On momfluencer pregnancies and the ineffable power of momfluencer culture
At my stage of life, JDOs sense of confidence and ease is a little like a splinter in an already sore and tired hand. How does she do it? There’s scaffolding we aren’t allowed to see. I want that sense of possibility and beauty and I seem to have a lot more struggle and mess. I’m simultaneously aware it’s a lie while I buy in. (Not literally, because I can’t afford the clothing unless it’s second hand.)
The pregnancy announcement somehow widens the gap for me because she will wear clothes that make her look cool while I looked like a circus clown. I also know it will likely result in a beautiful home birth that “triggers” all my feelings of inadequacy about choosing a hospital births and epidurals.
It’s really never about momfluencers for me and always about my own pain-points in my life.
On a side note: I do marvel at JDOs ability to remain apolitical. Has she ever revealed and opinion about an injustice or current event? I can’t recall! Did she ever talk about vaccines or Covid other than wearing a mask for a bit? It’s interesting that someone with such a strong sense of self and point of view manages to not get involved in some of the more divisive conversations of our time and not really lose followers.
Important topic! And it's good to acknowledge our natural curiosity, even if we're not pregnant. I've always been super careful about sharing information about my own pregnancy experiences. It's really tricky. If you share traumatic or difficult parts, then you might needlessly scare someone. If you share easy-peasy parts, then you might discount someone's else's struggles without acknowledging how advantages you have made those parts easy peasy. Even if you're talking to someone IRL that you casually know, it's still hard to gauge what's okay to say because you don't really know what someone else is going through (or has gone through).
I so appreciate you acknowledging that sometimes we get sucked in. There is a reason Momfluencer culture is strong. And I added the magic cloth you posted about to my amazon cart. So many things wrong with that sentence. :)
"Motherhood as constructed by the US is not an identity that fits anyone particularly easily." I 100 relate to that one. I should have had your book when I had my first. I actually thought other moms' lives look like that and couldn't understand why mine was so unlike theirs. I also thought Lean In was actually possible until I totally burnt out. Then finally I moved my family of 5 to my native Scandinavia last fall to learn a different way to do this mom life. It was like moving to Mars. Luckily now I make it a point to follow more international moms to get a more global perspective that fits me a lot, lot better!