Monday, September 23, 2013

You are Not Excused

Like many mothers in this age of abundant social media, I participate in a lot of dedicated parenting spaces on the internet. From facebook groups, to Livejournal communities, to blogs like this one, these spaces are filled with photos of all things parenting related. Last year, a photo project challenged mothers to 'Get in the Picture,' to document our existence as young mothers, our role in our families. To be brave in the face of magazine articles promising the secrets to losing the baby weight, or clothing designers promising that their jeans will hide our stretched and rounded tummies.

In my online social life, I see many photos of moms getting in the picture. I love them. I love seeing moms of all shapes and sizes, of all colors, of all walks of life, just being with their children in their day-to-day lives. All too often, though, those tender, happy, beautiful moments are marred with apologies from the mothers for the perceived flaws in the photos.

Here some examples I've seen in the last 24 hours, all of these captioning beautiful photos of mothers and children:

No make up, no hair style, no "bikini bod", no apologies.
"Excuse the fatty."

"Don't mind the mess."

"Sorry about my hair."

"Ignore my jelly belly!"

"No make up, sorry!"

"Ugh, don't look at me, look at the baby."

"Still working on those last 10 pounds. :( "

Even though we're getting in the picture and documenting our existence, we're still apologizing for it. We're apologizing for the ways that motherhood has changed our bodies. We're apologizing for spending more time playing with our kids than scrubbing our floors. We're apologizing for not having a full face of make up and perfectly coiffed hair at all times.

We're preaching body-positivity, we're calling out fat-shaming, we're drawing attention to the unrealistic expectations placed on mothers, and yet we're apologizing because neither we nor our homes look like we just stepped off the pages of fashion magazines.

I will not excuse the fatty.

I will not forgive the bare face and messy hair.

I will not ignore the mess.

Your body, your amazing body that brought forth and maybe also fed another human being, requires no exuse.

Your tired eyes and spit-up-on hair requires no apology.

The clutter on your shelves or crumbs on your counter need not be ignored.

Don't apologize for not being perfect in every picture. Celebrate that beautiful glow that radiates from your heart. Take pride in the happy, dazzling smile on your face. Enjoy knowing that even if you haven't showered in three days, your children think you're amazing.

This is motherhood. This is your life right now.

It is beautiful.

YOU are beautiful.

So get in the picture, stay in the picture, and stop apologizing for being there. You're right where you belong.


  1. Yes! I have been seeing this a lot more lately and wishing desperately that I could say something to put a stop to this. You've said it perfectly. Thank you!

  2. xxxooo hearting you big time right now ~