As a “popular mom blogger,” I am uniquely qualified to shoot some mommentary your way on what this whole motherhood shebang means nowadays, particularly around our “official “holiday, Mother’s Day.
I’m actually kinda filled to the gills lately, having just attended the Mom 2.0 Summit — a business conference where approximately 450 breeders and people who wanted to reach those procreators gathered to network, interact with brands/corporations/media companies, and absorb a ton of amazing information from those whose businesses are for parents and by parents.
What made this conference particularly intriguing was that the Wall Street Journal had just published an article called, “The Mommy Business Trip.” A “moms gone wild” puff piece about the big biz of mom blog conferences, the author made her case about how women left to our own devices go insane: we Tweet pics of ourselves having fun (vs. making meatloaf, I suppose), raid the minibar, and run amok with the television remote. (No cartoons for a day – that’s right, we’re so cray-cray!) Yup, big perks for slacker moms looking for an “easy” way to ditch the family for a few days.
Note to the WSJ: We, the epicenter of the billion-dollar baby business, are grown-ups who are fully capable of mixing business with pleasure, as that is the American way. And if you’re not interested in having momversations with momtrepreneurs, then you’re missing the boat. Moms make 85% of all consumer purchasing decisions and account for $7 trillion in consumer and business spending.
Nanny nanny poo poo, stick your Journal in doo-doo!
That the sponsors were makers of minivans (Honda — and although I loved my Pilot, NO I do not want to fondle your minivan), mops (Bissell, Bona), laundry solutions (Lowe’s/Whirpool, Arm & Hammer), kid juice (Tree Top), mommy fuel (Starbucks), family pharma (CVS), and life lube (spray on Vaseline lotion — as excessive as you might think), spoke volumes.
But then again, I am a housework addict, so who am I to complain?
I was particularly taken with Dove, who launched their new ad campaign at the Summit. The ladies love Dove, and not just for their delicious Blue Fig and Orange Blossom body wash. We were thrilled when they celebrated, across all media, the many sizes and shapes of women, and now they are focusing on bolstering girls’ self-esteem.
So while I love that Dove builds their marketing plans around real life stuff, and I also totally appreciated my free manicure in their oasis at the Summit (Moms gone wild again! Free manicures –better and more addictive than crack!), I also was turned off by the name of their new campaign.
“Let’s Make Girls Unstoppable.”
See, this is where the essence of motherhood feels cheapened by a slick slogan.
There’s no making girls unstoppable — we just are.
We were born to be creators, whether we procreate or not.
We face inequity, a view that somehow we are “the weaker sex,” when in reality we have the stamina and the fortitude to be the world’s caretakers and most compassionate caregivers. Not to mention supreme multi-taskers.
We are on the front lines of all stage of our children’s development, and the fate of the world literally rests in our hands. One of the most interesting things I heard at the Mom 2.0 Summit was from an HLN Raising America exec that said that we are raising a generation of heroes — that our children will be the ones who solve the crises of our world.
When I see my children and their friends running lemonade stands to raise money for victims of hurricanes, volunteering at food banks, or beautifying their school, I believe that they are heroes. And our addled world can count on them now and in the future.
This generation of women are unstoppable in the quest to build perfect lives — for our families, and, if you listen carefully at conferences like Mom 2.0, also for ourselves. Our world is complicated, competitive, and caustic. And the burden of cutting through that crap and paving the way for a bright future for our families requires laser beam focus, consistency in all engagement, and a totally hands on approach to all we do.
A couple of years ago, just before Mother’s Day my BBF and I hiked the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (what I lovingly refer to as “G-d’s Vagina”), 17 miles in and out in a day. I’m not bragging — at the time I was a new hiker, and it was overly ambitious, grueling, and physically the hardest thing I’d ever done. The only possible way to get it done was one step at a time, without stopping. Had I rested more than briefly, I would’ve never finished.
Unstoppable gets the job done. Unstoppable is pushing our way through anything that could derail us: being bullied, low self-esteem, inequity in our world, and other modern pressures.
My mother was always unstoppable, in the very best ways. She was parenting in the 60’s – 80’s, a time when women were burning bras, going back to work, and changing the face of traditional motherhood… for good.
She had a million great ideas, and believed every one of them deserved to be sitting on a shelf somewhere. Out of our basement she created novelty items for places like my favorite store, Spencer Gifts (the “executive pacifier”), sold personalized pillowcases to a ton of huge catalogs and also at crafts fairs, and invented and sold Kosher for Passover cereal nationwide.
She worked around the clock, often seven days a week, but broke for an hour weekday afternoons with Oprah, and took excellent care of my dad, brother, lame and talking cat (seriously, I’m not kidding here), Buddie, and me.
My mom was the original momtrepreneur. She showed me how if you are unstoppable — if NO is a reason to double down and push even harder — then you can build a life that you want.
A life that laughs at the idea of that unicorn called balance, and embraces motherhood while at the same time celebrates womanhood.
So if you see me slathering on some Dove Visibly Smooth Wild Rose deodorant, just know I’m gearing up for another day of being unstoppable in the freshest way possible — it’s a woman’s job, and someone’s gotta do it!
Now enjoy the anthem of all anthems, “I Am Woman,” by the unstoppable Helen Reddy — a mom, grandma, and all-around kick ass woman.
And Happy Mother’s Day, my bitches!