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Issue No. 1: Motherhood. What? Like it’s hard?
Plus: the arrest of Andrew Tate, Nepo babies under fire, influencer's kids grew up – and a full taste of this newsletter.
Hello! Kristine here. And I wrote today’s post because I was sick of writing to my list with only sales emails.
That was never my intention. In 2017, in the depths of a postpartum downward spiral after my first was born, I began writing honestly about my experience.
That became the foundation for starting OTM and creating our Postpartum Care Kit – and I’m proud and excited to see moms like you share this valuable resource with their (especially first-time) pregnant friends.
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But somewhere on the path of becoming a business, the magic of how I personally showed up got lost. I focused on doing the right marketing things, stopped writing freely, and lost that deeper way of connecting with other moms about our experiences.
And if I’m being really honest, as motherhood continued to stretch me further than I imagined, I got scared to be open. But when I think about how I really want to spend my time and run this business, I know I want to be having those conversations again.
The real ones. The interesting ones. The ones that are NOT about wiping someone else’s butt.
So welcome to the first issue of the OTM newsletter. Whether we dive into online mom culture or popular culture, this newsletter is about all the conversations we should be having with our mom friends.
If this sounds interesting, stick around. I’ll be writing at least monthly. If not, feel free to click unsubscribe at the bottom (you may still receive a emails about big sales).
IN THIS ISSUE
✍🏽 Essay: Motherhood. What? Like it’s hard?
📱 Weekly Round Up: An incel gets taken down by a pizza box, some very VIP VIP’s opt out of 2023, Hollywood nepo babies get hit hard.
🗣️ Need-to-Know Basis: Meet Mom.Uncharted
Motherhood. What? Like it’s hard?
Two weeks into motherhood, a user made her debut on #MomTok explaining that it isn’t actually that hard. She just had a baby and is completely fine. In fact, she’s an entrepreneur. Now that is hard.
This whole baby-motherhood thing? No problemo.
As they say, no hate the original creator, but let’s be real. She doesn’t know what the fuck she’s talking about. Two weeks is just the beginning. For some, that beginning is rocky. For others, like her, it (mercifully) isn’t. But one thing is true: motherhood is a lifelong journey and it’s not easy.
Not to say I was any different. Just 48 hours into my own motherhood journey, still riding high on postpartum hormones not yet processing the sleep deprivation, my husband and I agreed that this was the most exciting ride we’d ever been on.
Greatly influenced by a profound ignorance and the long persisting delusion that my life could remain essentially unchanged, on some deep level I too believed the best way to combat the challenges of motherhood was to flat out deny them.
Because motherhood is often painted in a negative, unrelenting light.
So I understand the desire to show the other side. To buck that status quo narrative and reassure others that it’s actually a lot easier than “they” said it would be. But the problem with that is, it’s just not true.
In reality, it’s probably going to be a lot harder than most people understood when they first signed up. It’s almost impossible to prepare for the actual experience. It’s not easy and no one should claim it is.
And no, I am not saying it’s bad.
Being a mom is the single best journey I’ve ever embarked upon.
It has emboldened me to face personal failings I would probably never have otherwise acknowledged. It’s empowered me to sever ties from toxic relationships and begin a journey of true self regulation. It’s given me the sweetest and most unparalleled moments of joy I will ever experience.
The maddening sleep deprivation and endless amounts of literal shit… The fact that your baby will simply be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen while you experience the pain of physical recovery… The never, ever being alone and then yearning for their sweet faces once they’re (finally!) asleep…
These things? They’re part of it. They’re where intimacy as a caretaker is built. These tasks – tedious, exhausting, beautiful – are not to be skipped. If this path is right for you, the rewards that are built into the highs, lows and the tedium alike, are very real.
But why in the hell would any of that be easy? Why do we expect to experience these terrific highs without any painful lows, remaining essentially unchanged?
Oh, right. Because motherhood is “women’s work.”
Plain and simple. Even paid labour, when it sits within the ‘pink collar’ realm, is undermined in our society. Imagine how little we must actually think of labour that is completed by women and unpaid.
Pushing a human out of your vagina or undergoing an intense surgical birth? Yawn, people do it every day. Can’t be that big of a deal.
Maternity leave? Enjoy vacation!
Stay at home mom? What do you even do all day?
Working mom? Work like you don’t have kids. Run your home like you don’t work.
So is motherhood just not really work?
This brings us back to OP’s main assertion that being an entrepreneur is harder than being a mom and has therefore prepared her in an above average way for the journey.
Not withstanding that these parts of herself cannot ever really be compartmentalized ever again – for as long as she remains a business owner she will always be both – why even pit these two things against each other?
Well, because one is capitalism-backed, patriarchy-approved, money-making hard work…
And one is not.
Entrepreneurship (or any career, fill in the blank) says something about our VALUE. It’s masculine postering. And for many of us, before motherhood, what we “do” was probably the closest proxy we had for explaining who we are.
We haven’t been primed to consider that motherhood has any “real” value.
There is no cultural reverence for the utter miracle of childbirth. We often don’t even credit the birther for the work done! We live in a world that believes birth must be medical first and often say ‘the doctor delivered the baby’.
We don’t place an inherent monetary value on childcare – though we may pay someone else for that same work (not that it is well compensated work).
And we still exploit the shit out of the mental load that mothers or female partners are expected to perform – with no appreciation or acknowledgement.
So when we try to tell ourselves or others, well intentioned as it may be, that motherhood is just not that hard… What are we really saying?
What happens when a self proclaimed alpha male gets into a fight with an environmentalist teenager?
Man-child Andrew Tate gets himself arrested for human trafficking like the moron he is. In the feel good story of 2022, Tate initiates his own undoing by antagonizing Greta Thundberg over Twitter for literally no other reason but to boast about his collection of environmentally-unfriendly vehicles.
A huge shout out to the pizza box Tate willfully posted to the internet like the stupid dumb fuck he is. Romanian police used the restaurant name to track the location of the wanted incel influencer, who was then detained and charged with human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group.
See you in hell, Tate!
Everyone’s bailing on 2023.
This was undoubtedly a year of big name deaths. With just days/hours left in 2022, two of those were Pope Benedict XVI and Barbara Walters. Ok, perhaps not shocking as both were in their 90’s, but impactful.
Either way, I’m not exactly sure what those passings says about 2022/23, but one thing is certain: for two people who don’t seem to have much in common, both will be taking a looooooot of secrets with them to the other side.
Nepo babies got called out. Called out again. And then again.
I’m willing to bet everyone’s pretty mad at Lily Rose Depp right now! 🤠 It’s hard out here for a nepotism baby and she was kind of patient zero. In an interview she gave to Elle, the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis claimed that nepotism has nothing to do with her success.
That seems to have been the collective last straw and the world has decided to draaaag nepo babies. Particularly in this incendiary New York Magazine article which featured that ⬆️ rather humiliating cover. A reminder to keep our kiddos humble.
As the children of the first wave of reality stars and online influencers become adults, we’re beginning to hear the brutal reality of what it was like to be forced into the spotlight.
But today it’s more common than ever for children to have their their lowest moments (like temper tantrums) exploited for engagement and to even have their parents post videos where they are literally being bullied for clout (anyone else see those idiotic Grinch scare videos?).
My recommendation for this issue is going to be singular, and her content is a journey that I encourage all parents in 2023 to explore: mom.uncharted is an amazing educational resource that I personally have learned so much from.
This is not just about parental oversharing. She exposes the disgusting realities of how our children’s images may be co-opted online. Disgusting possibilities I just didn’t know could be a risk before finding her account.
I share this resource with zero judgement.
We are all going to figure out where the line of social media sharing works for ourselves and our families – but we also all deserve to have the full context in which to make those decisions.
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