An Australian writer has an axe to grind with mom blogs. For too long the industry has been "underpinned by self-pity. It’s full of whinges and moans and gripes about how tough it is to be a mother, how courageous and selfless we all are and how clueless and unfeeling men are."
She claims the whining - I mean, winning - formula relies on griping about everything from sleep deprivation to crackled breastfeeding nipples in exchange for hits. Book titles like A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life and All Joy and No Fun catalogue all the small mutinies that come with the mom title.
God forbid anyone embraces motherhood and admits to enjoying being a mom or finding it "easy and full of joy." The writer blames mom bloggers for largely stripping the beauty from the agency.
"Sure, it’s all in good fun, but the underlying theme of modern motherhood is that children are a nuisance."
Enter Jacinta Tynan's "breath of fresh air" book Mother Zen to recalibrate the balance and remind women just how rewarding motherhood is and how lucky we are that we get to do it.
The Sky News presenter and mom of two was apparently forced into silence. It started the moment she became pregnant. The tales of woe and fear mongering: “Kiss goodbye to your life,” people told her. “You will never sleep again;” and “Do you have any idea what you’re in for?” Shortly followed by backlash because she came across as smug for loving her role as a mom.
“It’s a big taboo to actually say that you’re really enjoying your lot,” she says. “You’re not allowed to say that … it’s like you’ve broken this unwritten motherhood code.”
To some extent, I agree. But she's missing a rather huge, important piece of the puzzle.
Before the advent of brutally honest blogs, moms were trapped in this 1950s ideal of motherhood where everything was Instagram-worthy cupcakes and garden roses. There was no vomit in your shoe, no acknowledgment of the shittier parts of parenting. And moms, particularly those who suffered from postpartum depression, were forced to do their crying in the closet (or shower).
That complaining was not only necessary, but life-affirming for many Betty Draper-esque moms who realized for the first time that it was OK if they didn't feel like vacuuming lampshades in an apron.
But that mom in the apron needs her voice, too, and if she wants to sing the high praises of motherhood while penning love notes to her darling angels, then she should be free to do so without fear of judgment.
And you know what? The reality isn't either/or. We can be both of those moms, loving and loathing, depending when you catch us. We're complex that way.
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