ve just now gathered enough courage at the age of thirty-one to stand confident, pale and a shameless size fourteen. I learned a lot in my foolhardy twenties, and the importance of sunscreen hadn’t embedded itself in my stubborn young head until the evidence of premature aging rippled across my eyes. It’s not about looks; it’s about preservation and my new aversion to chemotherapy.

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I embarked on a journey of having three kids in four years. I didn’t set out to do it with intent, although that wouldn’t hold up in a court of law. The point is I am here now, and I am immersed in the culture of being a mother in the age of the millennial.

I can’t speak for the people who identify with comparing selfies on Instagram with Kim K. I cannot speak for the people who shop tirelessly for the perfect matching mother-toddler swim gear. I can’t speak for everyone.

But I’m more than willing to wager a wife-bonus that for every woman out there creating perfectly pinterested parties to upload to social media there are more moms like me, who struggle to prepare four lunches through hard-earned sips of coffee while the naughty kid in the bunch is throwing ham on the floor to “Fee Da Ants Mwammy”.

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GMO’s are delicious, rave toddlers everywhere
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Glamorous, Pinterest-worthy lunch making in progress

The moms like me read every article on the internet about GMO’s and we roll our eyes because we get that it causes cancer but we also can’t afford preschool tuition on an Organic eating plan. I would like to be able to heat my house in the winter as well, because when I bitch about freezing my ass off I only get two “likes” on Facebook, which I would think an uber cool millennial mom would “get”.

A modern mom is concerned with finances, just like the mom who came before her, and the mom who came before her. Imagine a time when we had avocado colored refrigerators, laminate floors that probably leached cancer into our lungs and moms who hunched over the dining table with a calculator and a check book. That’s today’s mom, and that’s yesterday’s mom. We care about the future, so we plan for it. Even though it kills us that we can’t buy the amazing retro sundress we saw at Mod Cloth because it means saving up for the deck we hope to build in five years.

Modern Mothers are more responsible than we’ve been given credit for. We work harder to be proud of who we are and stop shaming ourselves over our weight, or our five o’clock shadow. We admit to not showering every day and we confess that we actually like having sex with our husbands.

Modern Moms are killing it, but not in the ways described in the elitist self-centered article.

We embrace feminism, we get to choose birth control and we discuss it in private Facebook groups where we also lament breastfeeding and wiping our kids’ butts. We confess things to one another about motherhood, we admit to it being hard, to knowing that we have to be done having kids because sometimes, motherhood is too emotionally challenging. We talk about guilt and how expensive preschool is. It’s seriously really ridiculously expensive.

We find tribes, and we find ways to relate to the people around us and we don’t want anything to do with mommy wars.

We care more about politics, the environmental future, the figurative climate and the literal one.

We talk openly with our kids. We discipline them with a little more understanding than a beating had previously offered in my up and coming generation.

We hide in the bathroom when we can’t handle breaking up one more sibling argument.

A drive thru has saved my ass in more than one situation. And while we all would love a home cooked meal every single day, sometimes it’s best for our egos to not watch our kids throw our handmade spaghetti and meatballs on the rug and refuse to take even one bite. And so pizza happens.

We are a generation of well-read women who stay on top of current events and enjoy glasses of wine and discussions about politics.

I stick my kids in front of Disney for an hour so that I can type out a blog post in response to the idea that Modern Motherhood is superficial, and that we are unimportant unless we are fashionable, thin, white and of moderate wealth and privilege.

I work too damn hard at being a mom, paying attention and being a self-aware human being to let that kind of pop culture egocentrism endure.

This is my Alamo.

WE ARE BETTER THAN WHAT THEY ARE SAYING WE ARE.

7 thoughts on “Modern Motherhood, An Exercise in Futility

  1. this! yes! saw this article pop up in my feed too and had the exact same reaction – except you sat down and wrote this awesome post about it. thank you! you rock! 🙂

  2. this is the first post I’ve ever seen of you so I can’t judge your sight. But lady, let me tell you, I completely concur, and I’m now adding you to my list :). I think when they talk about these “new moms” they are referring to some of the 18 yr old crowd whose focus might largely still be on fashion and what every one else thinks of them, not centered around their children like the real moms of today who don’t have the time or energy for that constant drama.

  3. Well you are way better than what I was when my kids were young (youngest is 12, oldest is 19). Back in the olden days…so back in 1999, we knew nothing about GMOs. Mommy and Me groups were not supportive and were more of an outlet for mothers to compare and compete. I think that today’s mothers are so much more supportive and so informed, and to even infer that the opposite is the case infuriates me too.

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